what is a construction project manager?

Construction projects are structured and have multiple moving parts. For instance, building a residence or shopping mall comprises numerous steps requiring a construction project manager to coordinate the process.

As a construction project manager, you organise and bring together the necessary resources to complete a building. Unlike other projects, constructions are mission-based and have a variety of constraints unique to the building design. Consequently, being the project coordinator for a residential building is different from managing the construction of a commercial property.

Since you manage the practical aspects, you work closely with architects and civil engineers to interpret project plans. You hire contractors and other tradespeople to work on the project and take a supervisory role. Aside from assigning and managing workers at the construction site, you also plan for the resources allocated to you. You ensure workers use the resources properly to avoid shortages and project delays.

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average construction project manager salary

As a construction project manager, you earn an average salary of between $92,000 to $224,000 annually depending on experience and qualifications 

The remuneration package of construction project managers depends on their qualifications and experience. When you are experienced in the role, you can handle complex construction projects increasing your salary prospects. The projects you work on also determine your earnings. Some industries, like manufacturing, require the construction of complex structures and expert knowledge. Working in such industries improves your earning potential.

male and female talking. China. Primary color: red.
male and female talking. China. Primary color: red.
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types of construction project managers

The types of construction project managers depend on the employer. Some include:

  • contractor’s construction project managers: as a construction project manager working for a contractor, you oversee a project at the construction site. Your job is to supervise other employees on the site and manage resources on behalf of the contractor.
  • client’s construction project managers: as a construction project manager, you are employed by a client or company to manage a project. That means you report to the client since you are in charge of every aspect of the project. Sometimes, you make a presentation to the managers on the progress of a project and your projected completion time.

working as a construction project manager

Working as a construction project manager involves planning and executing construction projects. Let’s explore the responsibilities and work environments of construction project managers.


education and skills

To become a building and construction manager, you need extensive experience in the building and construction industry.

Construction companies employ building and construction managers with qualifications such as:

  • civil engineering degrees
  • building qualifications
  • construction management diplomas
  • quantity surveying qualifications

Some building work has to be carried out or overseen by a Licensed Building Practitioner. To get a licence, you have to prove your experience and/or have appropriate qualifications.

construction project manager skills and competencies

Some of the skills you require as a construction project manager include:

  • leadership skills: as a construction project manager, you inspire other workers and motivate them towards the project goals. That means leading by example through dedication and proactiveness in complying with safety and quality standards.
  • communication: when you are a team leader, it is crucial to communicate effectively with other workers and tradespeople. Communication skills help you relay goals and clear instructions. Written communication is also valuable for writing reports, creating schedules or assigning tasks.
  • risk management: projects have uncertainties, and it is important to be prepared to handle any eventualities. Risk management skills come in handy in forecasting problems and solving them.
  • interpersonal skills: as a construction project manager, you listen to team members and include their suggestions in your plan. Team management skills also boost your leadership abilities. With interpersonal skills, you can de-escalate issues and resolve conflicts that happen at the workplace.
  • time management skills: as a construction project manager, your time is valuable, and you require time management skills to coordinate workflows and set calendars. Your time management skills help you monitor the deadlines of various products and prioritise important tasks during the construction project.

FAQs about working as a construction project manager

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the construction project manager profession.

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