Construction Professionals Want to Know: How Do I Succeed as a Construction Project Manager?

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

Construction Professionals Want to Know: How Do I Succeed as a Construction Project Manager?

That’s a great question. But before we answer it, let’s start with a great definition from online education website Study.com:

Construction site manager job descriptions generally include controlling the time, cost, and quality of construction projects, from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings to roads, bridges, and schools. They plan and coordinate all aspects of the construction process, including hiring contractors and working with engineers, architects, and vendors. A single manager might oversee an entire construction project, or multiple managers might oversee specific aspects of a larger project.

I think we would all agree that construction project management covers a broad spectrum of duties and responsibilities. This construction subspecialty can be a very rewarding career for sure. So let’s take a look at the fine points of what a career path looks like.

At Top Notch Personnel we can help you navigate the job market in the Witchita, KS region. We’ll help you find the right construction management job, not just any job. We focus on candidates just like you, and we take every client’s job search personally. We want to hear your story. Call one of our recruiting professionals at 316-425-4501, or get in touch online today!   

In this post, you’ll learn several key aspects of the construction project management field including:

  • What It Takes to Get Into the Field 
  • What Kind of  Compensation You Can Expect if You’re Successful
  • What Skills You’ll Need to Succeed and Advance
  • How to Get Started

So let’s get started!

What are the Qualifications? 

While there are no hard and fast qualifications, there are some educational benefits and certifications that can benefit your career. 

Is a College Degree Necessary and if So, Which are Most Beneficial? 

The short answer is no. A college degree is not necessary to become successful in the construction management industry. it can be advantageous for candidates just entering the field, however, and for new employees looking for promotions, etc. 

A two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree program will provide students with technical skills and formal knowledge of how the construction process works. A degree could also pave the way for increased salary potential when compared to non-college graduates.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in construction management or engineering is definitely the most common choice for candidates who are looking to work in a project management position.

Most of the hard skills for a construction project management job can be acquired experientially from on-the-job experience in the field and/or in a mentor or apprenticeship program.

The bottom line? Anyone with the experience, desire, and raw capabilities can enter this rewarding profession. Every career path is different, and at Top Notch, we recognize that. 

Courses that May Help You Advance

Certification courses may help you in your career, especially with promotions, job changes, etc.

You should always consider the various credentials and courses available to help you enhance your career. This includes certification courses in project management, degrees in construction management, engineering programs, etc.

Some of the more useful project and construction management certifications to consider are:

  • Construction Management Certification Institute (CMCI)
  • American Institution of Constructors (AIC).
  • USGCB (U.S. Green Building Council)
  • Project Management Institute (PMI)

There’s no need to go “certification crazy” though, especially early in your career. Get established and then judiciously pick and choose which certificates can be most beneficial for you. Many of these certifications can be obtained online, so no travel or classrooms required!  

As a job seeker, you’ll need to determine your career goals and assess what skills you need for the positions you’re interested in pursuing. 

The construction project management field is growing and compensation is high for these in-demand professionals.  

According to online job board giant Indeed, the average salary is around $83,000 per year and around $104,000 on the high end.

The field is also growing at 8% per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly faster growth than most other professions.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, you can definitely look at ways to make yourself more successful. Let’s look at some of the skills you can work on and cultivate to enhance your career.

Work Ethic and Soft Skills 

Project managers of all stripes must have a strong work ethic. They must also be great leaders and communicators.

Strong Work Ethic

The construction project manager is responsible for the project from start to finish. A good work ethic is really important because they will usually be the first person in the office and the last to leave. 

They are the leaders in charge of the day-to-day progress of the construction project, so they must set the tone for the work ethic of the entire team. 

In the most fundamental sense, a construction project manager is responsible for keeping projects on budget and on time. They control the time, cost, and quality of construction projects of all scopes and sizes. 

This means the project manager needs to be accessible and on top of all things project-related. They have their finger on the pulse of subcontractors, suppliers, crews, regulatory issues, and all facets of the project.  

A typical day might involve meetings, site visits, video conference calls, project updates with clients, task management, etc. They have to coordinate and oversee a project’s overall timeline and daily/weekly/monthly schedule from start to finish.

Workweek hours for construction managers can vary depending on the size of their team, but usually fall between 40-60 hours per week. They usually expect to work some evenings or weekends if there are urgent situations that need to be resolved quickly.

Great Leaders

Every great construction project manager must have exceptional leadership skills. They lead their teams, but they also need to show leadership with subcontractors, clients,  suppliers, etc.

Great leaders lead by example and always demonstrate that they are not afraid to get their hands dirty. This is especially true in the construction industry, as cloud construction software company Digital Builder points out.

The core role of a construction project manager is to manage the time, cost, and quality of the construction project. The success of any single project will depend on that individual’s leadership with their team, subcontractors, suppliers, regulatory authorities, developers, etc. 

A successful construction project manager leads by example and maintains consistent, clear communications within the team.

CPMs also need to know how to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively. They need to trust that their team has the ability and expertise to complete tasks without being micro-managed. 

A successful construction project manager will always delegate responsibility appropriately with their team. The most common types of delegation are task delegation, assigning individual responsibilities, and time delegation, allocating the amount of time each task will take and working toward hitting the goals.

Excellent Communicators

Project managers must have impeccable communications skills. This includes face-to-face, virtual, social, and executive-level communications skills. This means presentations, progress updates, meetings with their team, the management team, clients, etc.  

Communication skills are also key when it comes to interacting with other stakeholders like architects, engineers, developers, and property owners. CPMs need to know how to maximize usage of communication technologies and tools just like a skilled tradesman uses his construction tools!

A construction project manager will also need excellent interpersonal communication skills. 

Last but Not Least, You Need to Be Tech-Savvy 

Construction project managers need to be tech-savvy and use technology to streamline the process and ensure the efficiency of the entire team. Construction project managers use technology, including spreadsheet and ERP software tools that allow them to measure costs before and after construction begins, scheduling tools, project management tools, etc. 

There are quite a few really good SaaS-based project management tools on the market, and you will certainly be using one of them. Make sure you master the tool, and you will be much more successful at your job.   

How Do I Get A Job as a Construction Project Manager?

Get in touch with us online today, or call us at 316-425-4501.

There are construction project management positions available in the Witchita region right now. That perfect job, great compensation, and a rewarding career path just might be right around the corner for you. 

Top Notch Personnel is the premier staffing and recruitment agency in Wichita, KS. Serving the aircraft, construction, manufacturing, janitorial, and call center industries, our team puts great people to work at great companies around the region. Service excellence, accuracy, speed, and integrity are the hallmarks of our service.

Why settle for just any job when you can choose an opportunity that is uniquely suited to you. 

Top Notch Personnel is what we provide to employers – talented people like you! That’s why our recruiters put all of their time and effort into making sure we have the right people with the skills, experience, and work ethic that our employer partners expect. Once we’ve found the right people, we treat you with the respect you deserve. 

At Top Notch Personnel, you’ll be treated as an individual, not just a number. When you call our janitorial,  construction, manufacturing, and aircraft recruiters, they know who you are and are invested in helping you to succeed.

Are you considering a career change or modification? Are you open to more flexible types of employment opportunities? Are you looking for a specific type of job and you’re willing to wait? Are you getting ready to re-enter the workforce after some time away? 

We’re here to help. Once we understand your skills and career goals, we’ll start connecting you with the right job opportunities. We’ll also provide resume and interviewing tips to help you make your job hunt more successful.

Our recruiting and staffing professionals are waiting to help. Why not pick up the phone right now and call 316-425-4501 or get in touch online today?

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