What Would You Do as a Construction Manager?


construction manager
Construction managers play a crucial role in any type of building project. They scope out projects, estimate costs, hire workers and subcontractors, create schedules, acquire the right materials, ensure worker safety, and manage all that goes on at the job site. Whether you work for a construction contracting firm, government agency, an architectural or engineering firm, or for your own construction company, there are lots of tasks that will fill your days.

Some of your responsibilities might include:

Analyze Construction Documents  

Before you begin a project, you need to know what it’s all about. Using architects’ and engineers’ plans, you make sure the new building will comply with its design and conform to all regulations. Often rendered through Auto Computer Aided Design (AutoCAD), the drawings include basic structure, components, materials, and measurements, but also go into finite detail for wiring, plumbing, and design elements.

Estimate Construction Costs

Both for your organization and the end-user, it’s important that your estimate for how much a project will cost is as accurate as possible. You may need to submit a bid for a project where you are in competition with other construction companies; every penny counts. Or you might hand over cost estimates to a would-be homeowner for new construction. First you validate the project’s Scope of Work, a document that lays out the entirety of work necessary to complete the building project. Then you use your knowledge, experience, and skills to estimate costs. You’ll likely use construction estimating software that will help you calculate the price of required building materials, labor, and equipment rentals. It also helps you plan how long the project will take to complete.

Order Construction Materials and Hire Subcontractors

To be a construction manager, you need extensive knowledge of the basic building materials used in any type of residential, commercial, or industrial construction project. Using the architect’s specifications, you purchase all the necessary building materials and arrange for on-time delivery. You work with your own employees and also hire subcontractors of specialty trades such as plumbing, electrical, and carpentry, and schedule them in the proper sequence. And you arrange for the proper building equipment to be onsite, as needed, with as little lag time as possible.

Project Management – Plan, Schedule, and Monitor

You are the conduit between the client, architects, construction crew, and subcontractors. It’s up to you to make sure a construction project runs smoothly. You’re responsible for tracking the progress of a new building and to have contingencies in place when something doesn’t go as planned. For example, if supply-chain disruptions mean late deliveries, can you move onto another phase of the project? Or do you need to move onto a different project? Construction management software can help you schedule, publish, and share the status of each milestone of the project, and it allows you to make adjustments as need. You can also create progress reports that include photos and alerts the building owner of any issues that might increase costs or delay completion.

Comply with Building Codes and Arrange Inspections

There are strict laws about construction materials and safety and environmental standards. You need to know the permit process, safety requirements, building codes, and environmental regulations for the design and construction of buildings as established by national and local governments. You will need to allow inspectors onsite to ensure that building codes are in compliance and that safety regulations are followed for the construction workers.

Does construction management sound like the field for you? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for construction management jobs is expected to increase faster than average through 2030. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reports that Construction Managers are among the top three hardest to find of skilled workers and there are plenty of job options for construction managers.

Typically, construction managers must have a bachelor’s degree, and experience in the field. At National American University, we offer a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management that will help prepare you for a rewarding career. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor now.


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