Construction Week: Building a Name for Yourself: Management Positions in Construction (Part 2)

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Are you looking to build your career in construction?

Or perhaps you’re just curious about the potential management positions available in this field? Maybe you’d like to know what qualifications could take your career even farther, earning you more opportunities and a greater understanding of the industry?

Good news! The Construction industry offers new grads ample opportunities for career growth and advancement! There is no singular path you must follow in order to be considered for a supervisory or higher management position. However, these leadership roles tend to be filled by individuals who are strong communicators, goal and detail-oriented, and are effective team players.

If you think you have what it takes to rise through the ranks, read on to see which construction management role is right for you!

1. Construction Manager

(Salary $34,000-$97,000)

A Construction Manager is responsible for overseeing the daily activities occurring on the construction site. These could include budgeting, scheduling, providing proper materials, and personnel management.

You will need:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Analytical and organizational skills
  • Working knowledge of the construction industry
  • Relevant work experience

What you’ll do:

  • Work primarily in the field or construction site, rather than in an office
  • Work mostly under the direction of a project manager, general manager, or senior manager
  • Oversee the construction project from start to finish
  • Create schedules and evaluate progress based on the established project timeline
  • Create project budget estimates
  • Create and execute quality control programs
  • Negotiate prices with vendors and make purchases
  • Work with architects, consultants, clients, vendors and subcontractors to prepare and negotiate contracts
  • Hire and manage subcontractors and subordinate staff

2. First Level Construction Supervisor

(Salary $34,000 – $75,000)

Also known as a site foreman, supervisors are journeyspeople with advanced technical skills and are responsible for safety, productivity and quality on site.

You will need:

  • Strong leadership skills
  • Appreciation for teamwork
  • Trades work experience and technical skills
  • Problem-solving abilities

What you’ll do:

  • Oversee and coordinate the activities of journeyspeople and apprentices on site
  • Supervise the safety, quality, and productivity of job sites and projects
  • Coordinate and schedule work activities with other supervisors, tradespeople, and subcontractor
  • Order materials and supplies
  • Train workers in safety, duties, and company policies
  • Make recommendations for promotions and hiring

3. Project Manager/Project Coordinator

(Salary $34,000 – $95,000)

A project manager is responsible for overseeing the entire project, including activities occurring on and off site.

You will need:

  • Extensive experience in construction and management
  • To have graduated from a post-secondary program in a relevant field, or hold a trade ticket
  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills

What you’ll do:

  • Work primarily with clients in an office rather than in the field
  • Delegate tasks to on-site staff, junior project managers, and contract administrators
  • Oversee the project (including but not limited to construction stages) from start to finish, including managing resources such as schedules, budgets, and change orders
  • Work with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers, and subcontractors to prepare contracts and negotiate changes to agreement

4. Site Superintendent

(Salary $34,000 – $95,000)

The superintendent is responsible for the daily activities occurring on the site, as well as short term scheduling and quality control.

You will need:

  • Extensive experience in construction and management
  • To have graduated from a post-secondary program in a relevant field, or hold a trade ticket
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the construction trade and project management

What you’ll do:

  • Remain on site to supervise the construction project’s day-to-day activities
  • Prepare and distribute site progress reports and schedules
  • Manage and oversee daily field activities
  • Supervise subordinate staff and subcontractors
  • Conduct orientation and safety meetings for workers

5. Small Construction Company Owner

(Salary varies)

Owners must be responsible for every aspect of the construction company, including administration and technical elements. Owners may also work from the office and delegate tasks to on-site staff.

You will need:

  • A strong entrepreneurial drive
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong conflict mediation skills
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the construction industry
  • Strong technical and administrative skills

What you’ll do:

  • Oversee all aspects of the company
  • Establish company mission and objectives
  • Work with employees to ensure needs are being met
  • Work with clients to ensure needs are being met
  • Manage company marketing and bidding strategies
  • Prioritize safety policies on site

Now that you have an understanding of what management positions are available, you may be wondering how you can get there or what qualities companies are looking for when hiring construction project managers.

Here are the top soft skills you will need to succeed!

Communication

Industry lingo is highly technical, so it’s very important for a supervisor to communicate expectations clearly. Furthermore, poor communication not only impairs productivity, it can also be hazardous to the site and workers, particularly if safety expectations are not being properly executed.

Interpersonal and teamwork skills

In Construction, an effective manager is only as good as his team. A sense of cooperation is essential if you want a project to be completed efficiently. Furthermore, a good manager should be approachable and trustworthy. Employees must feel that their needs are being met and should feel comfortable addressing management with concerns or recommendations.

Problem Solving

As in any industry, obstacles will inevitably arise during construction that require a cool head and a quick response. Advanced problem-solving skills should address everything from deadline delays to conflict mediation. Finally, a good manager should be able to recognize and address current concerns, but also predict potential problems that might affect a project.

Ability to Delegate

Breaking up a major project into smaller pieces allows certain roles to be delegated to the appropriate members of the team, and indicates that you are aware of the strengths of particular team members. A strong leader communicates specific expectations clearly and recognizes his workers as people – not just subordinate staff.

Eye for detail

An effective leader must manage both physical resources and their workforce. Strong attention to detail helps you prioritize tasks and better understand the relationships that impact your work. In short, managers must be able to see how the individual components of a project contribute to the big picture.

Jobs in Construction can help students and grads achieve a lifelong career that is meaningful, rewarding and constantly advancing. As the baby boomers retire, the demand for skilled, intelligent leaders will only increase. This means constant opportunities for students and graduates to explore, and even create exciting new jobs in the industry. By establishing yourself as a leader in Construction you can make a difference and see it carried out on a massive scale, as you develop the spaces in which others live, work and play.

 

Want more? It’s #ConstructionWeek over at TalentEgg! Head over to the Career Guide and get cracking!

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