How to Become a Construction Project Manager

How to Become a Construction Project Manager

The construction market was valued at $7.28 trillion in 2021, up 13 percent from 2020, according to the Construction Market – Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2022-2030. This makes the role of a construction project manager increasingly relevant. Construction project managers provide value to the business within the constraints of the project by using information, processes, techniques, skills, and relevant expertise. Let’s discuss how to become a construction project manager and acquire the skills it requires. 

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What is a Construction Project Manager?

Before we explore how to become a construction project manager, let’s find out what it means. Construction project managers are professionals who ensure the timely completion of construction projects by supervising them at every stage. This requires collaborating with a range of stakeholders to schedule and plan work, organizing tools and supplies, staying under budget, and keeping an eye on overall progress. Project managers in the construction industry need to be capable of delegation and exhibit strong leadership traits.

How to Become a Construction Project Manager

These are the different steps toward becoming a construction project manager.

1. Learn What Skills are Needed

The job of a construction project manager comes with the responsibility of managing and leading a team from the front. That makes it necessary for them to possess a wide range of technical skills like forecasting, risk management, and budgeting along with soft skills such as communication, leadership, and conflict management. 

2. Self-Reflect on What Skills You Have

As project leaders, having a suitable skill set is a must for them. They need to be aware of their strong suits and upskill where they lack. If they have tremendous hard skills, upskilling their soft skills would benefit them immensely. Similarly, if they have strong soft skills, upskilling their hard skills becomes essential. 

3. Build Construction Project Management Experience

Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree in architecture, civil engineering, construction management, or building construction, you can proceed to apply for jobs in this position. To advance in your career as a construction project manager, you will need to have accumulated around five years of experience in this field. 

4. Consider an Online Course to Develop the Skills Needed

To enhance your career as a construction project manager, you might need to complete extra coursework, get an advanced degree (such as a master’s in a related subject), or obtain specialized certifications. 

5. Ask Someone to Mentor You

Mentors can provide their mentees with specialized knowledge and insights into the complete project management cycle. They provide guidance on how to carry out certain activities or acquire practical skills. Such advice can be helpful to those who are just starting their careers since it enables them to get best acquainted with their roles and responsibilities.

6. Look for Internships

Internships can help anyone start their career by providing the right exposure in their initial stages. Under the supervision of a construction project manager, interns in project management can help with activities including data gathering, analysis, and creating strategic reports. 

7.  Look for Entry-Level Positions

You can work as an entry-level construction project manager once you’ve earned your four-year bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. There are various stages in the construction project manager job path after entry-level. It may take up to two years to advance to a senior construction project management role from an entry-level post. You can consider a certification in the construction project management sector depending on the seniority of the position you’re looking to pursue.

What are the Skills Required to Become a Construction Project Manager?

Technical Skills

  • Planning and Forecasting
  • Budgeting
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Quality assurance
  • Understanding of project management software

construction-project-managerSoft Skills

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Conflict resolution

Is Being a Construction Project Manager a Good Career?

Employers across all industries will require 88 million project managers by 2027, predicts Project Management Institute (PMI). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects project management employment roles to grow by 8 per cent over the next ten years. As a part of this sector, construction project management is a profitable career since there are predicted to be 41,000 job opportunities annually in the US alone throughout this decade. With this industry experiencing such rapid growth, construction project managers are in good demand and are expected to stay that way for years to come. 

What Does a Construction Project Manager Do Every Day?

Now that we’ve explored how to become a construction project manager, let’s see what their day looks like. All project managers operate in a fast-paced environment with packed schedules. They manage several jobs, thus no two days at work are ever the same. A typical day for a construction project manager is spent focusing on some broad adjustments and assessments. They balance the budget, keep tabs on the supplies, get in touch with the subcontractors, and ensure that all building regulations are adhered to. Construction project managers then allocate time to revising technical information, following all project operations, and updating databases.

Benefits of Taking an Online Construction Project Manager Course

An online course can offer great insight into how to become a construction project manager. Online courses offer students the benefit of a flexible curriculum that fits in with their profession or lifestyle. They get a variety of transferrable tools and procedures to provide them with the skills they need to fulfill industry standards. 

Tips for Starting and Growing as a Construction Project Manager

Learning and Understanding Project Management Tools

To become a successful construction project manager, you need to have a thorough understanding of the project management tools to simplify your work and delegate responsibilities. Understanding and learning project management software will give you an upper hand among competitors and upskill your technical abilities. 

Dealing with Stakeholders

In a construction project, there are two types of stakeholders – internal and external. Internal stakeholders include top management and peers. External stakeholders include customers, governments, contractors, and so on. The job of a project manager is to keep all the stakeholders in the loop of the project’s progress and update them. Stakeholders’ happiness is key to the project’s success. 

Construction Project Management at Columbia Engineering Executive EducationResource Management

Since you’re working in the construction sector, resource management becomes an important factor that affects the overall smooth running of the project. Time management, money management, and people management are all necessary for the project to run efficiently. As a construction project manager, it becomes your responsibility to ensure this works swiftly and in harmony to avoid any mishaps on the site, financially or otherwise. 

How Can Emeritus Help You in Becoming a Construction Project Manager?

You have to be familiar with the basics of project management in order to succeed as a construction project manager. To get a competitive advantage and gain a deeper understanding of the subject, consider exploring the project management courses on Emeritus.

As already mentioned, construction project managers will be in high demand in the next few years. So, if you’re considering this career, we hope this blog has answered all your questions about how to become a construction project manager.

By Siddhesh Shinde

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