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 isn't the same as a commercial property.

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

Would working as a construction project manager suit your leadership and financial management skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a construction project manager role.

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average salary of a construction project manager

According to ONS, the average salary of a construction project manager is between £25,000 and £60,000 a year. When you are newly trained with minimal experience, your salary is between £25,000 and £30,000 annually. With a few years of experience and additional training, your compensation package starts from £30,000 to £50,000. At senior-level experience or chartered status, you earn up to £60,000—the total salary increases due to additional benefits and allowance. Overtime is usually paid based on hourly rates, while allowances and bonuses depend on the project complexity and company policy.

what factors affect the salary of a construction project manager?

Your salary as a construction project manager varies due to multiple factors. For instance, your educational qualifications have a significant impact on your earnings. An entry-level project coordinator with a diploma earns less than a professional who is chartered or has a degree. Your experience level determines the transferable skills you have and will also dictate your compensation package.

When you are a construction project manager of a large company, the projects are complex and have an unlimited budget. That means your take-home pay is higher than a similar position in a small company dealing with less complex projects.



types of construction project managers

The types of construction project managers depend on the employer. A construction project manager working for a contractor to oversee a project is often based at the construction site. Your job is to supervise other employees on the site and manage resources on behalf of the contractor.

You can also be a construction project manager 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 have to make a presentation to the managers on the progress of a project and your projected completion time.



working as a construction project manager

Discover the duties and responsibilities of a construction project manager and find out what it is like to pursue the profession.

  • For more information on the types of projects you can expect to work on as a construction project manager, see our 'top construction projects' hub.

education and skills

To become a successful project manager, you need educational qualifications, including:

  • undergraduate degree: a degree helps you gain the qualifications to be an exceptional construction project manager. A course in construction management, business, IT or project management puts you on the right track. For the degree, you need 2 or 3 A levels to join.
  • college: a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a great way to join construction project management. With 4 or 5 GCSEs, you can pursue a Level 3 course in project management, while Level 4 and 5 NVQ require A-Levels or their equivalent.
  • apprenticeship: split your time between college and on-the-job experience by getting an apprenticeship opportunity at a construction company. During the apprenticeship, you should put in 30 hours a week to your work, which gives you hands-on experience in the industry. An intermediate apprenticeship requires two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 and takes two years to complete.

skills and competencies

Additional skills and competencies make you a better project manager. Some of the skills 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 will help you relay goals and clear instructions. Written communication is also valuable for writing reports and creating schedules, or assigning tasks.
  • risk management: projects have uncertainties, and you need 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 need to listen to team members and include their suggestions in your plan. Team management skills also boost your leadership abilities.



FAQs about working as a construction project manager

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