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The Shard in London, The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Shanghai Tower in China and One World Trade Centre in New York – none of these buildings would ever have made it beyond design stage without a construction project manager leading the way.

Whether the building in question is a huge skyscraper or a small office block, a construction manager sees it through from start to finish, ensuring all goals are met on time and to budget.

Day to day work

You’ll usually move from one project to the next, working on a particular building or structure until it is finished and you’ll spend plenty of time on site. Liaising with architects and engineers is a daily part of the job. But negotiating with and ensuring a good deal from outside contractors is equally important.

You’ll plan a project from start to finish, oversee the day to day running, report on progress, develop contacts with senior staff for each project, and ensure health and safety standards are met.

The job is varied but can involve long hours, particularly as a deadline looms or a project nears completion.

Qualifications and experience needed

The role is a multi-faceted one and you will need a degree in a related area such as civil engineering, building science, construction management, or construction science. Equally important though is your construction industry experience – this isn’t an entry level role.

You’ll need to have several years’ experience working in the industry, a strong understanding of project management, construction procedures and principles, and relevant knowledge of health and safety laws.

It is sometimes possible to enter via an apprenticeship and work your way up as you gain experience but most people follow the degree route.

SALARY: As a qualified construction project manager you can expect to earn upwards of £50,000 a year 

Skills 

You’ll need excellent time management and planning skills to succeed but you’ll also need financial planning and budgeting skills. Communication is very important. You’ll be smoothing the way between site workers, architects, stakeholders, council planners, architects and engineers. That’s a lot of interested parties to juggle so your diplomacy skills need to be tip top too.

Personality

Having an analytical mind and being highly organised are great traits to possess. But equally so are good problem-solving skills and an ability to keep the peace. Construction project managers deal with a huge number of people on an almost daily basis so being personable, approachable and friendly will also make the job easier to carry out successfully.

Opportunities

As a construction project manager you’ve probably already got quite a lot of experience working in the building industry but as you gain more you can move into contract management or consultancy.

With further training, you can specialise in areas such as health and safety or building regulations, not to mention the fact you could work on some of the most notable developments in the country.

 

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