What Does A Construction Manager Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Construction Managers

Construction Managers plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

Salary
$107260
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Construction Managers plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

  • Confer with supervisory personnel, owners, contractors, or design professionals to discuss and resolve matters such as work procedures, complaints, or construction problems.
  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate construction project activities to meet deadlines.
  • Direct and supervise construction or related workers.
  • Prepare and submit budget estimates, progress reports, or cost tracking reports.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Construction Managers direct and supervise construction or related workers. They confer with supervisory personnel, owners, contractors, or design professionals to discuss and resolve matters such as work procedures, complaints, or construction problems.

A typical day for a Construction Manager will also include:

  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate construction project activities to meet deadlines.
  • Plan, organize, or direct activities concerned with the construction or maintenance of structures, facilities, or systems.
  • Determine labor requirements for dispatching workers to construction sites.
  • Requisition supplies or materials to complete construction projects.
  • Study job specifications to determine appropriate construction methods.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Construction Managers also prepare and submit budget estimates, progress reports, or cost tracking reports. They may also interpret and explain plans and contract terms to representatives of the owner or developer, including administrative staff, workers, or clients.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Construction Managers prepare contracts or negotiate revisions to contractual agreements with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers, or subcontractors. They might also determine labor requirements for dispatching workers to construction sites.

In addition, they implement new or modified plans in response to delays, bad weather, or construction site emergencies.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with building and safety codes or other regulations.

To some Construction Managers, it is also their responsibility to inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with environmental regulations.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

High

74% said they were satisfied with their job and 58% said they found their job meaningful.


A fence installation company

My name is Jeff Becka. I’ve worked in the construction world for 26 years. I’m the General Manager of a fence installation company. My Typical Day 6:30AM My typical day starts at 6:30am. I prepare all of the jobs for the day. Material lists for each job along with the work orders for each crew. … Read More


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Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc.

My typical day revolves around current project team check-ins and project progress. It involves connecting with clients on current bid opportunities and future bid events and technical work such as project invoicing, subcontracts, purchase orders, and vendor invoicing approvals. I check in with my boss to provide a daily update. Weekly, typical functions include owner/client … Read More


RenosGroup.ca

I am the owner and Project Manager at RenosGroup, a renovation company with over 35 years of experience. It is a family-owned and operated renovation team that is dedicated to making your house feel like home. Specializing in residential renovations, mobility renovations, and hand-holding the nervous homeowner, they cater to you and your every need. My … Read More


Graycor Industrial Constructors Inc.

At our “Plan of the Day Meeting,” we review important safety and quality topics with all project staff, supervision, and subcontractor representation. We set expectations and create directives for the day ahead and discuss any outstanding engineering concerns or obstacles which need to be addressed to maintain the schedule. We review each trade set of … Read More


Fortress Development Solutions

I would say you can describe my life as a construction manager in just a few short words, which would be demanding, rewarding, and teamwork. A project only fails or is successful because of the way that you’ve handled the project throughout. People are looking for answers from you all the time. You need to … Read More


Between planning, hiring, haggling over budgets and contracts, inspecting new construction and a plethora of other jobs, a Construction’s manager’s day often begins way before the rest of the world starts out. We’re typically the early birds. As a construction manager, getting a work-life balance is a delicate balance. More often than not, work-related challenges … Read More


RJC General Construction

I enjoy being a Construction Project Manager because I get to help people improve their homes and make their building dreams come true! However, my job requires that I am available 24/7, schedule projects properly, communicate effectively with the homeowner, suppliers, and subcontractors, and understand IRC and local building codes. My Typical Day My daily … Read More


Kisiel Group

You need to like people! A huge part of the job is meeting people with different backgrounds and skills and motivating them to give their best to the team. Through everyone working together efficiently and in harmony, you will deliver the construction of a new building. Being a Construction Manager gives a great variety and … Read More


As a construction manager who recently finished a house construction project from its foundation to its final fit and finishes including its interior design, here are my thoughts on what’s it like being a construction manager. As someone who always loved the idea of constructing new things and renovating old spaces into modern elegant and … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to start and carry out projects.

Suitable for people who wants job security and a good working condition.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$107260 per year

Average hourly wage

$52 per hour

Entry-level Construction Managers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $56,880 to $73,460 per year or $27 to $35 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $169,070 $81
Senior (Top 25%) $128,860 $62
Median $97,180 $47
Junior (Bottom 25%) $73,460 $35
No experience (Bottom 10%) $56,880 $27

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Construction Managers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing $138910 $66.78
Oil and Gas Extraction $137330 $66.03
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $132780 $63.84
Scientific Research and Development Services $131560 $63.25
Telecommunications $131280 $63.12
Real Estate $130900 $62.93
Chemical Manufacturing $129720 $62.37
Natural Gas Distribution $128190 $61.63
Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying $125360 $60.27
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $125050 $60.12

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Construction Managers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Construction Managers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Nonresidential Building Construction 75270 $106890 $51.39
Residential Building Construction 47170 $102330 $49.20
Building Equipment Contractors 33990 $109800 $52.79
Utility System Construction 17990 $110640 $53.19
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors 17510 $99150 $47.67
Other Specialty Trade Contractors 14190 $102180 $49.13
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction 12400 $114540 $55.07
Building Finishing Contractors 10630 $101870 $48.97
Local Government 7820 $101690 $48.89
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 7670 $119150 $57.28

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
15%

More than 40 hours
85%

Working schedule

50%

50%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
5%

Every day
95%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
90%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
20%

Every day
80%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
0%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
40%

Once a week
20%

Every day
5%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
5%

Slightly competitive
0%

Moderately competitive
15%

Highly competitive
75%

Extremely competitive
5%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
15%

Once a month or more
10%

Once a week or more
25%

Every day
50%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
20%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
25%

Once a week or more
35%

Every day
15%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
5%

Once a week or more
50%

Every day
35%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
5%

Once a year or more
25%

Once a month or more
25%

Once a week or more
35%

Every day
10%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
5%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
5%

Bachelor’s Degree
90%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Construction Management

A program that prepares individuals to manage, coordinate, and supervise the construction process. Includes instruction in commercial, residential, mechanical, highway/heavy civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, and specialty construction; facilities management; budgeting and cost control; logistics and materials management; organization and scheduling; personnel management and labor relations; site safety; construction contracting; construction processes and techniques; and applicable codes and regulations.

Construction Project Management

A program that prepares individuals to apply project management knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques in the construction and facility management industries. Includes instruction in facilities operations and maintenance, construction estimating, OSHA standards, sustainability, drafting, construction plans, project planning, risk management, cost and time management, contracts and procurement, accounting, statistics, decision making, and human resources.


Operations Management and Supervision

A program that prepares individuals to manage and direct the physical and/or technical functions of a firm or organization, particularly those relating to development, production, and manufacturing. Includes instruction in principles of general management, manufacturing and production systems, plant management, equipment maintenance management, production control, industrial labor relations and skilled trades supervision, strategic manufacturing policy, systems analysis, productivity analysis and cost control, and materials planning.

Business/Commerce

A program that focuses on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and nonprofit public and private institutions and agencies. The programs may prepare individuals to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Business Administration and Management

A program that generally prepares individuals to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. Includes instruction in management theory, human resources management and behavior, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.


Public Works Management

A program of study that focuses on public works management skills and public works operation. Includes instruction in accountability, budget, conflict resolution strategies, ethics, finance, human resources, labor and employee relations, and operations management.

Construction Engineering Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers, engineering contractors and other professionals engaged in the construction of buildings and related structures. Includes instruction in basic structural engineering principles and construction techniques, building site inspection, site supervision, construction personnel supervision, plan and specification interpretation, supply logistics and procurement, applicable building codes, and report preparation.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
0%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
5%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
15%

2 to 4 years
15%

4 to 6 years
20%

6 to 8 years
35%

8 to 10 years
10%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
5%

1 month
15%

1 to 3 months
5%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
20%

1 to 2 years
20%

2 to 4 years
30%

4 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Leader

People with this personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.

The Builder
81%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
29%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
29%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
100%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
67%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
76%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
83%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
67%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
71%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
76%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
81%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ

What type of math do Construction Managers use?

As a general manager, you wear many hats. I am involved in purchasing, sales, inventory, and accounts receivable/payable. Therefore, I use math on a daily basis. Most of the math used is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, I do use fractions and percentages too. I also use more geometry than I ever thought … Read More

Answered by:
Jeff Becka
General Manager


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