"At the heart of the construction industry are construction managers, the vital people who ensure that projects stay on track and on budget."
The construction industry has existed for centuries and remains one of the most important industries in the world. At the heart of this industry are construction managers, the vital people who ensure that projects stay on track and on budget. Becoming a construction manager comes with many rewards - but how do you get there? Let's look at the steps necessary to become a successful construction manager.
Education and Qualifications Needed to Become a Construction Manager
Construction managers typically need a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, civil engineering, and architecture. Note that you could be hired for small projects with an associate degree in construction management.
You may also need relevant licenses such as:
Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification - This credential demonstrates an individual's ability to use project management principles to manage construction projects successfully. It requires a passing grade on the PMP exam, and only construction managers who can provide evidence of industry experience can get it.
Certified Construction Manager (CCM) Certification - It indicates a construction manager's knowledge of construction's technical and managerial aspects. To earn it, you need to have four years of construction management experience and pass a CCM examination.
Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) Certification - This certification shows a construction manager's expertise in the management of construction projects. Candidates can apply for this credential if they have at least eight years in the construction sector, with at least two in a management role. You will need to pass a CPC exam to earn the certification.
Gaining Relevant Work Experience in the Construction Industry
There are several ways to gain work experience in the construction industry:
1. Connect professionals in the construction industry
Establishing a network of industry contacts can help with job leads and advice on succeeding in the field. Join local or national organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders International Code Council.
2. Participate in Internships
Construction internships can provide the perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. Internships are available at all levels, from entry-level to more advanced positions. They can help you get a foot in the door with a company and can lead to permanent employment.
3. Work under a construction manager
Observing a construction manager in action can be a great way to gain relevant work experience in the construction industry. It provides insight into the job's day-to-day operations and an understanding of the various tasks and responsibilities of the position.
Volunteering with construction-related organizations or non-profits is a great way to gain relevant work experience.
How you can make your next construction project more successful.
Essential Skills for a Successful Construction Manager
Here are some skills that construction project managers need to possess:
Building Your Professional Network
You can build your professional network as a construction manager in the following ways:
Attend industry events and conferences: At industry events and conferences, you can meet other professionals from the field and exchange ideas, advice, and contacts.
Join trade organizations: Trade organizations pertinent to the construction industry often host networking events and offer educational resources.
Participate in online forums: Online forums related to the construction industry will allow you to establish relationships with other professionals.
Utilize social media: Social media can be an excellent tool for networking and staying up-to-date on industry news. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great for connecting with other construction professionals.
Connect with vendors: Establish relationships with vendors and suppliers of construction materials. This will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and gain access to resources that may not be available elsewhere.
More advice for young construction professionals
Finding Job Opportunities and Navigating the Job Market
There are several ways construction managers can find jobs. The first method is networking with other professionals in the industry. Start by attending professional conferences and joining construction-related associations.
Secondly, utilize job boards that specialize in construction industry positions. These boards often have job postings from employers in the industry and those from recruitment agencies.
Thirdly, cold call potential employers. Even if employers don't have a position available, they may keep your information on file for future openings. Lastly, attend job fairs. At these events, employers are often looking to fill positions quickly. Check out some tips on how to prepare for a construction management interview.
Tips for Advancing Your Career in Construction Management
You can advance your career using the following tips:
A career in construction management offers a great opportunity to make a difference in the industry and achieve a high level of success. If you have chosen this career path, follow the tips in this post, and you will become a highly respected and sought-after construction manager.
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Liam Byrne is a Director of SSA Group Limited, a global recruitment firm specializing in the construction, engineering and architecture industries.
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