What's it like to be a construction project manager?

A project manager in construction is someone who ensures the construction project is carried out in a timely, safe, and precise manner.

The global construction industry is growing at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 7%, making it an exciting industry to work in. As the industry continues to grow at a spectacular pace, there’s an increasing requirement for various roles in the industry such as architects, civil engineers, quantity surveyors, design managers, and project managers, among others.

For the construction industry to work like a well-oiled machine, it must ensure that all its moving parts work well together and that all processes are carried out safely and efficiently — this is where a construction project manager comes in.

What does a project manager in construction do?

A project manager in construction is someone who ensures the construction project is carried out in a timely, safe, and precise manner. A construction project manager has many roles to adhere to, such as:

  • Ensuring the project is finished within time and budget constraints
  • Prepare and submit estimated budgets to clients
  • Manage all resources — including labour – and assign the right person to the right job
  • Ensuring the construction project is carried out as per standard safety norms
  • Overlook and plan the different stages of the construction and liaise with all stakeholders and teams involved
  • Negotiate with vendors for the procurement of resources and raw materials

Project managers are also expected to have technical knowledge and be well versed in various techniques and processes, such as the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Process; including the use of Revit software and ArchiCAD to extract and analyse data, which can help plan construction projects better.

They typically handle everything from planning stage to delivery, but one can even choose to work as a design manager and oversee the planning and designing stage – or work as a construction manager, where they get to handle the entire construction stage.

Find out more about construction project management ❯

What is the average salary?

The job of a project manager in construction requires a lot of hard work and perseverance; however, this is reflected in the renumeration. For example, in the UK, Construction Project Managers on average earn about 81% more than the national average salary.

Sources such as Jobted, Totaljobs, and Payscale list the average salary of a Construction Project Manager as close to £50,000 per annum. The lowest end of the range starts at £28,000 and this can increase to up to £115,000 per year as you continue to gain experience.

What are the key skills you need?

Because a construction project manager handles everything — from planning to delivery — it’s imperative that they have good knowledge about multiple facets of the industry. They must have a fair understanding of contract management and the legal processes. They must also be well versed in design processes, construction techniques, and technical software like ArchiCAD. Managers are also expected to understand finances as they also help create the budget that is presented to the client.

Apart from this, great interpersonal skills are a must. As construction project managers liaise with clients, labour, management, and peers, they must be confident in people management and be able to motivate and inspire people to create excellent results.

How can an MSc in Project Management for Construction help you get this role?

While project managers are expected to have a Bachelors’ degree at minimum, a Masters’ degree helps you move up faster in the industry. An MSc in Project Management for Construction will help you gain all the technical and interpersonal skills you need to succeed in this field.

The University of Portsmouth offers an online, part-time MSc in Project Management for Construction, which you can access from anywhere across the world. The course will prepare you to deal with financial, technical, legal, organizational, and even client-facing issues that may arise within a construction project.

Learn more about our MSc in Project Management for Construction and pave a path for yourself in the construction industry:

Explore the course  ❯

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