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Construction manager

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Quick facts: Construction manager
2020 Median Pay 97,180 per year; $46.72 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs, 2019 476,700
Employment Change, 2019-29 40,400

This role coordinates the entire construction process, including overseeing the day-to-day operations of the project and maintaining communications between all parties. They select, hire, and oversee the specialty trade contractors. Sometimes called a contractor or general contractor, construction management professionals typically work for either a construction management firm or a general contractor.

On a green building project, the construction manager is responsible for ensuring that onsite processes are environmentally friendly and that the contractors hired have knowledge of green building techniques. An important part of a construction manager’s role is ensuring that the sustainable features on the project drawings are implemented and that the plans for waste management and indoor air quality during construction are properly implemented. Additionally, construction managers are responsible for scheduling, budgeting, job site management and safety, subcontractor management, and installation activities.

Many construction managers have a main office but spend most of their time working out of a field office at a construction site, where they monitor the project and make daily decisions about construction activities. The need to meet deadlines and respond to emergencies often requires construction managers to work many hours.

Role on a LEED project

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

How to become a construction manager

Construction managers typically must have a bachelor’s degree and learn management techniques through on-the-job training. Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field.

Useful skills for construction managers include decision-making, leadership, technical, time management, verbal and written communications, analytical, and business.

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Green building profile: Construction manager