06 Feb

What Does a Construction Manager Do?

A construction manager, or site manager, must coordinate and supervise a variety of operations on a construction site. They join a project at the earliest planning stages and see it right through to completion. They ensure all operations are completed on time, within budget and, above all, safely.

Construction managers are a necessity on all manner of worksites, both large and small. Whether you’re renovating a small property or constructing a large premises like a school, you’ll need a construction manager to oversee all aspects of the project. It almost goes without saying then that the roles and responsibilities of a construction manager can be vast and varied.

Here, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to what a construction manager is. We’ll be answering such questions as:

  • What are the duties of a construction manager?
  • Who do construction managers manage?
  • How do you become a construction manager?
  • What are the benefits of being a construction manager?
  • What are the working conditions of a construction manager like?

What Are the Duties of a Construction Manager?

Typically, construction managers are expected to:

  • Thoroughly plan the project, plotting out all tasks well in advance
  • Hire relevant, qualified and experienced staff to complete tasks
  • Manage costs effectively to complete the project within budget, ensuring there are funds spare to act as a safety net if the project runs into difficulties
  • Ensure all contract provisions are met to guarantee the satisfaction of all parties
  • Monitor the process, costs and quality of the project to ensure only the highest standards are met
  • Constantly assess the safety conditions of the worksite to ensure no accidents occur and all onsite staff are safe and using machinery safely at all times

Who Do Construction Managers Manage?

A construction manager is responsible for managing all individuals onsite for the duration of the project. From the earliest planning stages right through to completion, a construction manager will be on hand to oversee the process. As such, they must discuss the prospective plans with an architect, surveyor and any buyers before the project can begin.

Following this, construction managers are then responsible for hiring qualified, experienced staff to complete the project. The construction manager will then oversee these staff members to ensure all are working to the client’s high standards and that all understand and can carry out the tasks at hand. Similarly, the construction manager must also be able to coordinate the activities of all teams working on the project so it is completed on time and within budget.

How Do You Become a Construction Manager?

To become a construction manager, you will need specific skills and qualifications. Normally, you will need a HNC/HND, foundation degree or higher in a related area, such as engineering, architecture studies or construction management. Meanwhile, the skills you will need to succeed in this role include:

  • Exceptional communication and people skills
  • Creative, problem-solving skills
  • Superb organisational skills
  • A high level of competency in IT and maths
  • An eye for detail and a thorough appreciation and understanding of health and safety standards
  • Optimism and teambuilding skills to motivate your team

Additionally, any practical construction experience you have prior to applying to become a construction manager can only help your application. Many firms offer internships to help train new construction managers, but any long-term construction experience will also help. For instance, if you have worked as part of a construction team in the past, whether as a bricklayer or as a foreman’s assistant, you will have first-hand experience of what working on a construction site is like. This will help when you come to planning and managing projects of your own.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Construction Manager?

There are many benefits to becoming a construction manager, including:

  • A high level of responsibility and job fulfillment
  • Appealing salaries ranging from between £27,000 and £45,000 per annum depending on experience, and up to £70,000 for senior roles
  • Standard, reliable working hours
  • Great opportunities for career progression

What Are the Working Conditions of a Construction Manager Like?

For the most part, construction managers will work from an office onsite. Typically they will work for approximately 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. From the onsite office they can monitor the project, assess its progress and make adjustments to operations as and when necessary. Senior construction managers, however, often manage multiple projects at once, and as such may have to travel frequently from site to site.

Construction managers, like all onsite staff, will have to wear protective clothing and comply with all health and safety standards when reviewing operations. It’s also worth noting that construction managers must work in all manner of weather conditions. They will also have to work all over the site, even at heights if examining a roof, for example.

However, the most time-consuming role of a construction manager will be the task of logging activities daily, but balancing this task against engaging with the team regularly is essential to success in a construction manager role.

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