Construction Project Management

Construction project management is a job which requires a wide variety of skills and abilities, and encompasses a huge number of other job titles. The sector is quickly expanding, and the need for construction project managers is ever increasing – just think how many building projects are going on in your area. Construction project management is a great job with plenty of opportunities if you think you have what it takes, so read on to find out how you can get into this industry and the sorts of things that will be expected of you if you do.

What Is Construction Project Management?

The manager needs to be able to oversee the technical side of the project and understand how it is progressing, identifying any potential problem areas before they become too difficult to deal with, but they must also have very strong communication skills and liaise with both the construction team and the other interested parties – including the contractors and people in the community.

You need in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and the technicalities of construction, but you will also often need to have a solid understanding of any legal issues, the financial implications, business, and any problems unique to the project in question. You will have to be confident in your people skills, and more than confident in your ability to solve problems, as your job is to ensure the whole operation runs smoothly – and to deal with any issues when it doesn’t.

Your role will vary enormously between projects. Sometimes you will be responsible for overseeing and managing the entire construction, and at other times – particularly on a large project – there will likely be several managers, and you will probably be responsible for one particular section of the building or one particular area of construction.

You might, for example, be in charge of the materials department, in which case you will likely need to talk to suppliers, deal with any issues in the supply chain, check that materials are up to the required standard, and make sure everything that is needed has been ordered. You’ll probably also be responsible for checking that the budget is adhered to, at least for your area – or possibly for the whole project, and if you aren’t the head project manager, you will probably need to report to them about the progress and any problems you have encountered.

Essentially, the main job of the construction project manager is to see the project through from beginning to end, dealing with all the technical problems and people problems, and ensuring that the different areas of the project are able to work in harmony together. Think of them as the maestro of an orchestra, ensuring that each group fulfills its role in the right way, at the right time. Without a manager, construction projects would descend into chaos, unable to communicate and coordinate effectively.

Getting Educated

Unsurprisingly given the complexity of their job, construction project managers need to have a good education. There isn’t one particular degree necessary for this job, but many construction project managers have a bachelor’s before they get on site, and this could be in variety of subjects relevant to construction – mathematics, construction engineering, architecture, etc. Any of these will give you a bit of ground knowledge before you get onto the site. It’s a highly skilled job, so proving you have what it takes and that you’re dedicated to the field is essential.

“You should also consider taking classes specific to project management, which you may find are being run in your community, along with classes about building codes, local building law, construction materials, and so on,” says Cathie J. Rader, PM at UKWritings and OXEssays. You could look at your nearest community college to see what they offer in terms of classes which will give you insight into the building industry and the responsibilities of a construction manager.

Work experience is also highly valued, and you may need to take some small projects on before you can manage anything major. Proving you can do the job in a practical test with a small project will give the contractors of larger projects much more faith in your abilities, and will also give you a more rounded idea of the myriad of things which project management can involve.

Choosing Your Field

Sometimes narrowing down your choice to more specifically fit your skill set will allow you to shine more brightly during a project. If you know that you are particularly good in certain areas, specialize in them and don’t try to be everything to everyone. Construction project management involves so many different skills, it may be advisable to focus on a few, rather than trying to do and be everything at once.

For example, you might choose to become a project coordinator, who acts more as an assistant to the project manager, but has plenty of roles and responsibilities too. They are generally in charge of communication between the different elements of the construction site, so if you have great people skills, this is definitely one to consider.

“Alternatively, if you have more technical skills, perhaps you could think about being a project engineer. This still involves management, but you will become the go-to person for any technical questions or issues, and you will be responsible for all the technicalities of the project, including working out the schedule and the required resources to be ordered,” suggests Cary D. Macias, career expert at Assignment Services and Essay Help. Because this job involves more specific skills, the project engineer often works alongside a more general project manager, but they do sometimes oversee the whole project.

If you have particularly strong financial skills, you might oversee the monetary side of things, ensuring that the budget is adhered to, and the customer is happy with the quality they are getting for their money. You will be responsible for dealing with any hiccups in the financial plan, and with communicating this plan to all the necessary parties on the site.

Although contract project managers do need a very wide range of skills, it’s not a bad thing to specialize, especially to begin with. You can then branch out and explore other areas, learning from those around you.

Boosting Your Employability

One of the best ways to boost your employability in this area is through experience, so when you’re just starting out in the field, you should take any job you feel confident you can do. You’ll learn a lot, even from the small projects, so don’t turn something down just because something bigger might come along. A proven track record on lots of different projects will show future employers that you are flexible and highly skilled in many different areas – which is exactly what construction project management often calls for.

As you progress, don’t forget to show off how broad your skills are when you apply for a job. Even if it only calls for quite specific ones, demonstrating that you have successfully overseen projects from a wide variety of angles can really set you apart from other candidates, because it shows your knowledge and understanding of the industry, and also your dedication to management.

“List the projects you have been involved in that you are particularly proud of, and make sure you break down the skills that each required. Because project management responsibilities can differ so much from project to project, it’s important to take credit for the areas you have worked in,” suggests Kris Finigan, an HR at Research Papers and Dissertation Writing Service.

It may also be possible to distinguish yourself from other candidates by getting some certification to complement your education. There aren’t many places which offer this, but if you contact the American Institute of Contractors or the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), you should be able to discuss getting one. These organizations both have high standard requirements, so their certificates carry a lot of weight in the industry, and doing a course at the CMAA will mean you have covered pretty much any problem you could ever encounter in construction management.


Construction project management is not an easy career path to follow, but it certainly has some great rewards and lots of opportunities if you choose to do so. If you enjoy learning and you feel confident that you can take on responsibility for a whole range of areas, it may well be a great choice for you, particularly if you already have an education in the area and you’re looking to branch out and utilize your skills in new ways.

Remember not to be put off by how many areas it covers, and bear in mind that you can specialize in certain fields while you find your feet. Learning by watching others in a project you’re part of can be one of the best ways to do this; you’ll get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, and this will help you hone your own skills, both inside and outside your specialism. If construction project management is sounding appealing, start by checking out some local courses and what they involve, and perhaps try a taster session so you can start out on a bright new career path.

Chloe Bennet is a contributor to Assignment Writing Service and Big Assignments with a background in marketing. Chloe teaches career and resume writing at Revieweal services.