Construction Project Management

Construction project management is a job that requires a wide variety of skills and abilities and encompasses a vast 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 in your area. Construction project management is an excellent job with plenty of opportunities if you feel 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 challenging to deal with. Still, they must also have solid communication skills and liaise with 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. Still, 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. You will have to be confident in your people skills and more than satisfied 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 specific construction area.

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 the whole project. 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.

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 can work harmoniously. 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 and be able to communicate and coordinate effectively.

Getting Educated

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

“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 on some small projects before you can manage anything significant. Proving you can do the job in a practical test with a small task will give the contractors of larger projects much more faith in your abilities. It give you a more rounded idea of the myriad of things that project management can involve.

Choosing Your Field

Sometimes, narrowing down your choice to your skill set will, more specifically allow you to shine more brightly during a project. If you know that you are perfect 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. 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 consider 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 sometimes oversee the whole project.

If you have solid 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 communicating this plan to all the necessary parties on the site.

Although contract project managers need an extensive range of skills, it’s not wrong 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. A proven track record on many projects will show future employers that you are flexible and highly skilled in many other areas – precisely 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 specific ones, demonstrating that you have successfully overseen projects from a wide variety of angles can set you apart from other candidates because it shows your knowledge and understanding of the industry and 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, taking credit for the areas you have worked in is important,” 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 certification to complement your education. There aren’t many places that 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 a challenging career path to follow, but it certainly has great rewards and many opportunities if you choose to do so. Enjoy learning, and feel confident that you can take on responsibility for a range of areas. It may be an excellent choice for you, particularly if you already have an education in the area and are looking to branch out and utilize your skills in new ways.

Remember not to be put off by how many areas it covers, and remember that you can specialize in specific 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 sounds 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.