Construction Management

Construction managers plan and coordinate construction projects. They may have job titles such as constructor, construction superintendent, general superintendent, project engineer, project manager, general construction manager, or executive construction manager. Construction managers may be owners or salaried employees of a construction management or contracting firm, or may work under contract or as a salaried employee of the owner, developer, contractor, or management firm overseeing the construction project. They may plan and direct a whole project or just a part of a project.

Job Outlook and Growth Potential:

Employment of construction managers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012, as the level and complexity of construction activity continues to grow. Prospects in construction management, architectural and engineering services, and construction contracting firms should be best for persons who have a bachelor’s or higher degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering, as well as practical experience working in construction. Employers prefer applicants with previous construction work experience who can combine a strong background in building technology with proven supervisory or managerial skills. In addition to those arising from job growth, many openings should result annually from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

The increasing complexity of construction projects should boost demand for management-level personnel within the construction industry, as sophisticated technology and the proliferation of laws setting standards for buildings and construction materials, worker safety, energy efficiency, and environmental protection have further complicated the construction process. Advances in building materials and construction methods; the need to replace much of the Nation’s infrastructure; and the growing number of multipurpose buildings, electronically operated “smart” buildings, and energy-efficient structures will further add to the demand for more construction managers. However, employment of construction managers can be sensitive to the short-term nature of many projects and to cyclical fluctuations in construction activity.

Wages and Earnings Potential:

Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of construction managers in 2002 were:

Nonresidential building construction $66,280
Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors $60,020
Building finishing contractors $59,950
Residential building construction $59,900
Other specialty trade contractors $58,860

According to a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, candidates with a bachelor’s degree in construction science/management received job offers averaging $42,229 a year.

Copyright © 2014, Ohio's 2-Year Council of Deans and Directors of Engineering & Industrial Technologies

Career information from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition and member schools.