two engineers at construction site

Outlook on Construction Management Jobs and Responsibilities

Around the world, the construction industry has been booming in a long-awaited revival from the 2008 financial downturn. Although early, this resurgence looks promising as the construction industry is now offering appealing opportunities for both newcomers and mid-career professionals. Individuals looking to take advantage of these opportunities should possess the necessary communication and analytical skills needed to fulfill the numerous roles construction managers may have, including project supervisor, financial planner and site commander.

What Does a Construction Manager Do?

The work of a construction manager centers on construction sites, where managers are responsible for leading a construction project from start to finish. On a given day, a construction manager may need to balance competing priorities to ensure a project is complete. This may mean visiting the construction site to get input from the team, traveling to speak with vendors, assessing current progress, analyzing potential long-term costs and supplies or meeting with top-level executives. While many of the initial construction sites may be local businesses, many managers may also have the chance to lead projects internationally.

What Skills Does a Construction Manager Need?

First and foremost, a construction manager must be able to communicate with everyone, from on-site laborers to architects, senior executives to regulatory agencies. Construction managers should also possess exceptional organization and leadership skills as much of their work is making sure everyone is on the same page and nothing is being overlooked. Managers must also develop their business, analytical and financial skills in order to deal with short and long-term resource and financial challenges.

While it isn’t necessary for a construction manager to have hands-on field experience, there’s a trend toward requiring a degree from a related field. Many construction managers choose to develop their business and leadership skills by entering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that has a construction management or project management concentration. MBA programs are a great fit for construction managers, because they teach and implement business and leadership skills within the context of a construction environment. Within an MBA program, construction managers are able to work on developing their business skills while also focusing on additional construction-related competencies, including cost estimation, vendor management, workplace safety and team development.

Salary & Job Growth for a Construction Manager

In 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of construction managers was $87,400, with the highest 10% earning over $155,200, and the lowest 10% earning less than $52,350. As with many occupations, pay can vary substantially by industry. BLS statistics suggest that construction managers in residential building construction have the lowest median annual wage, $78,010, in contrast to those who focus on civil engineering, who earn an average of $90,410.

The revival of the construction industry has had a major impact on job growth for construction managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that this profession can expect 5% growth between 2014 and 2024. However, as the need for construction work tends to fluctuate on a regional level, construction managers who are flexible about relocation may have an easier time leveraging new opportunities.

To help ensure that construction projects remain organized, buildings maintain quality and project sites remain safe, construction managers marshal a wide range of disparate resources and oversee massive initiatives from beginning to end. In today’s market, business savvy construction managers with strong leadership abilities are in high demand, so to develop a fulfilling career, managers should work on continually building their strategic planning and project management skills.

Learn More

As the nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich University has been a leader in innovative education since 1819. Through its online programs, Norwich delivers relevant and applicable curricula that allow its students to hone sought-after knowledge and skills.

Norwich University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program helps create strong leaders well-versed in business management practices. Students can customize their MBA by choosing a concentration in construction management, finance, organizational leadership, project management, supply chain management & logistics, or energy management.


Construction Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Construction Manager Overview, U.S. News & World Report

What Does A Construction Manager Do?, The Telegraph

Career Map: Construction Manager,