Today, March 14th, is International Construction Management Day!
Infrastructure work funded by state and federal dollars is ramping adding to an already growing construction market! Getting workers and supplies remains a challenge.
Construction employment nationwide climbed by about 60,000 jobs between January and February, while hourly pay rose at the steepest pace in almost 40 years, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
“All segments of construction added workers in February,” says Ken Simonson, the national association’s chief economist. “However, filling positions remains a struggle, as pay is rising even faster in other sectors.”
Getting basic supplies still remains a challenge. Doors and windows often take six to eight months to arrive, he says.
With the increased workforce challenges and adding the material costs and lead time challenges, it is more vital than ever to have the best construction managers.
Construction Management offers some of the greatest opportunities for those considering construction as a career?
There are many high paying, secure opportunities to build a career in construction. The best construction careers involve some level of construction Management.
Construction Site Managers
One major factor that sets construction careers apart is that the barrier-to-entry is low, in most cases you can begin a job in construction without a college degree. There are a range of construction management jobs that can be entered with no previous experience or with completion of trade school.
Construction managers run part or all of a worksite. At times they may manage more than one site. They obtain work permits, hire contractors, schedule work, troubleshoot emergencies, schedule walkthroughs and keep clients informed of timetables and progress. Working as a construction manager affords the chance to learn a construction project from the planning stage with architects and engineers, to the budgeting stage with cost estimators, to the production stage with laborers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8.5% employment growth for construction managers through 2029. In that period, an estimated 40,400 jobs should open up.
- Managers are in very high demand and the average salary of a construction manager is $93,370.
- Construction managers will generally make the highest salary in the industry due to the responsibilities that are expected of them
- Typically, construction managers start off in an entry-level position in the construction field and move their way up. Many attend trade schools.
There are even greater opportunities in construction management when you consider the positions that require more advanced education and training.
Architecture, Engineering, and Urban planning all offer chances to work in construction but they all also require more advanced education. Once you have that education and some experience, a natural path for advancement would be to move into upper level construction management.
The median annual wage for architects was $82,320 in May 2020.
The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2026 was projected at 11% The average salary for a Civil Engineer in the United States is between $63,580 and $166,900 as of July 2021.
The average salary for a structural engineer is $85,892 per year in the United States.
According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of civil engineering, where structural engineers work, should keep growing between 6% and 20% annually for the next decade.
The projected percent growth in employment for 2016 to 2026 is 8%.
Median pay for an environmental engineer is $84,890.
Employment of urban and regional planners is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.The median annual wage for urban and regional planners was $75,950 as of May 2020.
Making the leap to Architectural and Engineering Construction Manager
One of the fields with the most opportunity in both growth and median salary is Architectural and Engineering Managers.
The field is projected to grow at 6% from 2020 - 2026.
The median pay for Architectural and Engineering Managers is a stunning $134,730.
Architectural and engineering managers use the knowledge gained in architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They may direct and coordinate building activities at construction sites or activities related to production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance at manufacturing sites.
Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for developing the overall concept of a new product or for solving the technical problems that prevent the completion of a project. To accomplish this, they must determine technical goals and produce detailed plans.
In addition, architectural and engineering managers must know how to prepare budgets, hire staff, and supervise employees. They propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs. These managers must also hire people and assign them specific parts of each project to carry out. Architectural and engineering managers supervise the work of their employees, set schedules, and create administrative procedures.
What qualities are needed for a successful construction manager?
As you can see, there are many choices and opportunities in the field of construction management, but regardless of the role and the level of experience, the most important traits for a construction manager will be the soft skills.
If you want to have a successful construction team and a successful project, the managers you choose, the skills they bring will make all the difference!
What are the qualities you need to look for in a top manager?
- People skills
- Motivated, a self-starter
- The ability to work as a team
- Effective communication skills
- Organizational skills
- The ability to delegate
- Calm under pressure
- Problem solving skills
- The ability to prioritize
A great manager recognizes that the contributions of others strongly impact the effectiveness of his or her team. Highly effective project managers share credit for work well done and encourage all members to participate and contribute at their highest levels. Rather than try to be a jack of all trades, managers leverage others’ knowledge and skills on the team.
A project manager’s ability to communicate with and influence a variety of stakeholders is paramount to project success. Instilling confidence in the minds of stakeholders and sponsors is necessary, particularly if and when there is a need to approach them with changes in the scope of the project. A great leader must demonstrate respect for team members, it’s almost impossible for projects to progress in the right direction and on time without respect and motivation, especially from sponsors and stakeholders.
Technology is Going to Play a Major Factor
Even when you consider all of the upsides for a career in construction, the labor shortage and material supply challenges are causing owners, general contractors and other trades to consider labor saving methods. Technology in methods, machinery and systems are all becoming more prevalent in the construction office and on the job site.
- A reduction in labor supply encouraged builders to adopt more labor-saving technology faster than usual.
- Improvement in the scheduling and logistics of building materials delivery.
- Increased use of prefabrication and modularization.
- BIM, Smart Contracts and BlockChain will be increasingly in use
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