Construction manager
Building Planning & Surveying

Whether they are described as site manager, site agent, contracts manager, building manager or simply construction manager, these professionals are responsible for running and managing a construction site – or a large part of it.

Work Activities

A construction manager's role typically involves:

  • preparing the site and liaising with other construction professionals such as architects, engineers, buyers, estimators and surveyors before construction work starts
  • developing the programme of work and strategy for making the project happen
  • planning ahead to prevent problems on site before they occur, for example, planning the delivery and storage of equipment and materials
  • making safety inspections of the site when work is underway and ensuring regulations relating to health, safety and the environment (HSE) are adhered to
  • overseeing the running of several projects
  • using construction management software packages to plan smooth work flows
  • communicating with a range of people including the client, subcontractors, suppliers, the public and the workforce

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for construction managers

Would-be construction managers need to be forward planners, with exceptional people skills and the ability to present ideas and negotiate. Good problem solving skills are essential. IT is increasingly important for managers working on site and in the office, so building up skills in this area is vital.

Pay And Opportunities

Construction managers are typically employed by construction firms, which can be contractors or consultancies. Vacancies for graduate training schemes and jobs in the construction and building industry are advertised by careers services and recruitment agencies and in national newspapers and professional journals.


Qualifications and training required

Construction management is a senior-level role that requires industry and project experience. Graduates from a related degree typically join construction organisations and progress to managing smaller parts of projects, and then whole projects, after they've gained experience of assisting project managers on site.

Gaining chartered status will help with career progression. To become an incorporated/chartered construction professional it is normally necessary to possess an honours degree/MEng in a construction related degree that is accredited by both the Engineering Council UK and the relevant chartered professional institution, for example, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Training and experience must then be completed with an accredited employer.

It is worthwhile gaining practical work experience to support of your applications. Some employers offer sponsorship, internships and industrial placements that can provide valuable contacts and a useful insight into the profession. Becoming a student member of professional institutions such as the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) or the Association for Project Management (APM) also demonstrates commitment.

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