What Does A Construction Manager Do?

What Does A Construction Manager Do?

A construction manager, also known as a site manager, is required to supervise and direct various operations within a building project.

A Construction Manager must ensure a project is completed safely, making sure the project runs on time and within the allocated budget allowance. They typically come into the process quite early on in the project so they can help the client with preliminary planning. They also help with aspects such as selecting an architect and contractor.

The jobs they work on can range from small remodelling projects or renovations to the construction of significant commercial structures like a hospital or a tall building in the skyline.  

Duties of a Construction Manager

The typical functions of a construction manager include:

  1. Project Management Planning: This involves planning the entire project and documenting all the jobs that must be completed. It helps allow for budgeting and access to materials that are required
  2. Cost Management: The expenses of each project must be efficiently managed throughout the process to ensure for adjustments for unexpected issues or difficulties
  3. Quality Management: A construction manager must make sure that the contractors employed for the project are completing it to a high-quality standard. Monitoring the process, costs and quality is all highly critical
  4. Contract Administration: Extensive contracts with the client are all part of the project construction process. The contract provisions must be being met to ensure that all parties involved are satisfied
  5. Safety Management: As a construction site can be a dangerous place with many safety hazards, the building manager must ensure that correct processes are in place to make sure there are no accidents. The construction manager needs to ensure that the work meets all the legal requirements and Building Regulations

Responsibility of Construction Manager - Who They Manage and How

Construction managers will be responsible for managing individuals in various roles appropriate for the project. Before any of the actual building work can take place, the plans must be discussed with the architect, surveyors and buyers.

These types of managers will be required to hire the relevant staff needed to complete the project to the client’s standard. It is important that all these members of staff are managed effectively so that the plans for the project can be fully understood and developed. The construction manager will need to hire and organise various contractors and suppliers, and coordinate the subcontractor’s activities.

Construction Projects - Types of Projects Worked On

Construction managers will often work on a variety of projects. These can include:

  • Agricultural: Examples of this include water supplies, drains, barns and specialised fencing. Agricultural projects are typically focused on industrial buildings
  • Residential: This includes all kind of housing, apartments and other smaller housing types
  • Commercial: Commercial projects refer to the construction of private commerce and trade, this could be shopping centres, warehouses, banks, hotels and resorts
  • Institutional: This covers any projects required by the government or other pubic organisations. For example, this could include schools, hospitals, military facilities, museums and police stations
  • Industrial: These are buildings constructed with the purpose of providing storage and product production. Power plants, manufacturing plants and oil refineries are incorporated in this
  • Heavy Civil: Construction managers may be responsible for roads, bridges, tunnels and airport projects

Construction Qualification - What Skills/Qualifications Are Required?

  1. Construction managers have an obligation to communicate with many different people. Therefore, people skills are essential.
  2. Construction managers must be able to motivate their team to ensure the project is completed to a high quality
  3. Construction Managers need to be creative in problem-solving to overcome any obstacles they may face in the process.
  4. Having excellent organisational and planning skills are also important so that the project can be both effectively and efficiently plan to run according to schedule
  5. Maths and IT skills are essential. They will need to have in-depth knowledge of different building methods and project management computer software. They need these core competencies to plan the project and keep the information and finances updated.
  6. An awareness of health and safety is fundamental to maintain a safe work environment.

To become a construction manager, HNC/HND, a foundation degree, or degree in a related area is usually required. Building engineering, architecture studies and surveying and civil engineering, construction engineering or construction management are all courses that will typically include management skills, IT, economics and project management.

Some companies also offer training programmes, which allow those wanting to pursue a career in construction management to build up their knowledge and experience while working towards a qualification. It allows them to gain experience in estimating, planning and buying. With the more experience gained the more responsibility can be held.

Construction Management Salary - Expected Salary and Working Conditions

In Construction Manager Jobs you can earn anything from between £27,000 to £45,000 a year depending on experience. 

More senior managers with a high amount of experience can earn nearly £70,000 a year. Contract site mangers can earn up to £300 per day and senior commercial construction mangers can make in-between £450 to £550 per a day.

Construction managers will typically work an estimated 40 hours a week, from Monday to Friday. There is also the possibility that some evening or weekend work takes place to meet tight deadlines. Some of this time may also be spent travelling between various work sites and meeting the clients and contractors.

The site work will take place in all kinds of weather conditions. They may be required to work at heights when examining the roofing for example. When on the site it is essential to wear protective clothing, such as safety boots and a hard hat to comply with health and safety regulations.

What to Expect as a Construction Manager

  1. Construction managers are typically employed by building companies or specialist subcontractors
  2. Will be responsible for running all or part of a construction site
  3. Primary person to contact for sub-contractors and public
  4. Senior construction managers will often oversee several projects at once
  5. Project meetings must take place at various intervals to discuss the progress of the project and any issues or concerns
  6. Diaries and daily logs are kept to keep track of activities taking place on each job site