Duties and responsibilities for a construction project manager

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Duties and responsibilities for a construction project manager
Construction project managers often work with engineers and architects to overcome design or budgetary difficulties. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Construction project managers coordinate activity on an array of buildingprojects, such as residential and commercial buildings, roads, railways, bridges, hospitals and water treatment plants. Construction project managers can be self-employed or contracted by firms and they may be in charge of one area of a project or the entire process. Construction project managers are sometimes referred to as project engineers or construction supervisors.

Job overview

A construction project manager overlooks the construction process on building projects from the initial design and budgeting stages right through to the final building activity. He is assigned to ensure a project is finished on schedule and within budget and provides guidance to a range of professionals involved in a project. Construction project managers typically work with engineers and architects to overcome any design or budgetary difficulties. They are also assigned to arrange the most cost-effective means of acquiring building supplies and getting them on-site. A construction project manager will typically prioritise activities and devise steps to ensure each phase is completed on time. He may use cost-estimation software to calculate these costs and devise timelines for completion.

Supervisory role

Construction project managers monitor labour activities on-site and are sometimes given the power to dismiss or hire staff. A construction project manager is also tasked with attaining all required permits and licences to begin construction work. He must supervise work on-site to ensure it complies with health and safety regulations and the project's insurance arrangements. A construction project manager also overlooks the delivery of building materials, ensures equipment is properly used and maintained and that optimum construction quality is maintained.

Communications role

Construction project managers assess and select available contractors to complete different phases of a project, which may include metal work, plumbing, electrical installation and carpentry. A construction project manager ensures the best contractors are hired, in terms of efficiency and pricing. He will also investigate any on-site accidents or damage to machinery and revise budget and labour requirements where necessary. Construction project managers make regular reports to the client company, outlining productivity levels, current expenditure and any delays experienced. He must keep accurate records of costs and bills for materials and labour.

Career outlook

A graduate degree in construction management, construction science or civil engineering is usually required to gain a position as a construction project manager. Several years of experience in the construction field can sometimes replace the need for a bachelor's degree, although such candidates will be expected to undertake further education while employed. Construction project managers are often on call 24 hours a day and may be expected to work extra hours if a project is delayed. As of April 2014, the salary for a construction project manager ranges from £27,000 to £60,000 a year.

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