A career in construction management can be very challenging, busy and occasionally stressful, but it is also one of the most rewarding jobs out there! Most, if not all, construction managers will tell you that seeing a project through from a concept, all the way to successful completion is one of the most satisfying feelings out there.
And it is a growing industry! As more and more houses need to be built, as well as new business parks, skyscrapers and more, there will always be a huge demand for project managers and construction managers that can run these projects successfully!
This guide will help guide you to a successful career in construction management. We will give you tips on how to land the interview, interview tips and what to do once you have the job! So read on, and you could soon find yourself stepping into a construction manager’s shoes, full time!
Working as a construction manager involves completely running the project, whatever that may be, from start to finish. Depending on who you work for, you could be running anything from a small partitioning job, a large scale office refurbishment all the way to a complete skyscraper build!
You will be tasked with creating a budget for the projects you run, creating work schedules, planning which contractors and subcontractors will be on site, and when they will be on site. You will also be completing regular site visits to make sure the project is running smoothly, and that the project will be completed in time for handover.
You may also need to look at or even create project drawings to ensure that the plans for the project will fit into the timescales and budget associated with the project. Attention to detail is key for this part of the job!
Whilst most job advertisements show the working hours as normal office hours, you may need to work evenings and weekends, especially when a large project is close to completion to ensure the project finishes on time and on budget. On average, however, you can expect to work between 40 and 50 hours per week.
The average salary for a construction manager, depending on factors such as who you work for and the kind of projects you are running, as well as your experience in the job role can range from £27,000 all the way to £70,000 or more!
The higher end of the scale comes when you are an experienced construction manager, regularly running large scale construction projects.
University Courses to Research:
Nowadays, there are a wide range of university degrees that will enable you to get a foot in the door for a construction management job. The main one, however, would be a degree in Construction Management.
Other degrees can still be an incredibly valuable asset when it comes to applying for construction management jobs including a project management degree and a construction project management degree!
Types of Companies to Work For:
There are a wide array of companies that will offer construction management jobs. These can be anywhere from office design and fit-out companies such as ourselves, all the way to large, multinational construction companies.
Basic elements of the role will remain the same, no matter what type of company you choose to work for. However, if you choose to work for an office design and fit-out company, you will find yourself overseeing a wide array of projects in a number of locations, seeing the complete project to start to finish.
Working with a larger, external construction company is normally less varied, as these companies tend to specialise in one specific type of project. However, due to the scales of the different projects, you will see yourself working with large numbers of people who are also working on the project.
There are a number of ways to gain experience in a construction manager role. A lot of companies offer work experience schemes or internships to allow you to both gain work experience within the job role, and get a foot in the door to potentially return to the company when you have qualified.
There are also more comprehensive ways of both learning whether a role in construction management would be right for you, as well as learn about the trade itself. Go Construct offer a “matching service” that matches you with a company who are willing to take you on for work experience, a site visit and even a project placement to see what the construction industry is really like!
These are great ways to learn more about this fantastic job role.
Day in the Life:
A typical day in the life of a construction manager will involve getting into the office and checking emails for any news regarding your ongoing projects, as well as potential new projects that could be starting. It is a good idea to use this time to identify and sort out anything urgent.
Depending on the projects you are currently running, you may need to visit sites during the day to maintain a presence and make sure everything is running smoothly. It is also a good idea to keep clients updated on the progress of the projects you are overseeing.
If there are any new projects starting soon, you need to ensure that the budgets and project planning schedules have been completed for these works, as well as making sure all the necessary paperwork has been completed.
Creating Your CV
When applying for a job, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your CV is up to date with all your education and employment history. However, you also need to keep it as short as you possibly can, whilst making sure you add more personal information about yourself too! A good length for a CV would be 1 page, however, 2 pages is the absolute maximum.
In virtually all cases when you apply for a job, your CV is the first thing the hiring manager reads about you, and they base their decision on whether to interview you or not based on your CV and, normally, your CV alone.
Make it as short and concise as possible, whilst also making sure it is easy to understand. Get friends and family members to proof read it for you as well.
Building a Shortlist of Companies to Work For:
It is a common thought that you can only apply for jobs that are advertising for that specific position, however, this is really not the case. In most cases you will find that if you are a good fit for the company, they will bring you in regardless.
The main thing to note here is that you should be excited about the work the company are doing, this will motivate you to excelling in the job role! It is always good to shortlist a number of companies that you find yourself getting excited about the work that they are doing.
The next stage is to contact them, but you need to make yourself stand out. This can be by offering to come in for a trial day of work, or by showing work you have previously done. Even doing something as simple as sending a video CV can be memorable enough for a company to remember you.
Okay, so you have landed yourself an interview at a company you are really excited about, now what?!
The main piece of advice we can give you here is to stay relaxed. An interview is just as much of a chance for you to learn about the company, and interview them, as it is for them to interview you. A successful interview is an interview that allows you to both come away feeling that you are a good fit for one another.
Before the interview, you need to ensure you are asking yourself these questions:
- What makes me different from the other candidates?
- Why should this company care about that?
- Why did you want to get into construction management?
- What construction trends have you been reading up on, and what would help the company and its customers?
But the main thing, is just be relaxed and be yourself!
Tips for Once You Have the Job
Great, you’ve got the job! Congratulations, but what are the next steps? Well, here are a few tips for your first few days on the job.
Make sure to arrive early, and leave late, especially on your first day! It is very important to show eagerness to get started and get to work, and this will make you look good to your employers.
It is also a good idea to ask any questions you can, even if you’re asking questions to somebody who isn’t working in your department! It is fantastic to have a knowledge of different areas of the company and build up your network this way!
If you finish your assigned work, ask for more! This is the single biggest thing you can do to show your eagerness to get going with the company!
We hope that our guide has helped you, and wish you the best of luck in your future career! Please also feel free to take a look at our company blog, where we will go through some of the latest innovation and issues in the office design and construction space.