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Become A Construction Administrator

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Working As A Construction Administrator

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Getting Information
  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Construction Administrator Do

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Duties

Construction managers typically do the following:

  • Prepare cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
  • Interpret and explain contracts and technical information to other professionals
  • Report work progress and budget matters to clients
  • Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction specialists
  • Select subcontractors and schedule and coordinate their activities
  • Respond to work delays, emergencies, and other problems
  • Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations

Construction managers, often called general contractors or project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. Either a general contractor or a construction manager will oversee the construction phase of a project, although a construction manager may also consult with the client during the design phase to help refine construction plans and control costs.

Construction managers oversee specialized contractors and other personnel. They schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Some managers may be responsible for several projects at once—for example, the construction of multiple apartment buildings.  

Construction managers work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trade workers, including stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters. Projects may require specialists in everything from structural steel and painting to landscaping, paving roads, and excavating sites. Depending on the project, construction managers may interact with lawyers and local government officials. For example, when working on city-owned property or municipal buildings, managers sometimes confer with city inspectors to ensure that all regulations are met.

For projects too large to be managed by one person, such as office buildings and industrial complexes, a top-level construction manager hires other construction managers to be in charge of different aspects of the project. For example, each construction manager would oversee a specific phase of the project, such as structural foundation, plumbing, or electrical work, and choose subcontractors to complete it. The top-level construction manager would then collaborate and coordinate with the other construction managers.

To maximize efficiency and productivity, construction managers often perform the tasks of a cost estimator. They use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to allocate time and money in order to complete their projects. Many managers also use software to plan the best way to get materials to the building site.

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How To Become A Construction Administrator

Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field. While some individuals with a high school diploma and many years of experience in a construction trade may be hired as construction managers, these individuals are typically qualified to become self-employed general contractors.

Education

It is becoming increasingly important for construction managers to have a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering. As construction processes become more complex, employers are placing greater importance on specialized education.

More than 100 colleges and universities offer accredited bachelor’s degree programs in construction science, building science, or construction engineering. These programs include courses in project control and management, design, construction methods and materials, cost estimation, building codes and standards, and contract administration. Courses in mathematics and statistics are also relevant.

More than fifty 2-year colleges offer construction management or construction technology programs. An associate’s degree combined with work experience is typical for managers who supervise smaller projects.  

A few universities offer master’s degree programs in construction management.

Those with a high school diploma and several years of relevant work experience may qualify to become a construction manager, although most are qualified to become self-employed general contractors.

Training

New construction managers are typically hired as assistants and work under the guidance of an experienced manager. This training period may last several months to several years, depending on the firm.

Work Experience

If the typical education is not obtained, practical construction experience is important for jobseekers, because it reduces the need for initial on-the-job training. Internships, cooperative education programs, and previous work in the construction industry can provide that experience. Some construction managers become qualified solely through extensive construction experience, spending many years in carpentry, masonry, or other construction specialties.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification is becoming increasingly important for construction managers. Certification is valuable because it can demonstrate knowledge and experience.

The Construction Management Association of America awards the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation to workers who have the required experience and who pass a technical exam. It is recommended that applicants for this certification complete a self-study course that covers the professional role of a construction manager, legal issues, the allocation of risk, and other topics related to construction management.

The American Institute of Constructors awards the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations to candidates who meet its requirements and pass the appropriate construction exams.

Some states require licensure for construction managers. For more information, contact your state licensing board.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Most managers plan a project strategy, handle unexpected issues and delays, and solve problems that arise over the course of the project. In addition, many managers use cost-estimating and planning software to determine costs and the materials and time required to complete projects.

Business skills. Construction managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Choosing competent staff and establishing good working relationships with them is critical.

Customer-service skills. Construction managers are in constant contact with owners, inspectors, and the public. They must form good working relationships with these people and ensure their needs are met.

Decisionmaking skills. Construction managers choose personnel and subcontractors for specific tasks and jobs. Often, these choices must be made quickly to meet deadlines and budgets.

Initiative. Self-employed construction managers generate their business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients. They often market their services and bid on jobs, and they must also learn to perform special home improvement projects, such as installing mosaic glass tiles, sanding wood floors, and insulating homes.

Leadership skills. Managers must effectively delegate tasks to construction workers, subcontractors, and other lower level managers.

Speaking skills. Managers must give clear orders, explain complex information to construction workers and clients, and discuss technical details with other building specialists, such as architects. Self-employed construction managers must get their own projects, so the need to sell their services to potential clients is critical.

Technical skills. Managers must know construction methods and technologies, and must be able to interpret contracts and technical drawings.

Time-management skills. Construction managers must meet deadlines. They ensure that construction phases are completed on time so that the next phase can begin as scheduled. For instance, a building’s foundation cannot be constructed until the land is completely excavated.

Writing skills. Construction managers must write proposals, plans, and budgets, as well as document the progress of the work for clients and others involved in the building process.

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Construction Administrator Career Paths

Construction Administrator
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Site Manager Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Architect Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Project Architect Principal Superintendent
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Architect Assistant Project Manager Facilities Manager
Senior Facilities Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Project Director
Manager, Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Accountant
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Accountant Projects Controller
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Administrator Assistant Project Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Owner/Project Manager Construction Superintendent
On Site Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Project Engineering Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Administrator Owner/Operator Project Superintendent
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager Field Manager
Construction Area Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Agent Estimator Senior Estimator
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Construction Administrator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Administrator 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Construction Administrator
Architect 5.0%
Owner 3.6%
Manager 2.7%
Top Careers After Construction Administrator
Owner 4.5%
Architect 3.5%
Consultant 2.4%
Manager 1.9%

Do you work as a Construction Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$48,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CyberCoders
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Construction Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Construction Administrator in the United States is $80,465 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $48,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $132,000.

Real Construction Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager, Construction Administrator Custom Associates, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $57,500
Construction Administrator Tetra Tech, Inc. Tulsa, OK Mar 04, 2013 $48,318
Construction Administrator Tetra Tech, Inc. Weslaco, TX Apr 03, 2012 $47,122
Construction Administrator Tetra Tech, Inc. San Antonio, TX Feb 15, 2012 $45,750

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Top Skills for A Construction Administrator

  1. Contract Documents
  2. Submittals
  3. New Construction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Mitigate Owner risk by anticipating, recognizing, identifying and resolving potential conflicts between the contract documents and construction activities.
  • Reviewed materials submittals for compliance to quality and design specifications.
  • Facilitate essential communications between new construction reps, managers, payroll and accounting department.
  • Coordinated Shop Drawing and RFI review with consultants; responsible for Log(s) documentation and weekly publication.
  • Performed construction administration services for security and surveillance systems for educational, retail and commercial properties.

Construction Administrator Demographics

Gender

Female

44.9%

Male

44.8%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.5%

German

10.3%

French

5.1%

Nepali

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Ukrainian

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Italian

2.6%
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Construction Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.4%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

7.2%

Florida State University

5.8%

University of Houston

5.8%

Clemson University

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Purdue University

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

University of Arizona

4.3%

University of Cincinnati

3.6%

University of California - Berkeley

3.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.6%

Auburn University

3.6%

North Carolina State University

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

West Virginia University

3.6%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%
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Majors

Business

26.9%

Architecture

19.6%

Construction Management

11.3%

Accounting

5.0%

Management

3.1%

Civil Engineering

3.1%

General Studies

2.7%

Project Management

2.7%

Real Estate

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Drafting And Design

2.2%

Computer Science

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Communication

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.2%

Psychology

2.2%

Property Management

2.1%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Architectural Engineering

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.1%

Other

26.6%

Associate

12.0%

Masters

11.6%

Certificate

5.3%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.4%
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