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Become A Project Controls Specialist

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Working As A Project Controls Specialist

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Getting Information
  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Controls Specialist 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 Project Controls Specialist

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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Project Controls Specialist Career Paths

Project Controls Specialist
Controls Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Senior Project Manager Vice President
Vice President-Project Management
12 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Manager Purchasing Manager
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Vice President
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Facilities Manager
Senior Facilities Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Supervisor Superintendent
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Project Analyst Construction Manager
Construction Area Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Senior Operations Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Consultant Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Office Manager Assistant Controller
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Program Manager Project Director
Manager, Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Deputy Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Owner Project Superintendent
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Project Controls Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
Show Salaries
$59,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$125,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CBIZ
Highest Paying City
Jersey City, NJ
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Project Controls Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Controls Specialist in the United States is $86,592 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Project Controls Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Project Controls Specialist The Louis Berger Group Morristown, NJ Sep 02, 2015 $147,493
Senior Project Controls Specialist Wood Group PSN, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 11, 2015 $138,986
Project Controls Specialist II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Oct 13, 2015 $133,765
Project Controls Specialist Arcadis U.S., Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2016 $128,960
Project Controls Specialist IV Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Jan 25, 2016 $125,445
Project Controls Specialist Arcadis U.S., Inc. New York, NY Feb 05, 2016 $124,800
Senior Project Controls Specialist Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA Jan 07, 2015 $124,000
Senior Project Controls Specialist Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA Apr 04, 2013 $124,000
SR. Project Controls Specialist Arcadis U.S., Inc. King of Prussia, PA Jun 16, 2016 $122,866
Project Control Chief Specialist Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 23, 2014 $121,317
Principal Project Controls Specialist Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 23, 2014 $121,317
Principal Project Controls Specialist Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 05, 2013 $120,524
Senior Project Controls Specialist Arcadis U.S., Inc. Atlanta, GA Oct 05, 2015 $120,000
Senior Project Controls Specialist Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Portland, ME Oct 03, 2016 $95,389
Project Controls Specialist IV Bayer Business & Technology Services, LLC Berkeley, CA Aug 04, 2014 $95,000
Project Controls Specialist Remedial Construction Services, L.P. Houston, TX May 01, 2015 $95,000
Project Controls Specialist Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Greenville, SC Sep 09, 2016 $94,869
Project Controls Specialist-Cost Engineer Samsung E&C America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Aug 27, 2013 $93,500
Associate Project Controls Specialist III Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Feb 19, 2016 $92,872
Project Controls Specialist II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Nov 23, 2015 $92,000
Project Controls Specialist II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Oct 05, 2014 $92,000
Project Controls Specialist/Claims Analyst Arcadis U.S., Inc. New York, NY Feb 29, 2016 $80,018
Project Controls Specialist/Claims Analyst Arcadis U.S., Inc. New York, NY Feb 22, 2016 $80,018
Staff Project Control Specialist Arcadis U.S., Inc. New York, NY Oct 15, 2014 $80,018
Project Controls Specialist 2 Arcadis U.S., Inc. Los Angeles, CA Dec 26, 2016 $79,955
Project Controls Specialist III Fermi Research Alliance, LLC Batavia, IL Jan 05, 2015 $79,789 -
$116,400
Project Control Specialist Saulsbury Industries Inc. Odessa, TX Mar 26, 2016 $79,664
Project Control Specialist JCMS, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $79,060
Project Controls Specialist Louis Berger Water Services, Inc. Baltimore, MD Aug 02, 2013 $77,896 -
$86,267

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Top Skills for A Project Controls Specialist

  1. Project Management
  2. Status Reports
  3. Project Controls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare weekly and monthly status updates for consolidation into Project Status Review Report presented to project management.
  • Prepared monthly project financial status reports including cost analyses for project and senior management review and planning.
  • Provide project controls support including utilization of various software to consolidate information to create project tracking reports.
  • Continue to work with the TA staff to implement the new P66 TA guidelines prior to 2017 major inspection TA.
  • Provide project cost controls on major engineering capital projects for Pfizer Corporation.

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Top 10 Best States for Project Controls Specialists

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Connecticut
  6. California
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Maine
  • (586 jobs)
  • (1,136 jobs)
  • (1,653 jobs)
  • (764 jobs)
  • (272 jobs)
  • (2,654 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (726 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)

Project Controls Specialist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,324 Project Controls Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Project Controls Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Project Controls Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

52.5%

Female

38.8%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.0%

Arabic

11.1%

German

7.9%

French

7.9%

Carrier

4.8%

Bulgarian

1.6%

Bosnian

1.6%

Serbian

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Occidental

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%

Hindi

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Marathi

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Russian

1.6%
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Project Controls Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.1%

University of Houston

12.8%

Texas A&M University

10.0%

George Mason University

5.5%

Clemson University

5.5%

Sam Houston State University

4.5%

George Washington University

4.1%

Washington State University

4.1%

Strayer University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.8%

Lamar University

3.4%

Villanova University

3.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

Colorado State University

3.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.8%

University of Texas at Austin

2.8%

University of Washington

2.8%

Purdue University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

33.8%

Project Management

9.6%

Construction Management

8.3%

Accounting

8.1%

Finance

6.4%

Civil Engineering

4.7%

Management

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.6%

Political Science

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.4%

Computer Science

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.0%

Industrial Engineering

2.0%

Marketing

1.9%

General Studies

1.7%

Economics

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Psychology

1.5%

Communication

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.9%

Masters

24.2%

Other

15.6%

Associate

7.1%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

0.8%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.3%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Project Controls Specialist

4.0

I do it for the challenge

July 6, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Project Controls Specialist.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Project Controls Specialist?

Freedom, problem solving, finding solutions. As a project controls specialist, I don't have many people to answer too and several that look to me for answers. I provide the means and the materials for the projects to get done efficiently and under budget... Show More

What do you NOT like?

A small mistake or over site can be very costly in time and money. Any and all problems are life lessons to take to the next project... Show More

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