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Become A Project Manager

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Working As A Project Manager

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Getting Information
  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Manager Do

Project managers have the responsibility of the planning, procurement and execution of a project, in any domain of engineering. Project managers are first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments.

How To Become A Project Manager

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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Real Project Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Manager IFM Investors Midstream LLC Houston, TX Jun 27, 2016 $400,000
Project Manager D. E. Shaw Research, LLC New York, NY Aug 31, 2015 $275,000
Project Manager Last Mile, Inc. Stockton, CA Dec 14, 2016 $260,875
Project Manager Cascade Networks, Inc. Stockton, CA Sep 12, 2015 $260,875
Project Manager, Construction El Ad Us Holding, Inc. New York, NY Jan 14, 2016 $244,000
Project Manager National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc. Boulder, CO Apr 03, 2016 $243,360
Project Manager National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc. Boulder, CO May 03, 2016 $243,360
Project Hsse Manager Shell International Exploration and Production Inc. Houston, TX Oct 12, 2015 $240,100
Project Manager Fast Enterprises LLC Greenwood Village, CO Apr 22, 2015 $240,000
Project Hsse & SP Manager Shell Oil Company Houston, TX Jan 13, 2016 $228,000
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Top Skills for A Project Manager

ProjectManagementProjectScopeProjectPlansProceduresEnsureComplianceFinancialGeneralContractorsSafetyResourceAllocationWebInfrastructureFacilityProjectSchedulesCustomerServiceProjectStatusAdditionalStatusReportsProjectBudgetProcessImprovementBusinessProcess

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Top Project Manager Skills

  1. Project Management
  2. Project Scope
  3. Project Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed project management for the upgrade and implementation project of a custom document imaging system used for loan document processing.
  • Assist with development of marketing strategy, social media recommendations, website development proposals, and project scope estimates.
  • Created and maintained project plans, issues list and meeting minutes.
  • Coordinate procedures in various portions of project planning, design, implementation, troubleshooting, and resolution.
  • Participated in the validation of new or modified applications to ensure compliance with Company standards.

Top Project Manager Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Project Manager

  1. IBM
  2. AT&T
  3. Bank of America
  4. HP
  5. Epic
  6. Cognizant
  7. Cisco
  8. Walmart
  9. Microsoft
  10. Verizon
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Project Manager Videos

IT Project Manager, Career Video from drkit.org

What makes a good Project Manager?

A Day in the Life of a Project Manager