Construction Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Construction Manager, or Construction Supervisor, is responsible for overseeing the construction process for buildings and other pieces of infrastructure like bridges and roads. Their duties include upholding the use of quality materials and procedures, adhering to budgets to complete tasks or purchase materials and reviewing contracts to make sure that current practices align with the owner’s expectations.

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Construction Manager duties and responsibilities

Aside from the primary duty of overseeing a construction project, a Construction Manager will have other duties and responsibilities as well. Some of these duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Choose the types of tools to use in the construction and track the inventory of those tools.
  • Keep daily employee logs and monitor the conduct of each one of them.
  • Ensure that the construction project complies with all safety and building regulations.
  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of the project to come up with the budget and deliverables.
  • Establish risk factors, then manage and mitigate them to ensure the construction goes on smoothly.
  • Work closely with Architects and Engineers to establish the requirements for the construction.
  • Liaise with local authorities to obtain licenses and permits for the project.
  • Prepare reports on the project.
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What does a Construction Manager do?

Construction Managers typically work for construction companies or individual clients to provide leadership and guidance throughout the building process. They work closely with the Project Owner and Contractor to identify the project’s budget and establish tools, materials and professionals needed to achieve their goals. Their job is to hire qualified construction workers and set deadlines for each phase of construction. They may also conduct frequent site visits to track progress and make sure that workers have a safe environment to conduct their job duties.

Construction Manager skills and qualifications

A quality Construction Manager should be capable of managing a project from start to finish and allocating resources accordingly. The right candidate should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good interpersonal and supervisory skills
  • Solid grasp of building compliance and safety regulations
  • Knowledge of the best HR practices
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Knowledge of basic accounting procedures including making financial projections
  • Decision-making skills
  • Ability to work under pressure

Construction Manager salary expectations

The average salary for a Construction Manager is $83,436 per year. Exact salary may vary depending on a candidate’s geographical location, experience level or education. Construction Managers can potentially receive an average of $8,000 per year in profit sharing. Additional common benefits include 401(k) matching, stock ownership plans, relocation assistance and paid time off.

Construction Manager education and training requirements

Applicants should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in construction, architecture, engineering or a related field to be considered for this job. A master’s degree in a construction-related concentration is an added advantage, but not necessary. Priority is often given to candidates with project management or construction management certifications, especially a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) certification.

Construction Manager experience requirements

A quality candidate should have at least 3 years on-job experience in a verifiable construction project. Ideally, the candidate should also possess managerial skills acquired while working under a Contractor, Construction Manager or another expert in the construction industry. Previous experience as a Contractor, Architect or Engineer in a construction project is a plus. An in-depth knowledge of construction procedures, building and safety compliance and sound financial estimation skills are a must.

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Frequently asked questions about Construction Managers


What is the difference between a Construction Manager and an Owner's Representative?

Construction Managers and Owner’s Representatives work closely together to achieve the Project Owner’s goals. However, they differ in their level of authority and job responsibilities. The main difference between a Construction Manager and an Owner’s Representative is that the Owner’s Representative tends to have more seniority and a different scope of responsibilities. For example, Owner’s Representatives act as advocates for the Project Owner of a construction project. They meet with the Construction Manager to help them better understand the Owner’s needs, like project deadlines, budgets and other factors. 

They also have the responsibility to weigh the risks and potential adverse outcomes of a construction project. They then work with the Construction Manager and other professionals to take proactive measures against these risks. In contrast, Construction Managers have the responsibility to oversee the completion of a construction project following the Owner’s Representative’s guidelines.


What are the daily duties of a Construction Manager?

On a typical day, a Construction Manager starts by checking their email and phone messages in an office setting. They reply to time-sensitive messages and review upcoming deadlines for construction projects. They use their time in the office to place orders for supplies or building materials and create work schedules for the coming weeks. After completing their clerical duties, they travel to construction sites to meet with the on-site supervisor and survey their progress.

 Construction Managers may also meet with Contractors or the Project Owner at the construction site to give them a tour of the site and discuss financial needs.


What qualities make a good Construction Manager?

A good Construction Manager is someone who demonstrates a commitment to safe and efficient work procedures. They do this by staying up-to-date on labor and construction laws in their area. Construction Managers should also have excellent interpersonal communication that enables them to effectively communicate between the Project Owner, Site Supervisors and Construction Workers. Further, a good Construction Manager is well-organized. This quality allows them to create work schedules for their team, track budgeting expenses and maintain organized financial records. They should also have a natural ability to lead, which helps them oversee a project to its successful conclusion.


Who does a Construction Manager report to?

A Construction Manager typically reports to the Project Owner or the Owner’s Representative to relay information and ask questions about a construction project. They may also report to one or both of these individuals to discuss recent setbacks or budgeting needs.

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