How to become a Construction Manager

Construction Manager

A construction manager is an integral part in the organisation of any building project. Responsibilities range from planning work schedules and ensuring projects stay on budget, to managing suppliers and relationships with the general public.

A construction manager, sometimes referred to as a site manager or construction engineer, is one of the most important roles on a building site.

Construction project managers oversee building projects. They are involved with all aspects of a building’s production, from the initial blueprints to the final reports, and must manage a large team of people along the way.

Construction project managers can work in the residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure or environmental fields, with an option to specialise in one of these as they progress up the career ladder.

Being a construction project manager will involve:

  • Planning projects, which will consider the budget, timescale, health and safety aspects and staff members required
  • Hiring staff for the project and acting as their manager throughout its duration, including supervising and inspecting work.
  • Constantly ensuring that health and safety expectations are being met.
  • Communicating with other professionals involved in the project, such as contractors, architects and surveyors.
  • Keeping the customer updated throughout the project.

The path to becoming a construction project manager is varied. Candidates can either do so through education – for example, a degree in surveying or engineering and then construction management specific qualifications – or by vocational methods. The latter would involve candidates taking on apprenticeships or other construction jobs and working their way up, however, they would still need to take some construction management qualifications before reaching the position.

People learning how to become a project manager should have a solid grounding of health and safety initiatives, as well as a deep understanding of the construction industry. They should exhibit strong leadership skills and great attention to detail.

The profession often involves travel between sites and unsociable hours of work, so some sort of flexibility in the employee’s lifestyle is needed. The salary is competitive and increases with experience, as well as sometimes offering perks such as a company car and travel allowance.

What degree is most commonly held by a Construction Manager?


  • Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelors Degree in Science (Civil Engineering Major)
  • Master of Civil Engineering
  • Bachelors of Architecture
  • Master of Architecture
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering
  • Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction

Career Transportability across Countries


Transportability: High
For specialists in their field, the opportunity to work abroad is high. Many companies are seeking experts in a particular niche for certain projects, and will happily hire internationally for the duration of that project - which could lead to full-time employment. For those seeking construction project manager jobs abroad, it is recommended to focus on one specialism and gain relevant experience.

What is the Salary of a Construction Manager?

ExperienceEducationAverage salary | year
AU$UK£US$
Assistant Project Manager€80000£46591$85000
Construction Project Manage1-4 Years€106000£71256$130000
Construction Project Director5+ Years€132,000£323,394$590,000

What skills are needed to become a Construction Manager?


  • Construction Management
  • Project Management
  • Construction
  • Contract Management
  • Project Planning
  • Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Procurement
  • Project Estimation
  • Value Engineering
  • Hiring / Managing Contractors
  • Microsoft Office
  • Construction Safety
  • Cost Management / Budgeting
  • Engineering
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Leadership
  • AutoCAD
  • Civil Engineering
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Project Control
  • Construction
  • Commercial Management
  • Pre-construction

Construction Manager Courses

Explore courses from leading academic and cultural institutions that are related to a career in construction management. These courses are designed for those people at the beginning of their career as a construction manager or those who are switching from a different career path.
  • Construction Project Management: An Introduction

    What creates successful construction project management Gain an understanding of the key activities principles and concepts

  • The Importance of Project Management in the Global Construction Industry

    Why is the management of construction projects important and why do construction projects fail

  • Research for Construction Management

    Explore research methods for construction management and understand construction project cost management

  • Quality in Construction

    Understand the impact of poor quality and how to manage construction quality with this course for construction professionals

  • An Introduction to Financial Management in Construction

    Explore financial management and accounting conventions and their importance in the construction industry and other sectors

  • Global Issues in the Construction Industry

    Explore the key issues faced by the construction industry today and discover sustainable approaches to resolving them

  • Pre-Contract Management for Construction Projects: The Basics

    Understand the precontract management process for construction projects considering procurement and tendering

  • Contract Management and Procurement: An Introduction

    Explore the fundamentals of contract management and learn about the contract management process in construction

  • Organisational Behaviour in Construction: An Introduction

    Study organisational behaviour within the construction industry

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.