Approximately 471,800 construction managers are employed in the United States. Employment opportunities exist in a variety of settings. Many construction managers work for small construction companies that specialize in residential homes or small commercial projects. They are often in charge of the entire project from start to finish.
Construction managers employed by larger firms, real estate developers, or engineering firms may only be assigned to work on a particular phase of the project, such as the structural framework, or specialize in a certain area such as fireproofing, or a specific type of construction such as bridges.
Jobs are located nationwide, but may be more plentiful in areas experiencing high growth. Managers who wish to work with larger companies and more visible projects may need to relocate to major metropolitan areas.
Traditionally, construction managers were promoted into managerial positions after many years of work experience in the construction industry. That is still possible today, though more common in smaller construction firms. Larger construction companies or major developers demand managerial candidates with construction experience as well as a college degree. Jobs can be found via school career services offices, newspaper and Internet job advertisements, employment agencies, and unions, or by applying directly to contracting company personnel offices. Professional organizations, such as the Construction Management Association of America, also list job listings at their Web sites.
Since construction managers already hold a high-tier position in the construction industry, promotion may be limited, especially with smaller firms. Some construction managers may move to larger companies that deal with bigger building contracts and projects. Promotion within larger companies may take the form of an upper-level management or executive position.
Some construction managers choose to open their own construction firms or branch off into real estate development. Others may choose to continue their education and become architects or engineers.
Tips for Entry
Apply for entry-level jobs in the construction industry.
Join professional associations, such as the Construction Management Association of America, to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Attend the annual convention of the CMAA to network and interview for jobs.