A construction project manager is a qualified individual with a degree in construction management, civil engineering or construction science. Being in charge of construction projects, he has to ensure that the entire project is completed on time, without exceeding budgetary limits. It is a high pressure job. The manager has complete control and is responsible for everything related to the construction project.
The label Construction Project Manager is loosely used to define any supervisory level managers who direct supervisors in construction projects. He may also be called by other titles such as construction superintendent, general construction manager, executive construction manager, constructor or even contractor or sub-contractor. He could be a salaried employee of a construction company or engaged to manage a particular construction project.
The construction project manager has to be involved in the project from the beginning through to its completion. By employing his knowledge and expertise in terms of the efficient use of required resources, he has to ensure the achievement of predetermined objectives of cost, time, and quality. To make sure of these objectives, he has to decide which construction methods are appropriate for cost effective scheduling. He has to discuss architectural and engineering drawings with design engineers to effectively plan and harmonize every facet of the project. This may include preparation and use of complicated flow charts and bar charts, and various graphs for data representation. Nowadays, project managers use computers to analyze, conceptualize and implement plans and designs.
The construction project manager has to plan a logical, phase wise implementation of the project, assigning predetermined timeframes for the completion of each phase. He has to take all measures to see that the time frame is adhered to.
These days, there is a great demand for people with a good academic foundation in the field of construction management. Employers generally prefer a degree in construction science, with special focus on the management aspect. It is a four-year degree course offered by over 120 colleges in the country.
Coursework for a degree in construction science is very comprehensive. Some of the subjects covered would be engineering and architectural sciences, mathematics, statistics, computer science, project control and development, site planning, building design, construction methods, construction materials, value analysis, cost estimating, contract administration, building codes and standards and inspection procedures.
The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) also give certification after written examinations and verification of education. The AIC awards the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations and the CMAA awards the Certified Construction Manager (CMM) designation.
There are better job prospects for candidates with work experience. The preference in the job market is for academically qualified people who have undergone internships and worked in the construction industry. They should be well versed in building technology.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a salary survey in July 2005 and found that candidates with a degree in construction management got an average annual salary figure of $ 42,923.
There are bright career prospects for a professionally qualified construction project manager. Practical work experience is of vital importance before a position of independent functioning will be offered. A few years experience at a junior-grade position on construction projects is a prerequisite required by most employers. The position would fetch a handsome salary package and commands a respectable position in society.
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