what is a construction manager?

As a construction manager, you organize and combine the necessary resources to construct a building. Unlike other projects, constructions are mission-based and have a variety of constraints unique to the building design. Consequently, being the construction manager for a residential building is different from working in a commercial property.

Construction projects are structured and have multiple moving parts. For instance, building a residence or shopping mall comprises numerous steps, requiring a construction manager to coordinate the process.

Since your job is to manage the practical aspects, you work closely with architects and civil engineers to interpret project plans. You also hire contractors and other tradespeople to work on the project while taking a supervisory role. Aside from assigning and managing workers at the construction site, you also plan for the resources allocated to you. You ensure workers use resources properly to avoid shortages and project delays.

Would working as a construction manager suit your teamwork and leadership skills? If so, read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a construction manager role.

construction manager jobs

average construction manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a construction manager is $90,000 per year. At an entry-level position, you start with lower earnings of $73,061 annually. The salary increases gradually, and you can earn over $139,553 yearly with experience.

what factors affect your salary as a construction manager?

Your earnings as a construction manager depend on various factors, from education to experience and skills. When starting out in the role, you have minimal experience, so you earn less than construction managers with years of experience. Improving your educational qualifications also increases your earning potential.

When you work in the building and construction industry, the company's size affects your salary. Working in a small company affects your earnings since your employer may need more resources to pay higher salaries. Large companies often handle larger projects and have substantial resources. Due to the complexity of the duties, your salary will be higher than working on small projects for a smaller company. The location also affects your earnings. For instance, working in Quebec or Ontario has higher earnings prospects due to the increased demand for construction managers.

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types of construction managers

The types of construction managers depend on the employer. A construction manager working for a contractor is often based at the construction site. Your job is to supervise other employees on the site and manage resources on behalf of the contractor.

You can also be employed by a client or company to manage a project as a construction project manager. That means you report to the client since you are in charge of every aspect of the project. Sometimes, you make presentations to the managers, reporting on the progress of a project and your estimated completion time.

mon with a coat walking outside
mon with a coat walking outside

working as a construction manager

If you enjoy working in construction, discover the duties, responsibilities and work environments of construction managers.


construction manager skills and education

To become a construction manager in Canada, you require the following education and qualifications:

  • Educational qualifications: to become a construction manager, you require a university degree. Pursue a degree in civil engineering or start with a college diploma to gain qualifications in construction technology. Some employers may request a master's degree in project management.
  • Certification and experience: gain relevant experience in construction by starting with junior roles, such as a construction supervisor or site manager. Your extensive experience could substitute for the post-secondary education requirements. You may also require certification from a regulatory body in some provinces or territories. For instance, in Alberta, construction managers are regulated by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT), while in Quebec, the regulatory body is the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST).

competencies and characteristics of construction managers

Additional skills and competencies make you a better construction manager. Some of the skills include:

  • Leadership skills: as a construction manager, you inspire other workers and motivate them towards the project goals. That means pro-activeness in complying with safety and quality standards, as well as leading by example through dedication and commitment.
  • Communication: when you are a team leader, it is crucial to communicate effectively with other workers and tradespeople. Communication skills help you relay goals and clear instructions. Written communication is also valuable for writing reports, creating schedules, or assigning tasks.
  • Risk management: projects have uncertainties, and it is important to be prepared to handle any eventualities. Risk management skills come in handy in forecasting problems and solving them.
  • Interpersonal skills: as a construction manager, you should listen to team members and include their suggestions in your plans. Team management skills also boost your leadership abilities.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a construction manager.


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