|Number of Jobs:||86,600|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Construction Jobs||#2|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#50|
Construction management is an ideal profession for someone who has a general interest in building and design. Architecture might seem like too much drawing. Civil engineering could seem like too much science. Carpentry might be too labor-intensive. But construction management means dabbling in a little of all these components. Construction managers might work with architects, engineers, and electricians to formulate blueprints. They might also consult with a cost estimator to determine proper budgets. They would compose a work timetable with the client. And that’s just a small taste of their duties: Construction managers also obtain work permits, hire contractors, supervise the project’s progress, troubleshoot emergencies, and schedule walk-throughs.
This industry’s employment fluxes are determined by the health of the economy, so while construction jobs generally dried up in the mid-2000s, hiring is now on an uptick. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that nearly 90,000 new construction manager jobs are in the offing, particularly as existing office buildings and residences are retrofitted to be more energy efficient.
Managing a construction project from start to finish is a weighty task, and construction managers make handsome salaries. Their average salary in 2011 was $84,240, while the highest-paid in the profession made $149,070. Those making bottom-rung salaries still earned around $50,000. Industries that pay the most include amusement parks and arcades, and the travel industry. And the top-paying parts of the country include Elmira, N.Y., Nassau, N.Y., and Edison-New Brunswick, N.J.
There are some in industry who don’t have a bachelor’s degree and rose through the ranks until they became a construction manager. But it’s become increasingly important that managers have both contextual experience and a college education. The BLS reports more than 100 colleges and universities offer programs in construction science, building science, or construction engineering, but today’s managers might also major in architecture or engineering. Practical experience is usually gained through internships. Those new to the field would probably first work as an assistant until they’ve learned the ropes enough to supervise their own project.
Consider a cooperative education program, so that you can gain some of the on-the-job experience that’s mandatory for success in this line of work. Practical experience is one of the best ways to glean the technical know-how for the profession, but it’s also a chance for a construction manager to get his or her feet wet with project and people management.
|Upward Mobility||Above Average|