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Construction Managers
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Description: what do they do?
Plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.
Also known as:
Job Superintendent, Construction Area Manager, Project Manager, General Contractor, Concrete Foreman, Project Executive, Construction Superintendent, Construction Manager, Construction Foreman, Project Superintendent

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: When a building goes up, construction managers handle the big questions: who’s doing what; how long will it take; how much will it cost; and what happens if there’s an accident or work delay. They plan and supervise all types of construction projects— buildings, roads, bridges, and more— from beginning to end. Construction managers work closely with architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trades workers. They frequently call in city inspectors to ensure that all regulations are met, and may consult with lawyers and local officials for large projects. They use cost-estimating and planning software to develop budgets and schedules, which they must maintain while also fulfilling design specifications. Construction managers work in both commercial and residential construction. Many are self-employed, while others work for specialty trade contractors. They typically have an office, but spend most of their time onsite to monitor construction activities and make on-the-spot decisions. Long hours are common, as is being on call around the clock. While almost all positions require extensive construction experience, formal education needed ranges from a bachelor’s degree for the biggest projects, to an associate’s degree or high school diploma for smaller projects.. Some managers earn general contractor credentials and work for themselves. A new construction manager typically trains as an assistant under an experienced manager.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Tennessee
7,840
2016 Employment
9,100
2026 Employment
16%
Percent change
700
Annual projected job openings
United States
471,800
2018 Employment
518,000
2028 Employment
10%
Percent change
40,200
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Construction Managers in Morristown, TN Metro Area
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationMorristown, TN Metro AreaUnited States
10%$44,810$55,240
25%$52,160$70,670
Median$68,260$93,370
75%$94,000$123,720
90%$127,490$161,510


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Negotiate project specifications.
  • Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures.
  • Manage construction activities.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
  • Determine operational compliance with regulations or standards.
  • Evaluate green operations or programs for compliance with standards or regulations.
  • Direct facility maintenance or repair activities.
  • Estimate labor requirements.
  • Investigate industrial or transportation accidents.
  • Prepare forms or applications.
  • Implement organizational process or policy changes.
  • Develop procedures to evaluate organizational activities.
  • Develop environmental remediation or protection plans.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
  • Communicate organizational information to customers or other stakeholders.
  • Communicate organizational policies and procedures.
  • Estimate green project costs.
  • Analyze data to determine project feasibility.
  • Model operational processes.
  • Analyze forecasting data to improve business decisions.
  • Train employees on environmental awareness, conservation, or safety topics.
  • Recruit personnel.
  • Prepare operational budgets for green energy or other green operations.
  • Develop sustainable organizational policies or practices.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Management of Financial Resources - Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.
  • Operations Analysis - Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Far Vision - Seeing details that are far away.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Confer with supervisory personnel, owners, contractors, or design professionals to discuss and resolve matters such as work procedures, complaints, or construction problems.
  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate construction project activities to meet deadlines.
  • Direct and supervise construction or related workers.
  • Prepare and submit budget estimates, progress reports, or cost tracking reports.
  • Inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with building and safety codes or other regulations.
  • Inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Plan, organize, or direct activities concerned with the construction or maintenance of structures, facilities, or systems.
  • Determine labor requirements for dispatching workers to construction sites.
  • Investigate damage, accidents, or delays at construction sites to ensure that proper construction procedures are being followed.
  • Prepare contracts or negotiate revisions to contractual agreements with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers, or subcontractors.
  • Develop or implement quality control programs.
  • Develop or implement environmental protection programs.
  • Requisition supplies or materials to complete construction projects.
  • Implement new or modified plans in response to delays, bad weather, or construction site emergencies.
  • Interpret and explain plans and contract terms to representatives of the owner or developer, including administrative staff, workers, or clients.
  • Perform, or contract others to perform, pre-building assessments, such as conceptual cost estimating, rough order of magnitude estimating, feasibility, or energy efficiency, environmental, and sustainability assessments.
  • Apply for and obtain all necessary permits or licenses.
  • Evaluate construction methods and determine cost-effectiveness of plans, using computer models.
  • Contract or oversee craft work, such as painting or plumbing.
  • Implement training programs on environmentally responsible building topics to update employee skills and knowledge.
  • Secure third-party verification from sources such as Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) to ensure responsible design and building activities or to achieve favorable LEED ratings for building projects.
  • Develop construction budgets to compare green and non-green construction alternatives, in terms of short-term costs, long-term costs, or environmental impacts.
  • Apply green building strategies to reduce energy costs or minimize carbon output or other sources of harm to the environment.
  • Direct acquisition of land for construction projects.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.