How do I Become a Construction Manager?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2019
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There are four things that you need to have to become a construction manager: post-secondary education, experience, recommendations and leadership skills. All these items are necessary to become a construction manager. A construction manager is someone who is responsible for coordinating all the work on the construction site. They must liaison with architects, inspectors, client, and various trades.

The amount of post-secondary education required to be a construction manager varies widely. The most common training is a degree in business management from a university, community, or career college. These programs are typically two to three years in length and focus on the unique challenges associated with the construction industry. This includes compliance with a wide range of workplace rules and regulations, working with multiple vendors and legal issues associated with construction.

Some people start their careers in construction with a specific trade. They complete their apprenticeship program and become a professional, skilled tradesman. This background can also lead to a position as a construction manager. There are part time courses and certificates in construction or business management available from the local community college that can provide the training necessary to succeed in this role.


Most construction managers have at least five years of experience working on a construction site. They may have held an administrative position and then moved into a management role after a few years of experience. There is a significant level of responsibility with a construction manager role, and it is important that the candidate be responsible, mature, and cautious.

Recommendations from lead hands, construction site supervisors, architects and other related professionals are critical to obtaining a role as a construction manager. Invest the time and energy required to excel in your current role before seeking a promotion to become a construction manager. It is very common to want to accelerate your career, but it takes time to gain the necessary skills and maturity for this type of job.

The leadership skills required to be a construction manager include financial management, conflict resolution, strategic planning, project management, and interpersonal skills. All these skills can be developed through a combination of education and experience. Take a course in leadership and volunteer in a leadership role. There are certain mistakes all leaders make, and it is best to get them out the way in a setting where the risks are minimal.

Once you have become a construction manager, your responsibilities can be expanded to include multiple job sites, depending on the type of construction company you work for. Be organized, take legible notes, and following through on all promises. All these items are critical to your success in a management role.


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