How to become a construction manager: Australian careers in construction

A construction manager plays a vital role in construction and building projects, using their knowledge to track and complete projects as well as taking proactive steps to avoid problems down the track. They ensure the smooth execution of a construction project by managing and overseeing everyday tasks on site. No matter what is being constructed, whether it is commercial or residential, a building consultant is needed to ensure the stability of a project. You will work with a range of workers from contractors, councils, clients, architectural planners and project managers as well as answering to executive boards or the funding body. To work as a construction manager, you will have to have an in-depth knowledge of what is involved in a building project as well as possible a strong sense of WHS obligations.

  • Task Career in focus: What a construction manager does

    A construction manager is able to understand and oversee the daily operations of a building project as well as identify safety issues, ensuring construction is completed at a best-practise safety standard. A construction manager works towards agreed timeframes and deadlines, and troubleshoots problems as they arise that may affect the overall quality, delivery or timeframe of the construction.

    Tasks:

    • Manage construction personnel
    • Ensure WHS protocols are strictly followed
    • Communicate with workers, funding bodies and project managers
    • Ensure a project is delivered on time and is of a high quality
    • Liaise with safety officers
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to be a successful construction manager

    As a construction manager, you must have an in-depth knowledge of all the different components of a construction project. This includes working with a wide-range of people, including executives, safety officers as well as contractors and personnel. You will need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, monitoring a project against agreed timeframes and budget. You will need to have a good birds-eye view of a project, ensuring best practise and WHS procedures are followed and anticipating issues. It is beneficial if you have a background in construction, as you will need to understand what is involved in a project as well as work alongside carpenters, architects, electricians and other building professionals.

    Skills/attributes
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Ability to anticipate and take proactive steps as issues arise
    • Able to meet deadlines whilst delivering a high-quality product
    • Manage staff
    • Good organisational and multi-tasking skills
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations within construction

    You will need qualifications to become a construction manager. Once you have gained your qualifications, there are many different career pathways available to you.

    Building Surveyor

    As a building surveyor, you will work with at the planning stage of a building project, speaking with key construction contacts ensuring all planning requirements and regulations are met in the implementation of a building.

    Civil Engineer

    Civil engineers can work in a range of infrastructure areas, providing advice and expertise on the appropriate measurements, materials and building techniques of a particular construction. They also ensure that the building will remain standing, taking into consideration possible stresses and strains such as environmental or aging impacts.

    Quantity Surveyor

    If you’re good with numbers, you may be suited to a quantity surveyor, who oversees the financial management of a construction project. In this job, you will work on drafting cost estimates, forming budgets in collaboration with other construction personnel and monitor budget spend.
  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a construction manager

    There are several ways you can start your career as a construction manager and different qualifications that can help you progress.

    Starting Out

    Kick-start your career with specialised courses in building and construction.

    Building Skills

    To remain competitive in the building industry, build your industry skills.

    Developing Your Resume

    There are lots of ways you can progress your career to management or senior roles by developing a comprehensive skill set.

    Industry Recognition

    Because you work in the large industry of construction, there are several specific bodies you can gain recognition or association with. To work on a construction site, you will also need to gain a Construction Induction Card. Check out the resource section for info that is relevant to your state or territory.

    Entering the Workforce

    Polish you resume and cover letter into an attractive job application that is specifically targeted to your potential employer. Check out our sample resumes and cover letters to get started.

    Construction Manager Job Prospects and Construction Salaries

    Australia has a booming construction industry, with opportunities predicted to continue to grow, meaning there are lots of opportunities in construction management.

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