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Careers with Construction Management degree

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This article contains information on the list of careers that you can venture into with Construction Management degree.

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Construction Management

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Construction is a common terminology and one we’re all familiar with. Construction management is similar to civil engineering. However, they are two different fields which require different education paths.

While Civil engineering focuses on infrastructure and the best placement as well as techniques for constructing projects, construction management has a broader scope. It includes all about environmental safety, planning and construction safety.

Construction management therefore involves the planning, designing, budgeting and overseeing of small and large-scale construction projects.

Typically, construction management roles may include:

  • Guiding project managers with required technical support.
  • Supervising construction sites which may include general contractors and laborers to ensure safety and quality standards are met.
  • Creating requests for proposals and changing orders for new and existing jobs.
  • Ensuring that workers adhere to policies and procedures.
  • Handling project documentation
  • Maintaining project cost, track change controls and handles accounting related to construction management.
  • Monitoring updates, submittals and invoices for all projects.
  • Reporting the status of projects to clients and attending client meetings when required.
  • Reviewing reports on the status of different parts of the project.

With the brief description of construction management, there are a wide range of careers one can venture into with construction management but they all come in different levels which are dependent on educational qualification.

For instance, a Master’s Degree holder’s career path is quite different from that of a BSc, etc.

Those looking for construction management jobs at the entry level, may start from a job as a welder, construction worker or other lower level. Regardless of the qualification, construction management jobs are very demanding and require a broad skill set.

In construction management, there are different job hierarchies. There are lower, middle and higher levels of construction management jobs and below are some careers outlined in order of hierarchy.

Higher Level

These are the Construction Officers. The careers here include;

  • Construction Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Safety Director
  • Building Services Director
  • Chief Construction Officer

Middle Level

Professionals here occupy the positions of Construction Managers. Careers in this level include;

  • Architect
  • Building Inspector
  • Project Manager
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Construction Assistant
  • Construction Coordinator
  • Building Services Engineer
  • Purchasing Coordinator
  • Structural Engineer
  • Site Manager
  • Safety Manager

Lower Level

Those in this level are the skilled workers and careers here include;

  • Carpenter
  • Construction Worker
  • Contract Manager
  • Concrete Labor
  • Construction Supervisor
  • Crane Operator
  • Construction Foreman
  • DryWall Finisher
  • Drywall Installer
  • Equipment Operator
  • Electrician
  • Field Engineer
  • Framing Carpenter
  • General Laborer
  • Iron Worker
  • Inspector
  • Laborer
  • Joiner
  • Welder
  • Roofer
  • Surveyor

LIST OF CAREER PATHS IN CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

As seen above, there are many career paths in construction management. We will be explaining some in brief.

1. SITE ENGINEER

Site engineering is a technical and demanding role which involves surveying and setting out site levels to enable accurate production of the building designs.

Site engineers supervise both the technical and organizational aspects of construction projects. They determine locations for above and below ground infrastructural installations that are related to construction operations.

In other words, as a site engineer, your responsibility in construction projects includes that of technical, organizational and supervisory. In some cases, you’ll also be required to share the responsibility for site security, health and safety as well as the organization and supervision of material and human resources.

Projects handled by a site engineer may range from small scale to multi-million projects including, rail road, and other infrastructure projects. Most times, a site engineer can only be successful in his roles by working with others including architects, construction managers planners, surveyors, etc as part of the site management team.

Their core responsibilities include:

  • setting out, level and survey the site
  • checking plans, drawings and quantities for accuracy of calculations
  • ensuring that all materials used and work performed are in accordance with the specifications
  • oversee the selection and requisition of materials
  • Managing, monitoring and interpretation the contract design documents supplied by the client or architect
  • Liaising with consultants, subcontractors, supervisors, quantity surveyors and everyone involved in the project.

2. FACILITIES MANAGER

The role of a facilities manager is diverse. They ensure that the working environment of an organization is suitable and conducive for employees and clients. Also, they are involved in crucial planning and day-to-day operations of a building and its premises. As stated earlier, the career is diversified and can include duties such as, security, building/grounds maintenance, communications and utilities, cleaning as well as other building responsibilities.

A facilities manager ensures that a building and its surrounding are in good condition.

3. BUILDING SURVEYOR

As the name implies, building surveyors are responsible for anything in relation to building. They are well into designing and construction of buildings along side. Building surveyors are the go to people that can provide advice and recommendations pertaining to property and construction.

They record and submit information concerning building defects, building dilapidation, needed repairs, preventive maintenance issues, sustainability of structures, building regulation law and other construction-related issues. They also work on designs for new. This detailed information report they submit is known as a building survey.

Before acquiring an already existing building, do well to involve a building surveyor.

4. BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEER

While a building surveyor detects the problems of a building, building services engineers maintain the things that allow a building to function in the right manner.

The work of a building services Engineer is numerous and composed of new technologies with sustainability in view.

Some of the role of this Engineer includes maintaining existing building operation, providing services in relation to acoustics/sounds, lighting, security, power, heating and cooling, safety and other mechanical related activities.

5. QUANTITY SURVEYING

As the name implies, quantity surveyors are concerned with numbers. They are however, responsible for managing all costs relating to building projects, from the initial calculations to the final figures. A quantity surveyor is interested in minimizing the cost and risk of a construction project while still maintaining the required legal standards and quality.

In other words, while reducing the cost of a building project, a quantity surveyor equally ensures it has no effect on the standard of the building and material used.

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As a quantity surveyor, you will be involved in every stage of the project regardless of whether you’re working for a client or contractor, in an office or on site.

Typically, the responsibilities of a quantity surveyor vary depending on who is being worked for and these may include the following;

  • Undertaking feasibility studies to ascertain that client’s proposals will work.
  • prepares and analyses project costing for materials, quantities, labour and time
  • Prepares tender and contract documents, which includes bills of quantities with the architect or the client, as the case may be.
  • performs risk and cost control during construction
  • undertake cost analysis for repair and maintenance project work
  • value completed work, oversee bills and arrange payments
  • Understand the implications of health and safety regulations.

On the other hand, a more experienced and advanced quantity surveyor can offer advice on property taxation, help clients in locating and accessing additional and alternative sources of funding, advise on the maintenance costs of particular buildings and lots more.

However, as a quantity surveyor, you’ll typically need to have:

  • good written and verbal communication skills,
  • IT skills and be conversant with sophisticated design and costing IT packages
  • attention to detail
  • interpersonal skills and the ability to build and develop relationships
  • numerical and data analysis skills
  • teamwork skills and the ability to motivate those on site.
  • detailed knowledge of past and current building and construction
  • project management skills

6. SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTANT

This is another career in construction management. Sustainability consultants are involved in the promotion of sustainable solutions as relates to the infrastructure of building environments.

Their job ranges from rebuilding infrastructure, regenerating urban areas, developing new residential areas as well as renovating and sustaining older structures.

A sustainable consultant can also be involved with the restoration and reuse of land and property along with evaluating the impact of certain businesses on the environment.

7. ESTATES MANAGER

This career path involves the management of land and other related properties for organizations in the public and private sectors.

An estate manager is concerned with the historical or heritage preservation of a site with the main aim being to enable an estate to run as effectively as possible in order to maximize financial returns from the estate.

There are different types of estate management. They are;

  • Agricultural/rural/forestry estates
  • Heritage estates
  • Private estates
  • Property management – commercial and residential.
  • NHS facilities/hospitals

The role or responsibilities of an estate manager is solely determined by these. However, some of the responsibilities of an estate manager may include;

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  • To oversee the development of the estate, to ensure its run effectively to meet the estate’s objectives
  • Manage staff and foster a team work approach, with internal or external staff.
  • Carry out financial planning for a project and control the budget
  • Manage buildings and renovations
  • Plan, commission and manage the work of contractors
  • Deal with contracts for various aspects of the estate
  • Keep up to date with legislation and regulations that affect the estate
  • Carry out marketing activities which will sometimes include social media awareness aimed at building a positive image.

8. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

Construction Managers are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety standards and procedures are met and building projects are delivered within the stipulated time. To ensure this is achieved, they work closely with surveyors, architects, and other building professionals.

They may oversee a whole site, or a part of a complex project. Regardless of the size of the site, they supervise and direct a range of operations on a construction site and ensure that all workers and contractors are working together to an agreed plan with maximum progress.

As a construction manager, you’ll need to plan and coordinate a project from start to finish. Everything it takes for a project to be successfully completed lies within the control of a construction manager.

9. ESTIMATORS

You might be wondering the relationship between an estimator and construction management. Well, there is no field that doesn’t involve calculation.  Estimators are sometimes called construction estimators or cost engineers. Therefore, if you love working with numbers as much as you love m negotiating with people and suppliers, this career path is just a perfect one for you

Estimators make enquiries to assert how much it will cost to provide potential clients with products or services.

An estimator is responsible for getting all vital information about each building project and deciding the cost to suit the client’s needs. Quality is also considered alongside in the pricing, so the winning bid isn’t always the cheapest one. Depending on the area of interest, an estimator could be estimating many projects such as roads, bridges, shopping centers, schools, residential areas, etc.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing projects to ensure costs are not beyond the budget.
  • compiling bids for work
  • Collating detailed the price lists of everything needed on each construction project
  • Ensuring that relevant computer software such as Excel, Word, etc are used.
  • Keeping up to date with inflation, exchange rates and projected time scale costs
  • making visits to proposed construction sites
  • liaising with others including construction managers, planners and design teams
  • Preparing and submitting quotations for work.

10. ARCHITECTURE

Architects are responsible for the design of cities and homes. This is a highly demanded and well paid job and that makes it a perfect career path to venture into. With an increase in the number of individuals investing in real estate, and the rise in the number of real estate firms worldwide, the services of Architects are in higher demand as the day goes by.

Architecture/Structural Engineering go hand in hand. There are several wonderful opportunities for Architects and Structural Engineers. Thus, if you’re an expert in this field, you’re made.

11. ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

There is more to construction than just designing and building. Construction is incomplete if the impact of the structure on the environment is not considered. This is where environmental engineers come in.

Environmental engineers are involved in management and reduction of waste and pollution in order to protect, restore, conserve and preserve the planet. As an environmental engineer, you are responsible for the design of technologies and implement processes and systems to prevent as well as control a wide range of environmental risks and hazards.

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Types of environmental engineering: You’ll be concerned with issues such as climate change, drought, population growth, urbanization, pollution, deforestation and the energy crisis

Responsibilities include:

  • evaluating the environmental impact of the project, hazard or commercial operation
  • gather data from a range of sources through site assessments, environmental monitoring and third party reports
  • write up and present findings, costing, health and safety plans and
  • recommendations on clean-up process, recycling and waste disposal, in order to fix environmental issues
  • make plans to protect and restore the environment by removing contaminants from water, air and land
  • Develop site-specific health and safety regulations for the safety of workers.
  • communicate with sensitive stakeholders such as local residents in order to
  • minimize the impacts of projects on the community

CONCLUSION

With the amount of career related information in circulation, getting to decide on a particular career can be very daunting. Like every other field, Construction Management has various career opportunities to consider. With passion in view, it can be very easy to choose one but if the reverse is the case, it can be very difficult choosing one.

However, bear in mind that construction management is lucrative though demanding and there is no reason why someone who is interested in construction management cannot be a high flyer. Every field has the fulfillment, satisfaction and success that come with it. There is certainly no end to the possibilities in this field.

So, are you still wondering if a construction management degree is worth it? The answer is yes. Although, what you earn depends on your qualifications and level of expertise. Hence, if you desire to occupy top positions as well as earn more, work to build your qualification, expertise and experience.

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