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Construction management

A construction manager transforms the ideas shown on design drawings into real buildings, roads or bridges and organises the people, materials and equipment needed to get the job done.
Construction managers work closely with other professionals including architects, engineers, technicians and surveyors, and also act as a point of contact for the public.

Construction manager/site manager

This is the person in charge of a building contract and as such they must be aware of, and in control of, all aspects of site operations. They have responsibility both for the profitability of operations and for adhering to the construction and cost plans once agreed. Construction managers or site managers supervise and direct operations on a construction project to ensure it is completed safely, on time and within budget. On smaller sites, managers may carry sole responsibility for the whole project; on larger sites, they may be in charge of a particular section, reporting to the senior site manager. Senior construction managers may oversee several construction projects at the same time. Construction managers work closely with other professionals including architects, engineers, technicians and surveyors, and also act as a point of contact for the public. They have frequent meetings with subcontractors and daily contact with the site workforce.

Contracts manager

This is a similar role to that of site manager, ensuring that all works are completed to the required standards and supported by the relevant documentation. They need to ensure that strict quality control and health and safety measures are adhered to, as well as operational and maintenance procedures. They also have to check that licences are up to date and correct.

Construction estimator

This is similar to the work of a quantity surveyor and involves preparing tenders based on architects’ drawings and client requirements. While this is predominantly an office-based position, it is not necessarily a nine-to-five job. The role includes analysis of subcontractors’ quotations and working with the planning engineer to predict the likely progress rate and completion date of the project. A third-level qualification in a building-related subject will improve your employment chances.

Building project manager

Their responsibility is to see that the clients’ wishes are adhered to and that the project is completed on time and within the agreed budget. A building project manager is often involved from the initial concept and design of a project through to its construction and completion. They keep track of progress, building control regulations and quality standards and resolve any technical difficulties that arise. They are likely to work on more than one project at a time.

Building surveyor

They offer a specialist service on all matters relating to construction, including the restoration of old buildings and the construction of new ones. Among the services offered are building surveys of residential, industrial and commercial property for intending purchasers. They need to interpret building regulations and use professional skill and judgement to offer advice on acceptable solutions to meet statutory requirements. Building surveyors also deal with fire precautions and insurance claims. It’s a route open to any graduate.

Facilities manager

This involves managing retail centres and offices blocks to meet the needs of the organisation, the management and the occupants. Property and estate management companies may have facilities management sections that manage these facilities on behalf of clients. Large organisations and corporations may have facilities management departments of their own. The facilities manager may employ specialist building services personnel such as building services engineers and trades as either an employee or a sub-contractor.

Technical sales adviser

Their work involves the preparation of estimates and tenders; preparation of drawings and specifications for technical elements; management; quality assurance; and technical sales. There can also be opportunities for self-employment, in terms of project management, building estimation etc.

Qualifications

Graduates from construction management courses have found careers in large and small companies and across a range of occupations in both the public and private sectors, including working in sustainability, conservation, information technology, project management, and with building contractors or
sub-contracting firms as Estimators, Quantity Surveyors, Programmers, Planners, Contract Managers and Site Managers. Construction management can create opportunities for high level management positions in a wide range of areas.

Some job roles include:

Construction manager/site manager

This is the person in charge of a building contract and as such they must be aware of, and in control of, all aspects of site operations. They have responsibility both for the profitability of operations and for adhering to the construction and cost plans once agreed. Construction managers or site managers supervise and direct operations on a construction project to ensure it is completed safely, on time and within budget. On smaller sites, managers may carry sole responsibility for the whole project; on larger sites, they may be in charge of a particular section, reporting to the senior site manager. Senior construction managers may oversee several construction projects at the same time. Construction managers work closely with other professionals including architects, engineers, technicians and surveyors, and also act as a point of contact for the public. They have frequent meetings with subcontractors and daily contact with the site workforce.

Contracts manager

This is a similar role to that of site manager, ensuring that all works are completed to the required standards and supported by the relevant documentation. They need to ensure that strict quality control and health and safety measures are adhered to, as well as operational and maintenance procedures. They also have to check that licences are up to date and correct.

Construction estimator

This is similar to the work of a quantity surveyor and involves preparing tenders based on architects’ drawings and client requirements. While this is predominantly an office-based position, it is not necessarily a nine-to-five job. The role includes analysis of subcontractors’ quotations and working with the planning engineer to predict the likely progress rate and completion date of the project. A third-level qualification in a building-related subject will improve your employment chances.

Building project manager

Their responsibility is to see that the clients’ wishes are adhered to and that the project is completed on time and within the agreed budget. A building project manager is often involved from the initial concept and design of a project through to its construction and completion. They keep track of progress, building control regulations and quality standards and resolve any technical difficulties that arise. They are likely to work on more than one project at a time.

Building surveyor

They offer a specialist service on all matters relating to construction, including the restoration of old buildings and the construction of new ones. Among the services offered are building surveys of residential, industrial and commercial property for intending purchasers. They need to interpret building regulations and use professional skill and judgement to offer advice on acceptable solutions to meet statutory requirements. Building surveyors also deal with fire precautions and insurance claims. It’s a route open to any graduate.

Facilities manager

This involves managing retail centres and offices blocks to meet the needs of the organisation, the management and the occupants. Property and estate management companies may have facilities management sections that manage these facilities on behalf of clients. Large organisations and corporations may have facilities management departments of their own. The facilities manager may employ specialist building services personnel such as building services engineers and trades as either an employee or a sub-contractor.

Technical sales adviser

Their work involves the preparation of estimates and tenders; preparation of drawings and specifications for technical elements; management; quality assurance; and technical sales. There can also be opportunities for self-employment, in terms of project management, building estimation etc.

Qualifications

Graduates from construction management courses have found careers in large and small companies and across a range of occupations in both the public and private sectors, including working in sustainability, conservation, information technology, project management, and with building contractors or
sub-contracting firms as Estimators, Quantity Surveyors, Programmers, Planners, Contract Managers and Site Managers. Construction management can create opportunities for high level management positions in a wide range of areas.