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Construction Management Job Outlook

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Published on:

January 15, 2019


Construction Management Job Outlook

A change in careers is always a daunting prospect, but one thing that can help alleviate some of the stress is a positive outlook for job openings. Truthfully, you shouldn’t choose a career that doesn’t have jobs on the horizon. No jobs = no work for you. So unless you have a crystal ball, you should probably go where the jobs are projected to be!

The good news is that if you’re considering a career in construction management, the job outlook currently is quite good.

Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is pretty much right on par with the projected growth for all occupations during that time period. To put things in more of a number perspective, in 2014, there were 373,200 construction managers. The construction management job outlook is projected to rise to 391,100 by 2024, an increase of 17,900 jobs.

Despite construction managers being on average for growth, there is reason for further optimism as this only refers to new jobs. There will also be job openings created by the substantial amount of construction managers who are expected to retire over the next decade, but the exact figures are hard to project. But a considerable amount of openings can be added to the nearly 18,000 new jobs already projected.

Why the growth? According to a CNN report on 10 jobs: big demand, good pay, more jobs may also be created by a commercial building boom for healthcare facilities, big box stores, malls and high rises. As the population continues to grow, more construction will be needed. This includes buildings for residences, offices, retail outlets, schools, hospitals and even restaurants and bars. Also, the existing infrastructure will need to be updated or replaced, including roads, bridges and sewer pipe systems. This all adds up to more jobs for construction managers.

The growing trend and/or demand to make existing buildings more energy efficient also could add more jobs to the marketplace. Construction managers will be needed to oversee the renovation projects and upgrade the buildings to be more sustainable. This will include small and large-scale construction projects.

To best position yourself for job openings in construction management, you should have a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction science or civil engineering. A degree and construction experience will make you an even better prospect.

What Do Construction Managers Do?

While construction management is a difficult job that can cause long hours and comes with a lot of responsibility, it can be quite lucrative and rewarding. Construction managers are often in charge of managing multi-million dollar projects, and also for keeping thousands to millions of people safe from harm by making sure the projects are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Construction managers keep construction projects on time and on budget. They make sure everything goes according to plan, whether the project be residential, commercial or industrial, bridges and roads and more.

Construction managers oversee a project all the way from the planning stages to completion and inspection. They will often even renovate old buildings for sustainability.

How To Become a Construction Manager?

When considering an occupation as a construction manager it is highly recommended to obtain a bachelor’s degree and have years of construction experience. To be a candidate as a construction manager, large construction companies prefer someone with both a bachelor’s degree and on-the-job construction experience. Although it is not necessary for individuals to have a master’s degree to become a construction manager, it increases job opportunity chances. It is possible for a person with only a high school education to be hired as a construction manager. However, they must have several years of construction experience.

Construction managers will typically have a bachelor’s degree in either construction science, architecture, engineering, or a construction management degree.  Since the construction industry is evolving and becoming more complex than ever, it has become increasingly important for candidates to have a specialized education. For those looking for a more specialized education, a master’s in construction management online or an in person program may be a good opportunity to further your education and career opportunities.

How Much Do Construction Managers Make?

Along with a positive job outlook is a high earning potential. A survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in May 2016, construction managers earned a median annual wage of $89,300. The top 10 percent of construction managers earned an annual salary of more than $158,330 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $53,740 per year.

While that is a wide range, it shows what potential education and experience can net you. There are additional factors to consider, such as work history and local and regional market conditions. But here are the median wages for some top industries for construction managers:

  • Heavy and civil engineering construction: $93,980
  • Nonresidential building construction: $91,030
  • Specialty trade contractors: $84,270
  • Residential building construction: $81,450

Construction managers on the coasts seem to earn the most, and the CNN report says that construction managers can see their salaries climb into the six-figures after as little as five years on the job.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in construction management, call NewSchool of Architecture today to learn about our degree programs!