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Project manager

Project managers oversee the planning and delivery of construction projects. They ensure that work is completed on time and within budget. They organise logistics, delegate work and keep track of spending. As a project manager, you’d liaise with clients and construction professionals to arrange schedules and direct activities.

Average salary*




How to become a project manager

There are several routes to becoming a project manager. You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a university or college course, or an apprenticeship. If you already have some experience you may be able to apply for a job directly. You should explore these options to find out which is the right one for you.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


You could do an undergraduate degree in construction management, project management, business or IT.

If you already have a first degree you could study for a postgraduate qualification in construction project management.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.

College/training provider

You could do NVQ Levels 4 and 5 in Project Management or Levels 3, 4 and 5 in Business Improvement Techniques.

Some training providers also offer NVQ levels 3, 4 and 5 specific to construction project management.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

An intermediate apprenticeship takes around two years to complete. You could follow a higher apprenticeship in construction management.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


Many project managers start their careers as craftspeople in a particular trade. If you have experience of managing small projects, you could study part-time to gain project management qualifications and get a job in a construction project support team.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a project manager. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone looking to become a project manager include:

  • Leadership and business management skills
  • Knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • Persistence and determination
  • Able to use your initiative
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Maths knowledge
  • Excellent verbal communication skills


To become a Project Manager you'll need GCSE's 9 - 5 including Maths and English.  Some may require A-Levels, a Project Management qualification and previous experience.  


To become a Project Manager you'll need Scottish Nationals 5 A - C's including Maths and English. Some may require A-Levels, a Project Management qualification and previous experience. 


To become a Project Manager you'll need GCSE's A* - C including Maths and English.  Some may require A-Level's, a Project Management qualification and previous experience. 


What does a project manager do?

As a project manager you will be responsible for helping to keep projects on a realistic timescale and budget. This involves selecting and leading a project team and ensuring you are aware of all details so you can keep a client up to date.

The job role of a project manager involves the following duties:

  • Understanding what the client or company wants to achieve
  • Agreeing timescales, costs and resources needed to deliver a project
  • Drawing up a detailed plan for how to achieve each stage of a project
  • Selecting and leading a project team
  • Negotiating with contractors and suppliers
  • Directing a multi-disciplinary team
  • Communicating with staff at every level, in a calm, personable way
  • Overseeing several projects at the same time
  • Ensuring that each stage of the project happens on time, on budget and to a high standard
  • Reporting regularly on progress to the client and stakeholders
  • Coordinating market and customer research
  • Resolving any issues or delays
  • Demonstrating knowledge of all areas of construction
  • Writing bids for tender
  • Managing several projects simultaneously with the support of junior project managers
  • Working in an office or on a construction site.

How much could you earn as a project manager?

The expected salary for a project manager varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained project managers can earn in the region of £25,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience project managers can earn in the region of £30,000 - £50,000
  • Senior or chartered project managers can earn in the region of £50,000 - £60,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest project manager vacancies:

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

After studying, you could start off as a trainee, junior or associate project coordinator.

With time, you could take on more responsibilities and progress into contract management or project consultancy.

You could undertake further training to specialise in an area such as IT or digital, engineering, contracts, health and safety, estimating or building inspection.

To become a senior project manager, you could study for additional qualifications with the Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) or Chartered Management Institute (CMI). You could apply for chartered status to increase your salary.

You could go set up your own business and work as a freelance consultant.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Project manager Considering a career in project management? See what the role of a construction ...
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  • Current role Construction manager Construction managers are required to handle the practical side of managing & pl...
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