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From planning through to completion, project directors have overall responsibility for the successful conclusion of construction projects.


Average salaries are in the region of £60,000.00 to £90,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

From planning through to completion, Project Directors have overall responsibility for the successful conclusion of construction projects. 

What they do

With expertise in all areas of construction, project directors make strategic decisions and provide the necessary leadership and direction for their teams of project managers to implement those decisions. They direct multi-discipline teams, ensuring that each time-bound stage of a project is delivered effectively, on time and to budget.

Project directors build strong working relationships. From clients to sub-contractors, they liaise, communicate and give professional guidance to project stakeholders.

With agreed timescales, costs and resources, Project Directors plan and lead projects in order to achieve client and company expectations. While potentially managing several projects simultaneously, Project Directors will still need a thorough knowledge of the fine details of individual projects. 

Typical tasks include:

  • Regularly meeting with clients, third parties and project managers to report progress
  • Monitoring progress, providing financial control and ensuring project quality
  • Devising cost-effective plans and methods to enable effective completion of the project
  • Managing risks to avoid delays
  • Ensuring necessary permits and legal papers are secured prior to project commencement
  • Ensuring project managers supervise and manage their own multidiscipline teams

Hours & Salary:

Project Directors usually work full-time hours. Due to the role’s high level of responsibility, overtime would be likely in order to meet deadlines. 

  • Project Directors with limited experience in the role can earn in the region of £48,000 to £66,000
  • With experience, Project Directors can earn in the region of £66,000 to £85,000
  • Senior project directors can earn in the region of £85,000 to £110,000 or higher

Salaries typically range depending on location, level of responsibility and chartered status.


 

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Head to the Careers Explorer A-Z to get more information on construction roles available.

Case Study

Ann-Marie Managing Director|1:41

Brian Pettigrew is a Project Director for Robertson Partnership Homes. 

I have a very varied role but it predominately covers getting involved in projects very early on in the construction process. This ranges from working closely with design teams and the client to make sure that they get a fantastic project at the end of the day.

What do you like about your job?

I meet a lot of very knowledgeable people through work and it’s very interesting learning about different disciplines. I’m a great believer in the saying ‘every day is a school day’.

What’s your working day like?

My working day would start either in the office or alternatively I could be on one of our sites, or even travelling on the train to meetings. It’s fair to say not one day is ever the same, it’s a highly varied role and I thoroughly enjoy it. We have to be very flexible in order to satisfy our clients’ demand, sometimes we need to re-arrange our day in order to go and meet them at short notice if required.

What skills do you need in your job?

For me, excellent communication and problem solving skills are essential in this role. You also have to be able to think on your feet at times. People management also plays a major part of my day-to-day duties, so I need to possess really good leadership skills.

What was your background before starting this role?

I left school and entered into an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, which I completed over a four-year period. I then worked as a time-served joiner before getting the opportunity of progressing to site manager. Over the period of then till now, I obtained further qualifications that have allowed me to progress my career. I have fulfilled the positions of project manager, senior project manager, contracts manager, construction manager, and then onto my current role.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am really proud of what I have achieved in my career, especially coming from a trade background; I feel this gave me an excellent grounding into the industry. I’m also extremely proud of some of the projects I’ve managed and delivered, as some of these have been award-winning schemes.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

I hope to establish myself in my current role but ultimately progress towards the role of a business leader within the company.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking about a career in construction?

I’m a great believer in the trade qualification route within the industry; whether it’s as a bricklayer, joiner, electrician or plumber, this gives you an excellent all-round experience for the future. Also, try to further your education within the industry whenever you can. Employers now are very keen to promote individuals from within their organisation rather than recruiting externally, so the potential to progress is massive. It’s a great industry to work in and you will meet some excellent people. 

Qualifications & Training

To work as a project director you would usually be qualified to degree or postgraduate level in a relevant subject, such as construction management or business and management.

For those without relevant qualifications in project management, it’s still possible to progress on the strength of industry experience. Supporting roles in project teams provide essential experience and can be combined with part-time study to complete relevant qualifications in project management.

It’s also possible to work towards professional qualifications in project management to different levels and at varying times in your career. The Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) all offer a range of appropriate, professional qualifications.

To progress to project director, you would need at least ten years’ industry experience.  

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Telegraph Jobs

Reed 

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

 

Career trends and forecasts

4,780 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 4,780 senior, executive, and business process managers (which includes project directors) to meet demand every year from 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand is in the South West followed by Greater London. Then a  fairly even split of demand between Yorkshire and Humber, East of England, Scotland and Wales.

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