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A project manager is in charge of making sure a building or other kind of structure is done properly from start to finish. He or she drives the project from the first idea through to the final brick, pipe or block of concrete.
Average salaries are in the region of £26,000.00 to £60,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer
A project manager is in charge of making sure a building or other kind of structure is done properly from start to finish.
Project managers have overall responsibility for getting a project started; the planning, design and building, careful monitoring of progress and bringing the whole thing together by writing a final report. Projects can be new buildings or working on existing buildings.
Projects managers need to have a variety of skills, including:
As a senior project manager you will have developed your project management skills to reach the stage where you’re competent and sufficiently experienced to be responsible for larger construction projects.
These projects could be physically and financially larger, or could be more complex and challenging to deliver. It’s likely you’ll be one of the most senior people on site and you’ll be expected to know the finest details of the projects that you are managing. You are likely to manage several projects simultaneously and will have a team of more junior project managers to support you in the delivery too.
Sometimes a project manager is working in the office, sometimes on a construction site and other times out meeting clients, contractors and suppliers.
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.
John Baggley is a project manager with CCG Scotland Limited, a main contractor for social housing in the West of Scotland.
I started my construction career as an apprentice joiner and worked up through the ranks to ultimately become a project manager with CCG. It’s a role I enjoy and one I’m looking to grow further as we develop.
Day to day on the contract I oversee everything to ensure that we’re working in a safe fashion and that health and safety is never compromised. I also oversee the project management of the contract and ensure we’re working to the programme dates and maintaining high standards.
Health and safety on a building site is paramount. It is one of the major things we set about to manage on a daily basis, ensuring everything is set up in a safe manner and we’re working to safe processes. No compromise can be made on health and safety. It is a major factor within the industry at the moment.
I enjoy the day-to-day running of site activities, managing multi-trade teams and multi-tasking. I like ensuring the site runs seamlessly and looking ahead to the project development and making sure we meet our targets.
The skills I’ve developed mainly entail programme management and designing timelines. I ensure that each thing is achieved successfully without compromising other aspects of the project. People management is another great skill that helps to create a great team.
The most proud I’ve been during my career in construction was when I won the gold award at the Chartered Institute of Building Annual Awards in 2011 for Construction Management. We won the award because the main thing we had to overcome was the proximity of a subway and getting past it was a major challenge. But we managed to do it and were recognised for that.
Hopefully I will become a contracts manager and then work towards being a contracts director of a construction company. Ambition within the construction industry will be greatly rewarded, I think I’m testament to that. I started off on a construction apprenticeship with the ambition to grow and grow. Being a 33-year-old in the position I’m currently in shows that ambition does pay off.
I’d strongly advise anyone to join the construction industry. You learn several different skills, several different trades and you learn to process lots of different pieces of information. It’s a great industry to be involved in.
There are various ways to become a project manager. You will usually be qualified to degree or postgraduate level, often in project management. Other useful degree subjects include business and management, IT or construction management. These are particularly good if your course includes work placements.
You could study part-time for a project management degree or postgraduate qualification while you are working, or work towards NVQs at levels 4 and 5 in Project Management or levels 3, 4 and 5 in Business Improvement Techniques. There are also NVQs at levels 3, 4 and 5 specific to project management in construction.
The other way in to the role is on the strength of your experience in the construction industry. You could start as a member of the project support team, or manage smaller projects as part of another job and progress to managing larger projects full time.
A background in business, management, engineering, science and technology is useful. It helps to be familiar with the use of PRINCE2 and specialist software such as MS Project or Workbench before you apply for project management work.
Many entrants have a degree in project management. For entry to a degree you normally need 3-5 Highers including English and perhaps Maths.
Postgraduate courses in project management are available at several universities throughout Scotland including construction project management.
Most project managers have relevant experience in business or industry.
It helps if you have skills and experience in PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) software, and specialist project management software like Microsoft Project and Workbench.
You could study part time for a degree or postgraduate qualification in project management while you are working.
You can work towards professional qualifications in project management at various levels from any one of the following organisations: the Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The Information Systems Examination Board, which is part of the British Computer Society (BCS) offers courses in project management for those working in IT
To become a senior project manager, you will need to hold a qualification from one of the following organisations:
You have a number of options to progress in your career as a Project Manager. Through work experience and continuous professional development, you will put yourself in a better position to be able to work on bigger projects and gain wider experience. With more experience you will get better opportunities for promotion.
Once qualified with experience you can also become chartered or a chartered Builder. Becoming chartered means you have proved that you are highly experienced and skilled at doing your job.
It is comparable to a bachelor’s degree and is recognised all over the world. Becoming chartered can enhance your career, increase your salary and boosts the professionalism of your organisation.
There are many routes to becoming chartered. Whether you’re a graduate, have technical or vocational qualifications or have simply built up years of experience, you can choose the path that best suits you.
You can achieve chartership through the relevant professional institution for the career you are following however a full range of management roles within construction can gain chartered status through The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis.
Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful:
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
The UK construction industry will need an additional 330 construction project managers to meet demand every year from 2016 until 2020, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of the demand for construction project manager jobs is a fairly even split between North East, East of England and Northern Ireland.
Explore the progression opportunities below