Workers discussing construction project on site

Project managers are responsible for the planning and delivery of complete construction projects, from the first drawings to the final sign-off. They have to be excellent planners, communicators, time managers and problem solvers. Employers often look to recruit graduates into project management because it is one of the most demanding roles in construction.

What is a graduate project manager?

A graduate project manager is someone who has just graduated from university and has secured a junior job in project management in construction, or on a graduate trainee programme in project management. They will be learning the role from more senior project managers, intending to take on more responsibility and perhaps specialising in a particular aspect of project management in the future.

What qualifications do I need to be a project manager in construction?

Graduate project managers will obviously have a degree, but some employers may ask for the degree to be in a STEM subject, or for at least one of your A-Levels to have been in a science subject or maths. If you don’t have a degree or A-Levels, you should have at least 4-5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A*-C), but you will probably already be working in construction for several years if this is the case.

What can I expect from a graduate project management role?

A graduate construction project manager can expect to spend time in different departments of a construction company, ‘shadowing’ a range of roles. You might work on-site from time to time, as well as spending periods at the company’s offices or with clients.  

Day to day responsibilities

Graduate or trainee project managers will undertake a range of duties, including the following:

  • Site visits
  • Liaising with sub-contractors and project stakeholders
  • Planning construction projects
  • Monitoring timescales, costs and resources
  • Writing tender bids
  • Progress reports
  • Learning IT programs and computer software
  • Procurement

What skills & knowledge will I gain?

Graduate construction project managers build up a wealth of experience during their training, such as:

  • Time management skills
  • Communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Knowledge of civil engineering and technical aspects of construction
  • Costing and Accounting
  • Leadership and business management skills
  • Knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • Initiative, persistence and determination
  • Attention to detail


What do employers look for in candidates?

If you want to become a project manager in construction, you will need to demonstrate that you have the potential to be successful in the role, including showing some or all of the following:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork
  • The ability to learn fast
  • Good with numbers
  • Planning skills
  • Multi-tasking
  • Leadership skills
  • Having a positive attitude
  • Being able to motivate colleagues

Career progression

After a trainee programme, graduates often secure their first professional role as a junior or associate project coordinator. With more experience, graduates could progress into contract management or project consultancy, and undertake further training to specialise in areas like IT, engineering, contracts, health and safety or building inspection.

To qualify as a senior project manager, employees study for professional qualifications with the Association for Project Management, Project Management Institute or Chartered Management Institute.

Finding construction project management grad schemes

One of the best websites to use if you are searching for a graduate job in construction project management is Talentview. You can filter by job role, and location and also look for management traineeships, work experience, placements and internships. Another good site to check is Gradcracker. It regularly advertises project manager vacancies.


Find out more about a career as a project manager