Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish. They may have a main office, but they spend most of their time in a field office onsite, where they monitor projects and make decisions about construction activities.
Construction managers typically need a bachelor’s degree, and they learn management techniques through on-the-job training. Large construction firms may prefer to hire candidates who have both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field.
Robert DeYoung works as a construction manager for DPR Construction. DPR Construction is a commercial general contractor and construction management firm that has consistently ranked among the top 50 general contractors in the country by Engineering News-Record since 1997.
With the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the construction industry is poised to see a boom in business. “A lot of the infrastructure that was built 50 years ago is getting to its point of deterioration,” says DeYoung. As more environmentally friendly practices and sustainability initiatives take hold, construction managers who possess green skills, such as a knowledge of weatherization techniques, will be in greater demand. “A lot of clients are chasing greener buildings – buildings that are net zero energy.” Construction managers such as DeYoung are instrumental in ensuring that these new or modernized structures minimize the carbon footprint.
In 2020, the national average for construction managers is $97,180 per year, and in Pennsylvania these managers earn roughly $10,000 more each year than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of construction managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 38,900 openings for construction managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.