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Construction manager

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish. This role coordinates the entire construction process, including overseeing the day-to-day operations of the project and maintaining communications between all parties. They select, hire, and oversee specialty trade contractors.

Quick facts: Construction manager
2021 Median Pay $98,890 per year; $47.55 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs, 2021 478,500
Employment Change, 2021-31 36,400

Sometimes called a contractor or general contractor, construction management professionals typically work for either a construction management firm or a general contractor.

Many construction managers have a main office but spend most of their time working out of a field office at a construction site, where they monitor the project and make daily decisions about construction activities. The need to meet deadlines and respond to emergencies often requires construction managers to work many hours.

How to become a construction manager

Construction managers typically must have a bachelor’s degree and learn management techniques through on-the-job training. Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field. Useful skills for construction managers include decision-making, leadership, technical, time management, verbal and written communications, analytical, and business.

  • Carpenter
  • Construction laborer
  • Electrician
  • Hazardous materials removal worker
  • Operating engineer and other construction equipment operator
  • Plumber, pipefitter, and steamfitter
  • Production worker
  • Refuse and recyclable material collector
  • Roofer

  • Product sales specialist
  • Project engineer
  • Subcontractor

Education and resources

Access courses and resources to learn about green building and sustainability concepts related to construction mangement.

Online courses

Stay up to date on the latest developments in green building through access to online courses with an annual subscription to the USGBC course catalog.

Role on a LEED project

On a green building project, the construction manager is responsible for ensuring that onsite processes are environmentally friendly and that the contractors hired have knowledge of green building techniques. An important part of a construction manager’s role is ensuring that the sustainable features on the project drawings are implemented and that the plans for waste management and indoor air quality during construction are properly implemented. Additionally, construction managers are responsible for scheduling, budgeting, job site management and safety, subcontractor management, and installation activities.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

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