What Does a Residential Construction Manager Do?

A residential construction manager is someone who oversees, coordinates, and supervises the construction of residential buildings like houses and apartments.

Whilst the job criteria may change depending on what company they work for, there are some typical roles that a residential construction manager carries out.

A residential construction manager will oversee the proceedings of a project from the initial planning phase to the delivery of the finished project which could take anything from months to years.

They will prepare and negotiate cost estimates and budgets of the project, being able to guide how feasible certain decisions would be and also making sure that the project is not exceeding the budget.

It will be the residential construction manager’s job to schedule all the design and construction processes according to the timeframe and it’ll also be their job to track progress throughout the project to make sure that they’re hitting deadlines and also overseeing quality control of each process of the project.

It’ll be their role to hire construction laborers, external contractors like architects, engineers, and subcontractors for the job, and arrange suitable work timetables according to what process the project is currently going through.

It’ll be the job of the residential construction manager to interpret and report all technical information to other colleagues to follow correctly and that will limit any mistakes throughout the process.

A residential construction manager will need to instruct and supervise personnel on-site whilst also remaining on-hand to respond to delays and emergencies that may occur when they’re not on-site during the day.

They’ll also be the ones to be in contact with clients and keep them up to date with information regarding budgets and the progress of the residential properties.

They’ll also have to have good knowledge of construction laws and regulations as they’ll need to be aware of building and safety codes and regulations of the area they are constructing in and also complying with legal requirements regarding safe working practices.

Is there money in construction management?Is It Worth Getting A Construction Management Degree?

Yes, being in construction management can earn you good money, however, it’ll depend on the size of the projects and also the whereabouts in the country that you will be working.

Construction management salaries normally vary from anything of around $60,000 up to over $120,000 depending on where you work and also the experience that you have.

However, those who have acquired a degree in construction management and have plenty of experience with good credentials are the highest earners in that role.

An entry-level position in construction management starts on average at about $55,000 which is twice the average entry-level salary of other jobs in the US.

Most professionals will attain that doing a degree in construction management will end up paying for itself with those with masters degrees in construction management or other relevant further education can earn 10% more than those with regular bachelors in construction management.

However, college is not the only route if you want to earn good money in construction management, as there are still high-earning people within the industry that didn’t go to college.

You can also choose to get a construction management certificate or a certificate in a related field to maximize your earning capabilities

Most of these certificates will require you to pay, however, if you’re serious about making it in construction management then you’ll be rewarded for your extra efforts by being considered for higher earning roles.

However, often in this industry, the more time you’ve spent doing a role, the more money you’ll be entitled to earn. Someone who’s worked as a construction manager for 10 years will often earn nearly $15,000 more than someone who’s only worked in that role for 5 years.

Areas that have higher costs for real estate often have the highest-earning salaries for construction workers.

Places like New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey offer salaries of up to $145,000 for a construction manager job, however, this may not be appealing as it sounds as moving to areas like this on the east coast can increase your living expenses as houses prices are expensive and the cost of living is higher.

What skills do construction managers need?

To be a construction manager, you’ll need a high degree of knowledge of construction and building, which will either be acquired from a degree or training qualifications.

Someone who’s started as a construction worker may be able to work their way up to the position of a construction manager by doing the relevant training and qualifications.

You’ll need top organizational and self-management skills to stay on top of deadlines and to make sure all aspects of the project are running to plan.

You’ll need strong leadership skills and the ability to communicate to a wide range of people effectively to make sure instructions are explained correctly and the right negotiations are made.

You’ll also be able to use your initiative as you’ll often be the person people go to with questions regarding the project and also the go-to person in case of project emergencies.

A construction manager will be competent with the relevant software and technologies needed to carry out their job and good computer skills such as word processing, powerpoints, spreadsheets, and email are essential in this job.

Construction managers will often have assertive yet motivational personalities and be able to confidently project instructions to their team whilst also being a good listener when it comes to communicating with clients and other contractors.

Are construction managers happy?

A construction manager’s job comes with the possibility of high-stress levels due to the demanding nature of their job and the need to always be on the ball to avoid things falling apart.

A construction manager will often balance multiple projects within one overall project meaning they’ll have numerous deadlines to align with whilst also trying to stay on top of the budget.

Whilst the financial rewards of being a construction manager may be eye-catching for some, the job does come with some immense drawbacks that some people are just not cut out for.

However, the job does come with good job security as there’ll always be a demand for construction managers as there will always be residential properties to be built somewhere.

Not only are these construction managers used for new residential properties being built, but they’re also used to remodel and renovate residential properties whether that be for aesthetic purposes or to be more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

So there is a huge demand for this role in the industry.

Most construction managers will vouch for the fact that their job is fast-paced and exciting and they have a variety of job duties meaning they could be doing something completely different each day, which keeps everything fresh.

With new technologies and advancements, a construction manager’s job becomes more difficult as they have to set aside time to learn everything to stay on the ball within their industry.

There are always new training possibilities to do but not always enough time which may leave some construction managers feeling like they’re underachieving compared to others in their career.

A construction manager’s role can offer poor work-life balance at times as they may find they need to work more than their full-time hours to make sure deadlines are met.

They may also need to be on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies regarding the project, which could result in health problems like stress and anxiety.

Can construction managers build houses?

Yes, a construction manager can build houses and in certain situations, they will help out with the physical work on the project site to make sure deadlines are met.

Although, the job of a construction manager is mostly to oversee and supervise the project and make sure everything is going smoothly, so the physical labor is normally left to the construction managers.

How many hours a week does a construction manager work?

On average, a construction manager will work full time (around 40 hours a week), however, in most cases, they will work more than those full-time hours to meet deadlines and the project is going to plan.

The work schedule of construction managers may vary throughout the project, with some processes requiring more attention than others so there may be stages where they’ll work their contracted hours and then others where they’ll be working overtime.

Some construction managers have to work holidays, overnight and even weekends to help with the project and an open mind is needed towards these possibilities if you’re considering going into the industry.


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