What Does a Residential Construction Manager Do?

What Does a Residential Construction Manager Do?

A residential construction manager oversees, coordinates, and supervises the construction of residential buildings like houses and apartments. The construction job criteria and requirements may change depending on your company and what part of the home-building process you are in.

A residential construction manager will oversee home construction from the initial planning phase to the delivery of the finished house, which could take anything from six months to a year. In addition, a construction manager will prepare and negotiate the project’s cost estimates and budgets, guiding how certain feasible decisions would be and ensuring that the project does not exceed the budget.

It will also 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 also be their role to hire construction laborers and external contractors like architects, engineers, and subcontractors for the job and arrange suitable work timetables according to the project’s current process. The construction manager’s job is to interpret and report all technical information to other colleagues to follow correctly, limiting mistakes throughout the process. A construction manager will also need to instruct and supervise on-site personnel while remaining on-hand to respond to delays and emergencies that may occur when they’re not on-site during the day.

What do construction managers do?

A construction manager oversees, coordinates, and supervises the construction of commercial, multi-family, or residential single-family buildings like houses, apartments, buildings, schools, hospitals, etc.

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. Further, 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 comply with legal requirements regarding safe working practices.

Is there money in construction management?

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

Construction management salaries typically vary from around $60,000 to over $120,000, depending on your work location and experience. 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 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. Those with master’s 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 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, 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 ten years will often earn nearly $15,000 more than someone who’s only worked in that role for five years.

Areas with higher real estate costs often earn the highest 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 high and the cost of living is higher.

what do construction managers do

What skills do construction managers need?

To be a construction manager, you’ll need a high degree of construction and building knowledge, which will be acquired through experience on-site and enriched by a degree or a training qualification.

Someone who’s started as a construction worker (learn how much construction workers make here), 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 ensure all aspects of the project are running to plan.

You’ll need strong leadership skills and the ability to communicate effectively to a wide range of people to ensure instructions are explained correctly, and the proper 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 the go-to person in case of project emergencies.

A construction manager will be competent with the software and technologies needed to do their job. Good computer skills such as word processing, PowerPoint, spreadsheets, and email are essential.

Construction managers will often have assertive yet motivational personalities and be able to confidently project instructions to their team while also being good listeners when it comes to communicating with clients and other contractors. Separately, if you’re looking for opportunities as a skilled-trade worker, check out our post on becoming an electrician.

What is in a construction manager’s job description?

Below is an example of a construction manager job description. Please browse our site for additional residential construction manager job descriptions.

Construction Manager Job Opening

Residential Homebuilding Career Opportunity

We’re teaming with a leading homebuilder in Huntsville, AL, searching for a Construction Manager to effectively manage and be directly responsible for the construction field operations for one or more of their single-family communities.  A construction background with a fast-paced, high-volume homebuilder is necessary.

Attention Superintendents, Field Managers, and Construction Managers:  We seek high drive, ambitious candidates with a proactive, get-it-done attitude.  Work with some of the best / brightest leadership on a divisional and corporate level in the homebuilding industry.

As a Community Construction Manager, you’ll manage subcontractors and maintain systems, procedures, quality standards, and cost efficiencies following company standards to build beautiful homes.  The comp, company benefits, and the opportunity for personal and professional growth are solid for this opportunity.

Construction Manager Responsibilities

  • Monitor the start-to-close and backlog process monthly to facilitate the achievement of the business plan while ensuring consistent activity levels in all departments.
  • Ensure homes are built on a budget, on time, and per the quality standards established by the company.
  • Assist in the value engineering of all construction products and procedures.
  • Ensure the accurate and timely preparation of all start packages.
  • Monitor variance information and strategize with department managers to identify and correct recurring or preventable problems.
  • Ensure all job site activities comply with the company’s established safety policies and procedures and OSHA/EPA requirements.
  • Ensure the systems and equipment being utilized by all homebuilding personnel are as up-to-date and effective as possible.
  • Ensure all established processes and systems relative to homebuilding personnel are being adhered to as formulated, and initiate the development and implementation of new construction-related techniques to enhance and improve construction operations.
  • Ensure all models and community features meet the established appearance standards.
  • Review exceptions to the warranty standards and identify strategies for correcting recurring or preventable problems.
  • Review all warranty expenses and approve any items requiring approval.
  • Review all customer survey results quarterly and formulate strategies for addressing areas of concern.
  • Provide initial and ongoing training to direct reports to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to perform all position requirements successfully.
  • Establish performance expectations with direct reports and provide the support and direction to achieve the desired results.

Construction Manager Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • Five years of experience in home building is required.
  • Excellent analytical and writing capabilities.
  • Must be able to present ideas, concepts, and technical strategies on an individual and group basis.
  • Public speaking experience a plus
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethic, team player

what is a construction manager

Are construction managers happy?

A construction manager’s job can be high-stress 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 while also trying to stay on top of the budget.

In most cases, your happiness as a construction manager will depend on your boss because “People don’t quit bad jobs; they quit bad bosses.” Research suggests there’s truth behind this saying: bosses matter far more for employee job satisfaction than any other factor we measured. But what makes a great boss? The Harvard Business Review suggests that if your boss can do your job, you’re more likely to be happy at work.

The financial rewards of being a construction manager may be eye-catching for some, but the job comes with huge 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 massive demand for this role in the industry. Most construction managers will vouch 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 but not always enough time, which may leave some construction managers underachieving compared to others in their careers.

A construction manager’s role can offer poor work-life balance as they may find they need to work more than their full-time hours to ensure 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 with the physical work on the project site to ensure deadlines are met.

Although the job of a construction manager is mostly to oversee and supervise the project and ensure everything is going smoothly, the physical labor is usually left to the construction managers.

what does a residential project manager do

Where do you find construction manager jobs?

Many online job sites will assist you in finding construction manager jobs. The best job boards and search engines have easy-to-use, fast search tools that allow you to search based on the type of construction job you’re looking for, your location, and other criteria. On any of these online job boards we’ll mention below, you can effortlessly search by job titles, such as director of construction, project manager, superintendent, electrician, etc.

1. MatchBuilt

Many of the home builder job opportunities we offer are confidential and exclusive to MatchBuilt, and they cannot be found elsewhere, online or off. Homebuilding job seekers can submit a resume, apply for full-time positions, and subscribe to job alerts to stay updated on brand-new opportunities.

2. LinkedIn

No surprise here, LinkedIn is among the leading job boards for professional home builder candidates seeking a change. Among the top things you should know about LinkedIn is that the more complete and descriptive your profile summary section is, the more hits from prospective employers you will receive.

3. Construction Company Career Pages

Most of the leading construction companies, public and private, across the county will list their jobs on their websites. It’s a toss-up as to whether or not you should apply on a career page or the same position posted on a job board.

4. Google for Jobs

Google for Jobs is a newer product that aggregates jobs from the internet and other job search engines. If you type what you are looking for in a Google search bar, such as “homebuilding jobs,” typically, local results from where you are searching will be shown.

5. Ladders

The Ladders job search site focuses on job openings for upper-level executives and professionals aiming for the management suite. There are not a lot of construction jobs on the site, but they can be helpful.

6. ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter uses innovative “AI” technology to learn about your job preferences as you apply for jobs in their extensive inventory of openings. Users then receive notices of posts that meet their preferences. The site also presents industry-leading salary information about targeted assignments and showcases trending companies, cities, and job categories.

7. Indeed

Indeed.com is another massive search engine for job postings. The site visits job boards and corporate websites and returns listings based on the keywords you select, making searching much more efficient. You will note that ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Google for jobs and very similar job aggregators.

8. Niche Job Sites

Niche job websites are excellent for finding job openings not typically listed on other sites. There are a couple of construction-specific websites to consider.

9. CareerBuilder

Most job seekers already know that CareerBuilder is a giant job board that provides job listings, resume postings, career advice, and resources for job seekers.

10. Jobsora

Jobsora is another prevalent job board that lists jobs in all industries, including residential construction. The Jobsora job board secures job listings directly from employers and has expanded local listings by partnering with various websites.

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. If you’re considering going into the industry, an open mind is needed for these possibilities.

what is in a construction manager job description

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