20 Pros and Cons of Being a Construction Manager

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Construction Managers are the lead project managers assigned to carry out the tasks involved in planning and implementing residential, commercial, and industrial building projects.

These critical team members are primarily responsible for the building and maintenance of some of our favorite roads, bridges, and structures that keep our society going. 

You can usually identify the Construction Manager on a building project by the duties they perform.

They go by many names, including any of the following.

Keep reading to learn more about some pros and cons of being a construction manager based on people already doing the job. 

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Construction Manager – Job Roles

  • Foreman
  • General Contractor 
  • Construction Superintendent
  • Project Manager

Regardless of their official titles, the roles and responsibilities of Construction Managers are generally the same and can include any or all duties below. 

Construction Manager – Daily Duties and Functions

  1. Hiring and Firing Construction Crews and Employees
  2. Maintaining OSHA Safety Regulations and Other Industry Standards
  3. Managing Construction Project Budgets
  4. Negotiating Construction Bids and Contracts 
  5. Networking and Collaborating with Project Engineers and Architects
  6. Clear Communication with Financially Interested Parties and Stakeholders

How Much Do Construction Managers Typically Make?

The US BLS reports the average annual salary for Construction Managers at around $99,000.00 annually.

Their experience, education, and work location affect full-time construction managers’ earnings. 

For example, Construction Managers who work in California have an average annual earnings potential of around $128,000.00 which is substantially more than the national average. 

10 Pros of Being a Construction Manager  

US News and World Report list Construction Managers as the number one job in the field.

Today’s construction managers are educated, well-paid, integral members of construction teams that head some of the world’s most complex building projects.

Pro #1. – Excellent Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits are among the best parts of being a construction manager.

The US Labor Department reports that most construction managers in the US make a starting salary of around one hundred thousand dollars a year plus benefits. 

Pro #2. – High Demand Equates to Long-Term Job Security

Worrying about job security isn’t usually a concern for Construction Managers and related construction professionals since their expertise is required on almost every residential, commercial, or industrial building project in their area.

There is always a high demand for skilled and trained Construction Managers to head up new building projects or provide expert advice. 

Pro #3. – Complex Skills Can Open Doors to Leadership Opportunities

If you’re looking for a career that allows you to showcase your leadership skills and abilities, then being a construction manager may be the career for you.

Construction managers are among the leaders of building projects and often have many direct reports as employees or subcontracts who rely on their leadership skills and advice to complete complex building projects. 

Pro #4. – Career Advancement Opportunities are Abundant

There is plenty of room for advancement for today’s Construction Management professionals.

Seasoned professionals with years of experience in the field can easily step up to take on more challenging and advanced positions, including the following. 

  1. Project Director
  2. Vice President of Construction
  3. Chief Operating Officer
  4. President

Pro #.5 – Community Building Means Having a Direct Impact on Our World

Construction managers build communities – in the literal sense of the word.

Community building is one of the most rewarding aspects of construction management jobs, where skilled construction workers help to construct schools, libraries, hospitals, and other key facilities that keep our cities and towns going.

There are a wide variety of new projects on the horizon for Construction Managers with technology experience who can help build smart cities and towns across the US. 

Pro #6. – Flexible Work Hours

Advanced construction management positions often allow people with this role to have flexible work hours.

Many active forepersons can set their and their crew’s schedules to accommodate personal preferences, everyday issues, and weather conditions that can make working outside unbearable or impossible. 

Pro #7. – High Demand Jobs 

The life of a Construction Manager can be filled with exciting travel stops along their work route.

Construction Managers can work in a wide variety of locations, including local, national, and international construction work sites.

Eager new construction managers who want to see the world can apply for jobs in the area or region where they wish to travel or visit. 

Pro #8. Networking opportunities on Complex Projects are Limitless

Managing the daily operations of active construction and building sites requires a lot of networking.

Project managers will spend large chunks of time having in-person and virtual meetings with staff and other key project members to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. 

Pro #9. – Construction Jobs Offer a Variety of Work Locations 

The type and scope of projects that are available for today’s construction professionals to take on are endless.

Variety is the spice of life in this flexible position, which can find Construction Managers acting as project managers for building a new local elementary school or an ice-filled oasis in the deserts of Dubai the next. 

Pro #10. Taking on New Jobs Can Lead to Unique Travel Opportunities

One of the many perks of working as a professional Construction Manager in high-level construction jobs is having the opportunity to choose your work locations.

Many construction projects advertise and request skilled construction staff from around the world.

This makes it easy for new supervisors to choose a work location close to home or abroad in one of their most desired locations to visit. 

10 Cons of Becoming a Construction Manager 

Con #1. Long and Excruciating Work Hours

If the sound of working 12-18 hour shifts or even longer in cases of emergency is unappealing to you, then you may want to consider working in another field.

Construction Managers can work grueling hours when starting new projects or resolving construction issues on existing projects.

These integral staff members are often on call for emergencies and can be called in to work at almost any time of the day or night. 

Con #2. – Demanding Work Schedule

Along with working excruciatingly long hours, construction management professionals often find themselves on-call and at the mercy of the project timeline when it comes to their work schedule. 

Con #3. – Physically Challenging Work

Working in construction is not for the faint of heart!

A day in the life of a construction management professional can often include hours of grueling work that requires lifting, bending, lifting, and carrying hundreds or thousands of pounds of materials at a time. 

Con #4. – Hazardous Work Conditions – Weather, War Zones, Polluted Environments, Disaster Zones 

While some construction pros are lucky enough to choose their work environment — others aren’t.

This means their work environment can vary in size, scope, location, and accessibility.

Construction workers often find themselves working in desolate or remote locations where hazardous materials are housed or present. 

Con #5. – Stressful Work Environment

Working on a schedule that requires coordination with other management professionals, team members, and stakeholders can place a strain on construction department heads.

Many construction professionals report working in stressful environments for the duration of projects that can last for years on end. 

Con #6. – Competition for Jobs

The flip side of working in an in-demand profession is that specialized or high-paying jobs can generate extremely high competition for these critical roles.

People who work in construction leadership often find themselves competing for key bids and profitable projects. 

Con #7. – Good Communication Skills – Mandatory

If you aren’t a people person, working as a foreperson on a construction crew is likely not the best job for you.

Leaders on job sites must have excellent communication skills for communicating critical project details to the community, their construction crew, stakeholders, public officials, and other interested parties. 

Con #8. – Attention to Detail – Always Required 

Making a critical mistake on a construction site can mean the difference between life and death for workers and the public who visit buildings and structures when they are completed.

Attention to detail on the job is “always” required for construction management professionals. 

Con #9. Problem-Solving Skills are Always Required

Along with attention to detail, construction leads are often required to come up with novel solutions to construction problems on the fly for projects to proceed and be completed on time. 

Con #10. – Budgetary Constraints

One of the biggest frustrations of forepersons is the inability to choose their budgets for building projects.

These front-line professionals are often required to deliver expensive building projects with no wiggle room for mistakes or impromptu changes that can drastically affect project budgets. 

20 Pros and Cons of Being a Construction Manager – Summary Table

10 Pros of Being a Construction Manager10 Cons of Becoming a Construction Manager
Pro #1. - Excellent Salary and BenefitsCon #1. Long and Excruciating Work Hours
Pro #2. - High Demand Equates to Long-Term Job SecurityCon #2. - Demanding Work Schedule
Pro #3. - Complex Skills Can Open Doors to Leadership OpportunitiesCon #3. - Physically Challenging Work
Pro #4. - Career Advancement Opportunities are AbundantCon #4. - Hazardous Work Conditions - Weather, War Zones, Polluted Environments, Disaster Zones
Pro #.5 - Community Building Means Having a Direct Impact on Our WorldCon #5. - Stressful Work Environment
Pro #6. - Flexible Work HoursCon #6. - Competition for Jobs
Pro #7. - High Demand JobsCon #7. - Good Communication Skills - Mandatory
Pro #8. Networking opportunities on Complex Projects are LimitlessCon #8. - Attention to Detail - Always Required
Pro #9. - Construction Jobs Offer a Variety of Work LocationsCon #9. Problem-Solving Skills are Always Required
Pro #10. Taking on New Jobs Can Lead to Unique Travel OpportunitiesCon #10. - Budgetary Constraints

Should I Become a Construction Manager? 

Construction Managers are integral components of construction and building teams that wield tremendous power and influence over the progression and outcome of residential, commercial, and industrial building projects. 

You should become a construction manager if you’re excited by the idea of taking on new structural challenges and making a difference in many communities.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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