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Construction project manager

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Summary of occupation

Construction project managers co-ordinate and oversee large construction projects both onsite and in an administrative capacity. They are responsible for ensuring that the construction of hospitals, office buildings, hotels and large housing developments run on time and under budget. Construction project managers also consult with planners and architects to estimate the cost of projects and amounts of materials required, plan the scheduling and construction procedures that will be undertaken, and liaise with subcontractors and building owners. They are also responsible for supervising and directing site managers to ensure that quality, safety and cost standards are all met. Construction project managers work all over the state,overseeing the construction of everything from large high-rise office buildings in Perth's busy CBD to schools and hospitals in our cities and towns.

ANZSCO description: Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates construction of civil engineering and building projects, and the physical and human resources involved in the construction process. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Building and Construction Manager, Construction Manager
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Construction project managers need:

  • knowledge of and experience in the construction industry
  • excellent organisational and written and oral communications skills
  • team management skills
  • flexibility
  • the ability to work effectively under pressure
  • effective time management skills
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Working conditions

Construction project managers work mostly in office environments, but may be required to visit the construction sites of the projects they are overseeing. They generally work regular business hours, however they will also be expected to work overtime to meet project deadlines. These workers also need to be able to provide training sessions, workshops and presentations and attend meetings, which may require travel interstate or overseas. Construction project managers can also expect to work in stressful situations.

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Salary details

On average, construction project managers can expect to earn between $2 885 and $3 462 per week ($150 000 and $180 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a construction project manager develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Construction project managers mostly use computers, including data management software. They may also be required to use computer-aided design (CAD) software depending on their role. They are required to be familiar with many of the technologies and building techniques used in the construction industry. They may also use project management software to assist in planning and managing the various aspects of the project or projects they are working on.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a construction project manager, you usually need to complete a formal qualification in building and construction or construction management. You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a course in project management.

The Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) [Builder’s Registration] and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) are offered at State Training Providers and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant degree courses in construction management. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Most construction project managers will generally have worked for a number of years in building and construction positions before progressing to a project manager role. They may be required to complete further studies in project management.

In Western Australia, builders carrying out work valued at more than $20 000 must be registered as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. Contact the Building Commission Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for more information.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety​​.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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