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Construction Project Manager Job Description

Construction Project Managers (CPMs) are specialized project managers who assist in the design, contracting and construction of new and rehabilitative building projects.  CPM's work to implement efficient building practices that span a project from design to completion. As more cost-conscious construction practices come into the market, effectively trained construction project managers are experiencing a surge in demand.

CPM Job Description

The construction project manager is the ultimate authority on the development and completion of a construction project.  Generally, a CPM spends his or her time overseeing the project and hiring and approving work completed by subcontractors as well as negotiating contracts and developing a budget and a timeline for the completion of the project.  If issues arise with contractors or permitting, the CPM is responsible for resolving those issues with either the subcontractors or government officials.  These professionals also works as a liaison between the construction team, architects, designers and the owners and stakeholders of the project to facilitate communication, decision making and problem solving.  

Employment Outlook For CPM's

According to 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average growth rate for jobs until 2020 will be 14%. The demand for Construction Project Managers will be somewhat higher than average, at approximately 17%.  The redevelopment of urban areas as well as the need for cost savvy CPMs who are familiar with new eco-friendly building techniques will create the need for an additional 86,600 CPM's through 2020. 

Potential Earnings For CPM's

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013 edition, Construction Project Managers’ median salary was about $40 per hour or $83,860 per year.  The most lucrative positions are on large urban or suburban projects that have multiple phases led by CPMs that have more than five years of experience.  CPMs who have a Bachelor's Degree tend to earn a higher salary and have greater opportunities than those who have no degree or an Associate's Degree.  Engineers or architects who have an MBA or other business administration and financial management skills also have the opportunity to work on the largest projects with the highest salaries.

CPM Job Duties

Construction Project Managers have a variety of job responsibilities they may experience on a daily basis.  CPMs generally begin working on a project well before any actual construction takes place.  Beginning in the early development stages, CPMs not only help to plan the project itself, but work to coordinate the different services that will be needed as well as develop and maintain the working budget.  As the project begins, these professionals take an active role in supervising the progress of each stage of the construction, planning for each phase prior to its start.  

Education and Training

Construction Project Managers require a broad background in both construction techniques as well as design, engineering and business administration skills.  Having a minimum of an associate's degree in combination with a five year span of experience offers the best opportunity to gain an entry level CPM position.  There are many online construction project management programs that can assist new CPM's in gaining the background and knowledge they need in order to operate their projects with the most effectiveness and efficiency.  Online CPM programs provide cutting-edge knowledge of the newest techniques in project management, offer opportunities to network and improve a CPM's skill base as they pursue more lucrative positions. 

If you are the type of person who enjoys the challenges of managing numerous teams to arrive at a single end result, and you have a knack for numbers and scheduling, consider a career as a construction project manager.