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How Do I Become a Construction Project Manager?

A construction project manager is responsible for making sure that the project is in keeping with the original specifications.
Project managers should obtain a degree in construction science or a related field.
Article Details
  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a construction project manager, it would be best to have both a degree and certification in construction science. Construction industry experience, whether as a foreman or as another type of manager, would also be very useful. In addition, project management training through certification as a professional project manager (PMP) will also help you become a construction project manager.

Being in a position to manage any construction project usually starts with obtaining a degree in construction science or a related field. Getting a civil engineering degree, mechanical engineering degree, or an architecture degree are all sound ways to build the skills necessary to become a construction project manager. Courses in these subjects will teach you how to coordinate all parts of a construction job from from design to final execution. You will learn more about the financial side of construction which involves detailed accounting and billing procedures, particularly in the construction science major.

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After receiving your bachelor's degree, there is the option of getting a master's degree in construction science or a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) if you would rather work as an executive. Masters programs in construction science focus on engineering procedures specific to the field. They also allow students to concentrate on their own matters of interests within construction, from management training to the rules regarding estimating and scheduling. Getting an MBA as opposed to another type of master's degree may give you a leg up in the hiring process for construction project managers. Such a degree usually commands a higher salary right out of school.

Certification to become a construction project manager can be obtained in a variety of ways. Depending on your country, there will be different names for construction management certification. For instance, in the United States, certification in this field is given by either the Construction Manager Certification Institute or the American Institute of Constructors. Both types of exams require a considerable amount of study time in order to pass. Construction field experience is typically required for anyone seeking to take exams from construction management governing organizations.

Securing Professional Project Management (PMP) certification could also be helpful. Studying for and taking this exam will ensure that you have the basic skills to manage any project, from coordination professionals to knowing when to close a project. Successfully passing the PMP exam can also create future project management opportunities in other fields, should you decide to switch careers in the future.

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