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What is the best career pathway in construction management?

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

a man stands at a crossroads in his construction career and wonders which way to turn

If you aspire to have a career in the construction industry, and are unsure where to start, then these construction management pathways will help!

This article will answer questions such as:

  • What are the different careers in construction?

  • What are the best pathways to achieve these careers?

  • What is construction management?

You’ll also learn about what courses you’ll need to take and what qualifications you’ll need for each of the different pathways.

What is construction management?

Construction management involves overseeing a project from start to finish and using construction management techniques. It is a hands-on career that involves talking with many different people and trying to always get everyone involved the best outcome. The career path usually offers secure jobs with the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. This is a great career to become involved if you have high aspirations for your working life.

a group of construction management professionals stand on site looking at a clipboard

What are the different careers in construction management?

Construction Site Manager

This job involves monitoring the progress of construction projects directly by being on site with the contractor and motivating and focusing the workforce, as well as ensuring that the construction site is safe and secure. This job requires good communication and team working skills to make sure that projects are staying on time.

Construction Manager

This job makes you responsible for the practical management and planning for each stage of the construction project. You will ensure schedules of work are being completed on time, supervise your team, and agree budgets with the client and contractor. This job requires good time management skills and leadership skills to ensure projects run smoothly and that staff work effectively.

Construction Project Manager

This job is like a construction manager but has a larger scope. The job includes monitoring all phases of construction, supervising a team, liaising with the client, ensuring projects stay on budget and on time, visiting sites and dealing with any issues that arise during the project period. This job requires excellent communication skills, good team-working, time management skills and being very efficient with your time.

General Contractor

A general contractor oversees a construction team who are working on the project. They ensure health and safety advice is being followed, hire subcontractors, and collaborate with the client. The general contractor is responsible for being the first person to act if a problem arises to attempt to keep the project on track.

two construction management professionals look at site drawings

What are the best pathways to achieve these careers?

Construction Site Manager

A Higher National Diploma (HND), a foundation degree or an undergraduate degree accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in courses such as building studies, civil engineering and construction will be required to become a site manager.

Also, a site manager will need a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card to prove that they can work safely on a building site and that they are qualified for the job.

Furthermore, to bolster your qualification, becoming chartered with a relevant body will make becoming a high-level site manager more attainable as companies will see this as being highly qualified for the job.

Construction Manager

A Higher National Diploma (HND) or a degree accredited by CIOB in courses such as construction management, building management or project management will be needed to become a construction manager. To become highly qualified, a construction manager would want to gain chartership and become chartered by a relevant body.

Construction Project Manager

A BSc (Hons) in Construction Project Management or a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management would be the best qualification to achieve to become a construction project manager. To become highly qualified, extra courses can be taken after your BSc (Hons) to help broaden your knowledge of the construction industry. These courses can be taken alongside your education or employment. Finally, to become as highly qualified as possible for a project manager, gaining the title of a chartered project professional would be desirable.

General Contractor

The qualifications most desirable for becoming a general contractor are being experienced leading a team, having hands-on construction experience, high quality, and broad building skills, being proficient with Microsoft software such as Excel, Word, and MS Project. You will also need excellent communication skills and the ability to multitask and be flexible in your job duties.

a group of construction management professionals stand on site looking at drawings

Our key recommendations

  • Gain work experience in the sector of the construction industry you would like to go into

  • Have a keen eye for design and detail

  • Be proficient with Microsoft Software

  • Have good communication skills

  • Become familiar with construction contracts and administration

  • Have good time management

  • All importantly, Work Hard!

If you’re interested in a career in construction, check out this blog post on how to choose the best construction company to work for.

members of the construction management team stand with arms around each others shoulders. They are all smiling


Oscar Hewitt

Oscar is our first degree apprentice. He has recently completed A-levels in Philosophy and Ethics, History and Business. He is studying with UCEM towards BSc (hons) in Construction Management with MRICS.

When completed he will achieve his ambition of becoming a chartered surveyor.

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