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Construction Project Managers are in high demand right now. The construction industry as a whole has a plethora of opportunities for construction professionals due to the high volume of project work Australia-wide. Project Managers of all capacities have the opportunity to take their pick of companies, projects & sectors, with considerable emphasis on Tier 2 & 3 builders.
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Project Manager Career Pathways
It’s usually a minimum of 10+ years in a Project Manager role before the next step in a Project Manager career pathway. This is especially so in Tier 1 construction companies but may be less so in Tier 2 or 3 companies. There are a quite a few career pathway options for a Project Manager but we’ll explore the more traditional here.
A Project Manager may choose to continue to be a project specialist. This means stepping into a Senior Project Manager role and then into a Project Director role (if the organsition takes on project large enough). Project Directors look after large projects valued in the vicinity of $200M+.
The alternative is to step into a managerial pathway such as Construction Manager. A Construction Manager manages multiple projects of which each has its own Project Manager. A Construction Manager manages a suite of projects and the people delivering them.
How to become a construction Project Manager
To become a Project Manager, traditionally you will step up from Project Coordinator, Contract Administrator or Assistant Project Manager. Prior to 2021/22, 10+ years of experience was the average before becoming a Project Manager role, however, Tier 2 & 3 builders are now promoting talent in much shorter time periods (anywhere from 3-5 years).
95% of Project Managers have completed Bachelor Degrees in relevant disciplines. See Project Coordinator & Project Engineer Pathways here.
Project Manager Job Description
Dependant on the size of the project, a Project Manager will managing a team of people including Site Manager, Foreman, a team of Contract Administrators and Project Coordinators.
Additionally, Project Managers co-ordinate work programs for the job site during construction and ensures that works adhere to time, budget and safety standards throughout the project. The Project Manager must ensure that all projects are completed to the client’s expectations while representing the company’s values and reputation in the market. Thus, the Project Manager is involved with projects from the beginning through to completion and must maintain a strong presence at every stage of construction for end-to-end project management.
Key skills that Project Manager candidates must possess include leadership; understanding of Occupational Health and Safety legislation and requirements; time management skills; and the ability to oversee projects on a large scale.
The Project Manager takes full accountability for the financial management of projects and must possess strong financial acumen. The ability to manage and control a budget is imperative to success in the role.
Project Managers must be strong communicators and feel comfortable to present to clients regularly, along with presenting to various other stakeholders as required. They must also lead and develop teams on site and should be confident to do so.
Project Manager Interview
Nick Corp, Project Manager, talks about the duties of a construction Project Manager and his career path into the role.
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