The Constructor

Career in Construction Management

Civil Engineering

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Construction Management is the practice of managing a construction, totally or in part. Construction managers, salaried or self-employed, plan, coordinate, and direct a wide range of construction projects. They also oversee construction supervisors and workers. Construction managers divide all the construction activities in stages, budgeting time to meet construction deadlines. They evaluate the most cost-effective schedule for completion and are responsible for ensuring that all the work is completed on schedule.

Traditionally, construction has involved the three-party, two-relationship model. The first is the owner designer relationship, in which the project owner appoints the designer (usually an architect or an engineer) to plan or design the project. The second, that commences after the design is ready, is the owner contractor relationship. Where, the contractor is given the project to realize based on his quotation of costs and expenditure. Lately however, this model has undergone a radical change. The trend now is to rely on construction management.

Training and Education:
Construction Management is also the study of construction with regard to managerial and technological aspects like, construction management, construction science, construction risk etc. The most common and widely recognized format for construction management education is the scholastic degree, baccalaureate, and graduate degree. Other formats may be on the job training and apprenticeship, and higher education. High school students who want to opt for a career in construction management should take a lot of math, also Chemistry, physics and accounting. Many colleges and universities offer master’s degrees in construction management or construction science. Someone who has a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field can also get a master’s degree in construction management. One can obtain a master’s degree in finance or business administration to improve career prospects. There are also industry association sponsored training programs and two year programs.

Job prospects:
Excellent construction management employment opportunities are available as the huge construction boom needs a large number of qualified individuals. Also, the increasing complexity of construction projects is creating extra demand for managers. New technology and laws setting standards for materials, safety, and environmental etc have complicated the construction process, requiring trained managers to handle it. Opportunity for advancement may vary depending upon the person’s performance and the size and type of company.

Construction/Project managers have limitless employment opportunities both in public and private sector infrastructure development companies. Public sector air port, highways and port development institutions and government departments like railways and defence are among the top employer of construction/project managers. Project managers also find favorable employment options in power, energy, telecommunication and IT related companies. They also can work with real estate developers. Small companies may hire project/construction managers for proper management of their projects. Experienced project managers also can work independently as consultants. They also can work with consultancy firms dealing with building and construction matter.

Institutes Offering
Unlike other management programmes there are only few institutes in the country that offer courses in construction/project management. Some premier institutes are National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), Pune; The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad; Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; University of Roorkee, Roorkee and Anna University, Chennai. Besides Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi also offers distance learning courses in construction/project management.

Qualities of a Construction Manager
Construction managers must be flexible and effective. They must be decisive and work well under pressure, or with unexpected delays. A flair for simultaneous activity coordination, analysis, and problem solving, is necessary. Good communication skills and Spanish language competence are important. Construction managers may have to be “on call” at all times to deal with emergencies on-site. Be prepared to work much more than a 40-hour week to meet established construction deadlines. The work is not inherently dangerous; however, construction managers must be careful onsite. Also, be prepared to be out in the all kinds of weather, and wet muddy sites. However, if you are an outdoors person, this field should be perfect.
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