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What is a typical day like for a Construction Management professional? Are they strapped to a computer and a desk or hands on at the job site?

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I will be a college freshman on August 19, 2016. For as many years as I can recall, I have planned to be an Engineer. After several job shadows last summer, I am now unsure about being trapped at a desk for 40+ hours a week. I still have a propensity for math/engineering and that area of study. After reviewing the majors available at my college, I discovered Construction Management. I am looking for additional insight on this career. #construction-management

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Pete’s Answer

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As a Construction Manager, you will do just that: manage construction. You will be out in the field on a construction project but, you won't be hands-on per se. That means you won't be driving nails, turning bolts, pouring concrete, or welding structural members together. But, you will be getting your hands and boots dirty as you oversee the work, making sure it gets done according to spec and schedule, and ensuring materials and tools get to site when they are needed so that your crews aren't standing around and depleting your budget. It can be quite satisfying, especially when you're working with crews that take pride in their work. Overall, you may spend about 25% to 50% behind a desk or a meeting table as there are lots of meetings on a typical project!


Even though you would still have to do some desk time, I would suggest that you complement your construction management program with either a double major in mechanical or civil engineering. This will both broaden your scope of technical knowledge on an industrial construction project and distinguish you from the crowd of construction managers who focus on budgets, schedules and reporting. Good luck.

Mr. de Graaf, Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Your explanation was very helpful. I will consider a dual course of study as I continue my research my career choices.Take care and thanks again for your time. Joseph W. Translate
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Rachel’s Answer

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You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



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