What does a typical day look like for a Construction Manager?
How long did the process take of becoming a Construction Manager?
What types of training or education would be needed to become a construction manager?
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In addition to that, the CM might be involved in ordering material, or at least reviewing material ordered, ensuring delivery times meet the build timelines, reviewing invoices, control change orders, etc.
For my projects, the CM structures their day based on priority and using basic PM skills and tools with scope, schedule and budget being the primary topics for focus. This means a CM could be constantly shifting gears throughout their day.
Scope: When new projects are assigned the CM will need to review the scope and work with the operations team and equipment engineers to determine what needs to be accomplished, how it is accomplished and when it can be accomplished.
Budget: Once the scope is defined the CM needs to determine the cost. As the project proceeds along its lifecycle the CM needs to stay in touch with the contractors, ensuring all budgetary risks are being tracked and hopefully avoided. If there are any impacts to the budget then the CM will need to identify them and work with the contractor to communicate the budget challenge to the customer. This is typically an addition to the scope or a delay in schedule that was not identified in the scoping/scheduling phase. There are several other factors as well. Once the project is complete then the CM needs to ensure the GC and CM work with the customer to close the budget out.
Schedule: I combine 2 phases of a project into this topic. The CM needs to stay in touch with the contractors and make sure we are on schedule and everyone is communicating. This communication is where the CM will flag any risks to the schedule and communicate them to the customer. Once the project is complete the CM needs to work with the GC to produce a closeout package and provide it to the customer.
The process to become a CM in telecom is not too difficult. I believe most transitioned from a construction background. Some certainly came in without any formal experience and started out in a supporting role for CMs first and learned from the ground up.
In regards to the education and training, well, nothing beats good ol' fashioned on the job experience (IMO). A degree is always desired but there are other certifications recognized. In addition to what was previously mentioned, PMBOK has a certification for CM and PM. Communication and organization are critical skills to have if you want to succeed.
Always have a good plan A with enough buffer. At the same time make a Plan B and have it ready as well.
Another important skill for a construction manager is project management, using all the PM skills to stay ahead of the curve and deliver projects on time as well as within the budget.
Try to understand your team's capabilities and work with them to strengthen their opportunities and improve their strength and share it with other team members.
1. Project management: This is how we make things happen! How to create and manage a schedule, how to manage a project team, and how to track progress toward the goal.
2. Safety: There are a lot of safety-related rules and best practices that are specific to construction. Construction managers are responsible for making sure the project team is working safely.
3. Financial management: Keeping track of the money aspects of the project, like how much of the budget has been spent, is a key responsibility of the construction manager.
An excellent path to the knowledge you need as a construction manager is the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) certification. You can find out more about it here: https://www.cmaanet.org/certification/ccm
If you have a can-do spirit and like to think through the details of things, I think you'll have a great future as a construction manager. Good luck!
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How long did the process take of becoming a Construction Manager? The duration may vary depending on training or education. On the job training it could take about five (5) years of experience in the cellular or telecommunications industry to gain a good handle on Construction management.
What types of training or education would be needed to become a construction manager? Managing Construction takes multiple skill sets. The Actual Construction knowledge can be gained with on the Job training. A major skill set is Project Management. Advanced organizational and planning skills by setting and communicating priorities; anticipating workload impact on resources of both self and team; delegating where appropriate; consistently following up on outstanding items; and providing focus in meetings and discussions. The ability to communicate clearly and concisely; applying appropriate grammar; listening attentively; presenting ideas in a logical, compelling manner in both small and large group settings; adjusting to meet the needs of the reader or listener; communicating technical information to a non-technical audience; and integrating large volumes of information from multiple sources. A CM will need to know the industry standards and specifications applicable to the function being performed. The wireless industry standards shall include the National Electrical Safety Code, Bellcore Blue Book-Manual of Contractor's Procedures, standards of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as well as all relevant National/State/Local Jurisdiction regulations and codes.
What does a typical day look like for a Construction Manager? Conduct site visits as necessary and appropriate to the stage of construction checking the progress and quality of the work completed and to determine in general if the work is being performed in a manner indicating that the work when completed shall be properly constructed in accordance with the construction documents. Prepare field observation reports confirming observations and noted deficiencies. Review and approval of the contractor's schedule and testing procedures for equipment and systems, and, if appropriate, participate in the startup and testing. Verify that all installation records have been submitted and all required training has been received. Interface with internal and external departments as well as regulatory agencies by interacting with municipal agencies in the pursuit of building permits, construction inspections, and obtaining certificates of occupancy for network facilities. Review drawings prepared by design professionals for compliance with Network Standards, structural, mechanical, and electrical feasibility; value engineering, zoning, FAA/FCC survey.
Really depends on the number of projects you have, type of projects and what phase they are in. Generally, a Construction Manager is responsible for assisting and driving the design of the project all the way through ensuring final project deliverables such as close out documents and pictures. You could be on preliminary site design walks with Architectural and Engineering firms providing input in creating construction documents, in the your office creating bidding documents for upcoming projects, performing preconstruction walks with the contractors who will be building your projects, performing site visits to inspect the progress of your project, in your office updating your leadership on the progress of your project and performing final inspection walks when you project completes. Countless other task that are highly dependent on the type and complexity of your project.
The length of time to become a Construction Manager depends on you past experience and the amount of training you may need for the type of industry you desire. A solid construction background helps you understand the roles of a Construction Manager. Most of your training will be project specific. So get a position on a simple project or somewhere you can be mentored to the project needs.
As you gain experience, you can consider continuing your education. Some Construction Managers choose to get a master's degree or specific certifications to advance in their careers. This can take another 1 to 2 years or even longer. In total, it might take around 7 to 10 years to become an experienced Construction Manager. However, the good news is that you can start working in the construction industry after completing your bachelor's degree. Your journey may vary depending on your choices and opportunities, but remember that it's a rewarding path with room for growth! 😊👷♂️👷♀️