Construction’s reputation doesn’t do it justice.
There has perhaps never been a better time to be a construction manager. For one reason, these workers are in high demand. For another reason, the salaries are high and getting higher.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a construction manager in the United States was $93,370 as of May 2018. The lowest end of the range was $55,240 and the highest was $161,510.
On Glassdoor, a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies and report salaries, the annual salary reported by 51 project managers at one of the largest construction companies in the United States averages out to $113,394.
It’s little wonder that in a recent survey from Dodge Data & Analytics, “earning potential” was chosen by the most respondents as their reason for working in construction.
Other advantages of a career in construction management:
Jobs aplenty. Unemployment in the industry is low, and the employment outlook is positive. According to BLS, employment for construction managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. In today’s record-tight labor market, competition for talent is fierce — good news for qualified job candidates.
Training. Given the current shortage of skilled labor, many construction companies are getting better and better about offering training to their staff. Want to learn a new skill? You probably can, on the company’s dime.
Opportunities for career advancement. This was the second most popular reason for working in construction chosen by respondents in the Dodge survey. In an effort to build their dream teams, forward-thinking construction companies are increasingly outlining paths to advancement for new employees.
Technology. Yes, construction involves digging in the dirt. But construction managers often get to touch plenty of tech, such as BIM, drones, AR/VR and perhaps even artificial intelligence for project scheduling and other applications. Of course there’s also cloud-based construction management software. According to a 2018 McKinsey report, “After decades of under-digitization, the engineering and construction (E&C) sector is making bold moves in a new era.”
Variety. Construction managers don’t spend much time at their desk — they’re in the field, visiting or managing jobsites — and no two days are the same. In the Dodge survey, diversity of work experience came in as the third most popular reason for choosing a construction career.
Pride. Few other industries offer the opportunity to drive down the street and point to something you helped create.
How to become a construction manager? Some managers rise from within the ranks. Many others graduate from a construction management program. The Associated General Contractors of America is one organization that offers scholarships for accredited construction management or construction related engineering programs.
Marianne Wait is an editor and writer who creates content for Fortune 500 brands.