Tips on Becoming a Great Construction Project Manager

Posted on: October 28, 2016
Tags: Staff, Construction
construction project manager, hudawn, jobs

Tips on Becoming a Great Construction Project Manager

HuDawn has some of the best construction project managers in the market. Working on high profile healthcare, retail, and corporate fast-paced construction projects has built up their acumen in keeping jobs progressing as planned. No matter the size, they know that the smallest details can make a big difference. Here are four tips from our team to help any construction project manager move their way up at HuDawn or in the industry:

  1. Education
    We pride ourselves on building from within - giving young talent the tools and support to grow their career with confidence. While experience in construction trade positions will give a future project manager the hands-on knowledge they need (see tip number two), it is still imperative that you get the construction management education as well. Through a bachelor's degree or certification programs you must learn the complexities of the construction industry such as estimating, cost control, risk and safety management and contract administration. Once you have your degree, the learning isn't over. You must be a student of the industry throughout the course of your career. Subscribe to trade newsletters, join construction associations (like ABC) and attend meetings and trainings, stay up on trends through podcasts and online article, and keep your ears open always to better understand changes in the field. 
  2. Experience
    Education is necessary to advance as a project manager and move on to bigger projects. But practical experience in construction can lay an important foundation. Whether it's a summer job as a general laborer while you're in school or an apprenticeship, the field experience can give you valuable exposure to how job sites are managed. But maybe more importantly, give you an understanding for what goes into the work and production side so you can manage, influence and motivate a team to stay on schedule and perform at the highest standards.  

    We have several success stories at HuDawn of people who started their career in a trade like carpentry or facility service, evolved to a superintendent and then onto a project manager. Any motivated individual with a passion for construction can take the same course as long as they are willing, adaptable, and driven to grow their career.

  3. Communication
    We can't emphasize enough how crucial good communication skills are to a project manager. You'll be dealing with owners, construction management companies, superintendents, architects, subcontractors, vendors, inspectors, internal management, even end users, all with different issues and demands. Your job entails juggling multiple and competing requests under sometimes stressful conditions, so the ability to remain unflappable - at least on the outside - will inspire confidence all around you. There's a lot of paperwork involved with the job, from email correspondence to RFIs (requests for information) to progress reports, so hone your writing ability in addition to verbal skills and salesmanship. 

  4. Computer and Accounting Skills
    A project manager spends as much time, or more, in the office as on the job site. Scheduling and managing subcontractors, creating project schedules, tracking process, keeping track of change orders and managing a complex budget require great computer skills. While HuDawn has project management and job costing software to help manage these things from any location, skill with spreadsheet software and the ability to navigate your way through technology is invaluable. And math skills and knowledge of accounting are vital to working with budgets and billing. 

If you are interested in pursuing a career in construction project management please feel free to reach out to one of our PM's to talk further. And we always encourage a motivated individual to apply and reach out so we can have a conversation about what your career goals are and see if we can find a fit today that could lead to management in the future. 

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