It’s an exciting time to be a construction project manager. The housing industry has rebounded since the collapse of the market in 2008. Construction projects are on the rise both in the public and private sectors. The construction project management industry in America is also thriving, with its $193 billion revenue recorded as of October 2019.
It’s an auspicious time, and as a project manager, you need to be on top of your game and ensure that the projects you are overseeing are completed on time and at the highest quality. As a PM, you manage your workers, work with vendors that supply excavator construction equipment, and deal with a sundry of on- and off-site issues. Despite these conditions, you need to remain productive and be on top of your game. How do you do it?
In 2018, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that there were more than 471,000 construction project management jobs in the U.S. One of the things that will make this job enjoyable is the projected 10% growth rate in the next eight years. It is also one of the well-paid jobs in construction with a median pay of more than $93,000.
Construction project managers or PMs are in high demand today and will continue to be so, barring another catastrophe in the market. High demand also means that the competition might be fierce. Companies will be attracting the best ones in the business. And you need to make sure that your knowledge and experience can go toe-to-toe with other candidates. If you lack in formal education or a degree, you might want to consider how you can enhance your education credentials. Knowledge and expertise in the fields of construction management and surveying will help keep you at the top of your game.
Preparing for Challenges
One of the keys to being a good project manager is having the ability to recognize challenges and to act on them promptly and efficiently. Project delay, for a variety of reasons, is a typical problem. A good project manager will immediately make a sound decision to bring in additional help because not keeping the project on a schedule will cost money. This extra help can be tapped from other projects or could even come from other firms.
Another typical challenge faced by PMs is a new demand from the client. As PM, you must understand to the detail the scope of work of the contract and ensure that you are only doing what is specified. Make sure that you negotiate tactfully for additional fees and schedule an extension if the client is persistent in including the additions.
In a survey of project management experts, some of the recommended best practices center on the following:
- Communication and establishing a rapport with your team members is essential. When it comes to solving problems in the field or the office, they might be able to offer valuable insights.
- Stay abreast of new technology and the latest materials available. Drones are now being used not only for landscape photography but also for monitoring worker’s security.
- Recognize risk and mitigate them as soon as possible before they turn into real problems.
It is indeed a great time to be working as a project manager. You will reap the benefits of a stable industry that built structures in America worth $1.3 trillion. But you need to be prepared for the challenges and understand best practices to remain effective.