Is construction management a good career

The site manager

Tasks | Career prospects | Salary | Current jobs

The job as a site manager is
  • a job with a future
  • crisis-proof
  • searched everywhere
  • well paid
  • diversified
  • exciting
Tasks as a construction manager
  • Control of the construction site
  • Monitoring the quality
  • Coordination with the trades
  • Cooperation with the client
Annual salary:
45.000 € – 92.000 €

Depending on

  • Company size & company location
  • Experience & qualifications
  • Size of the construction project
  • Delegated responsibility

Are you looking for a job and don't just want to sit at your desk, but also want to be in the fresh air when you're out and about? Then a job as a construction manager can be just right for you. Every day the project grows a little further until the finished structure is finally handed over to its destination. If you decide to pursue a career as a construction manager, you will be responsible for all organizational work on the construction site.

Here you can find out what tasks a site manager has to do, how you can become a site manager, show you what you can earn and also have the right job offers for you.

What is construction management?

The construction management takes care of the entire organization on the construction site. This affects the costs, the process, the quality assurance, the schedule and the cooperation with all trades and suppliers

Table of Contents

Current vacancies as site manager

Site manager: definition

The HOAI, the fee schedule for architects and engineers, as well as the procurement and contract regulations for construction services, here especially Part B, does not know the term construction manager, or the term construction management is not regulated in these laws. According to the VOB, the client, as the client, can issue instructions to the manager of the commissioned company.

At the same time, the contractor must inform the client who is in charge of the execution. This line corresponds to the area of ​​responsibility of a site manager, even if this term is no longer used.

If you are interested in a career as a construction manager, then you are responsible for the entire organization on the construction site. You are then just as responsible for the costs on the construction site as for the process of the individual construction steps. You control the quality of the work done and make sure that all trades really adhere to the schedule you have created.

You make sure that the suppliers deliver the right material to the construction site so that it can be used there. In addition, you coordinate and plan the use of the individual trades and make sure that there are enough staff on the construction site. If machines are required, you also plan this deployment.

In detail, you have the following tasks:

  • Talks with sub-contractors and other construction companies: If a new trade comes to the construction site, you invite the person responsible for the project and discuss with him what needs to be done. Such a conversation can take place well before the actual work begins.
  • Establishment of the construction site: Before construction begins, for which you are responsible as the site manager, you draw up a construction site facility plan. A simple sketch is sufficient for a smaller project; for larger construction sites, such a BE plan is developed by a whole team.
  • Coordinate the trades: Since tiles can only be laid when the screed has hardened, it depends on your coordination when the individual trades are active on the construction site.
  • In the course of construction: While the staff is working on the construction site, you as the construction manager have to control, monitor and document the progress. At the same time, you have to keep an eye on all work phases, including those that come later. At the same time, you are busy monitoring the work on a daily basis and all questions that arise acutely.
    You are the right contact for the client, the builder, but also for the companies involved in the project and their employees, for the specialist planners and all other people on the construction site.

As a site manager, you carry out these routine tasks during the construction phase of a project:

  • You check the quality of the work done on a daily basis, keep a construction diary and make sure that all deadlines are met.
  • You will discuss all the work that has to be done with those involved in so-called construction consultations and make tours of the construction site with the client and other parties involved.
  • You check whether all dimensions and prices have been adhered to.
  • You plan the next upcoming and future work on the construction site at the same time.
  • You keep a documentation of the construction progress.

Site manager: requirements

If you want to work as a site manager, you should be aware that you have to work in all weathers. You definitely need an understanding of technical relationships and processes and must be able to express them clearly and understandably. In addition to these characteristics, you also need technical skills as a site manager. These include, for example:

  • a completed degree in civil engineering
  • several years of experience on construction sites and in project offices
  • Experience in project management
  • Knowledge of business administration
  • Good English knowledge
  • Since many workers on the construction sites speak little or no German, it is helpful if you can speak other languages ​​in addition to English

Your skills

Site manager: training & studies

There is no standardized training to become a site manager. Therefore, there are several ways you can get closer to your dream job as a construction manager. You should be aware that, as the site manager, you are responsible for the construction site itself and the people who work there. Therefore, you should have the necessary qualifications as a site manager.

If you have completed a degree in civil engineering, you already have a solid foundation. A degree in civil engineering with its multitude of specialist areas covers the entire technical area. These include:

  • Building informatics
  • Construction management and construction management
  • Building materials science
  • Hydraulic energy engineering
  • Geotechnics
  • Structural engineering
  • Redevelopment
  • Traffic route construction
  • Water and the environment

As a construction manager, however, in addition to having successfully completed your studies, you also need experience in managing large projects and knowledge of business administration. As a site manager, you have to keep an overview of the entire process and the project, which also affects the costs.

If you still lack business knowledge, for example, you can acquire this knowledge in courses. A construction manager occupies a high position on the construction site. Therefore, you need a lot of professional experience for this job.

Current vacancies & jobs

Site manager: Entry

There are usually three options for entering a particular occupation:

Graduate (studies / training)

If you have successfully completed your studies as a civil engineer, you will find that most of the positions on offer can be found in engineering offices. While architectural offices mainly deal with the design planning of houses and other high-rise buildings, engineering offices tend to construct buildings in the field of civil engineering, hydraulic engineering and transport.

Here you will learn how a building is erected - from the draft to planning, tendering and monitoring. The specific services that are provided for a project are determined in the so-called service phases and fee ranges. But you can also join a construction company and initially take on responsibility for a smaller project as a construction manager.

In a project like this, you will experience the difference between the theory that you learned during your studies and practice. In such a case, it is good if you are at the side of an experienced site manager. If you decide on a career with one of the very large construction companies, which include Strabag or Hochtief, for example, you will be prepared for your tasks as a site manager in a trainee program.

Helpful soft skills as a site manager

In addition to the technical skills (Hard skills) As a future site manager you will of course need a number of them Soft skills. You should:

  • already have several years of experience on construction sites
  • know the work flow on construction sites well
  • know the safety regulations
  • have commercial knowledge
  • speak business fluent English
  • have leadership skills
  • Have a sense of responsibility
  • To be flexible

As a construction manager, you should not only have in-depth knowledge from your studies and professional experience, but also good self-confidence. In addition, you have to be able to negotiate well and skillfully and have a sufficient sense of responsibility.

As a site manager, you have to organize well and you need good social and leadership skills. In any case, you should be resistant and resilient to stress and be able to make decisions quickly.

Site Manager: Industries & Areas

Around ten percent of the gross domestic product is spent annually on construction projects and measures. That was almost 325 billion euros in 2017, for example. With around two and a half million employees, the construction industry is one of the largest employers, and not just for construction managers. You can work for a manufacturer of construction products, in the public service, in calculation and in many companies that deal with construction.

This includes small and medium-sized construction companies, but also engineering offices and large, internationally active employers such as Strabag or Hochtief. Even Deutsche Bahn AG needs site managers to expand its infrastructure.

As a rule, you already have several years of professional experience as a civil engineer before you become a site manager. While as a young graduate you can expect a gross starting salary of 2,500 euros, which increases to around 3,200 euros per month over the years, the salary for a construction manager is slightly higher. As a site manager, you have much more responsibility for the entire construction site and the people working on it.

A construction manager receives around 3,500 euros gross per month, this salary also increases over the years and, with ten years of professional experience, is around 4,000 euros gross per month. The range for site managers is usually between 45,000 and 63,000 euros a year, but you can earn up to 92,000 euros a year for large international projects. The actual salary still depends on the size of the company and the location.

Career prospects& Career opportunities

further education

Continuous training is also a must for site managers. You should regularly take part in new courses and keep yourself up to date in the field of construction standards. After all, the standards keep changing and as a site manager you always have to be up to date. As the site manager, you are responsible for the entire project and must ensure that all regulations are adhered to. You can also train yourself in many other areas such as construction processes or costing.

You can of course organize the further training privately, but there are also companies that take care of it and make appropriate offers. Further training in the field of building standards, building law, building physics and building biology, building costing and computer-aided construction methods offer new insights into the diverse areas in which you as a site manager need to be familiar.

Promotion opportunities & career prospects

The construction industry is booming. Everywhere there is a lack of the appropriate engineers who can work as site managers or project managers. Therefore, most companies are very happy if you want to start as a site manager with them. Since you are already relatively high up in the hierarchy as a construction manager, advancement or a career from here is no longer so easy. However, you can start with smaller projects until larger and larger projects and construction sites are handed over to you as a site manager over time.

But your career as a construction manager doesn't have to be over by a long shot. You can also hold the post of board member or managing director in a construction company. If you work as a construction manager in an authority or in the public service, you can become an office manager, building city councilor or building mayor there. However, in the case of an election office, engagement in the relevant party is usually a prerequisite.

Current jobs as site manager

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