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5 Strategies to Becoming Successful In Construction Project Management

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Project Administration Journey

Being The Construction Project Manager

The construction project management role holds a huge amount of importance and responsibility. They are responsible for planning, such as producing a budget, executing purchase orders and create submittals, and ultimately controlling the project’s success. They are one of the key individuals who helps the project to run smoothly and puts everything into place. Although being a project manager can be quite challenging, the work is extremely satisfying. Seeing the efforts of an entire team pan out over the course of a few months can be very rewarding.

If you’re a person that enjoys strategizing, leading, and making tough decisions, then this career might be for you. Before getting into this field, it’s always important to consider all the pros and cons. This article can help you get started in your career and prep yourself to become a successful construction project manager:

1.       Choose the industry trade you want to go into.

Starting out, the first decision that you need to make is which industry trade you want to go into. One of the great things about being a project manager is that there are many different trades to choose from. This gives you a wide array of options so that you can pick the one that fits you.

Construction Project managers need to be knowledgeable about the projects that they undertake, therefore, it’s best to go into a field that you’re passionate about. You may try to gain a bit of experience in the field, so you know how typical job sites function. And since the project manager’s decision-making is sometimes on the technical side, you will want to study and gain knowledge on the trade you choose.

A list of industry trades to get your thinking and planning started:

                General Contracting

                Mechanical

                Electrical

                Plumbing

                Fire (Protection / Suppression / Alarm)

                Drywall & Insulation

                Millwork

                Framing

                Landscaping

This list can go on, but It’s a good idea to look into the role of a project manager in a particular trade before you make your decision. This will make it easier to begin your journey.

2.       Getting Educated and Remain Educated.

The construction industry is one that doesn’t always require construction management degrees in order to become a project manager, and a construction management degree won’t get you an immediate role as a project manager. Though it does help you gain some knowledge, self-study, completing individual certifications, and learning on the job are more sure-fire ways to influence your career path. Self-study may include lots of reading (and retaining), while starting with individual certifications includes courses on Construction Project Administration, or even learning about the construction industry. Combined efforts to enhance your knowledge is key; seek education, and stay educated.

3.       Build your construction project management skills by gaining experience.

In construction project management, experience accounts for a lot. There are a ton of skills and knowledge about project management that you can’t learn by simply reading a book. When you get some hands-on experience, it will allow you to figure out exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are.

The question is, how do you gain experience? If you’re already working at a job and looking to get some experience there, then ask what roles or tasks are available to help you can more experience. Experience can ultimately come from filling different roles, creating a pathway to project management. Some of these roles that lead to project management can start with entry-level positions, such as, Project Administration, then leading into becoming a Project Coordinator, Project Engineer, Assistant Project Manager, MEP Coordinator, and possibly additional roles in between those.

4.       Familiarize Yourself with the Most Common Tools In Project Management.

Project management is all about technical trade knowledge, organization, communication, and strategizing. If you don’t have a good grasp on the basics then you’re going to have a very tough time on your first project. Having a grasp on which tools you need to use can help you to organize every aspect of your project smoothly.

Many tools make a construction project manager’s job easier. Additionally, every company has its own preferences, so you’ll need to be very adaptable. Some of the most common types of project management software are document control systems to help with organization. Most document control systems are the same, and there may still be a learning curve between different companies, so just familiarize yourself with, and understand the concepts and use.

Communication is a key tool. This is where email systems and virtual phone platforms for meetings are heavily used as tools to convey information and coordinate with others.

When it comes to strategizing, a construction project schedule is a common tool utilized to determine the start and completion date of the project. It also houses all tasks and their start and finish dates. These dates are needed to ensure the project will complete as planned. This is a more advanced tool utilized by project managers and the team, so it’s a good idea to get a head start on learning about this tool. It’s an important tool and can take your entire career to completely grasp.

5.       Build those connections and get your career started.

It can be tough to go into a new field without any previous knowledge. Begin your journey by forming connections with people who are experienced in this field.

You should begin to form these contacts as soon as possible. This will make it easier for you to get good projects or find great companies to work for. For example, maybe you’re interning with a company that runs many large projects. So, it’s a good idea to connect with others and gain some knowledge about common career paths within the company. You never know when you might stumble upon the right opportunity. Do a great job on your internship and they may be begging to hire you after you graduate.

We hope that our five tips have helped you to figure out your project management journey. This is an extremely vast field so try to do as much research as possible before diving into it. When you’re just starting out, construction project management can be easily misunderstood and daunting. So, be sure to get as much experience as you can. Qualified project managers are always in high demand, so put yourself out there and dedicate yourself to this career.

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