10 Construction Management Skills: Examples And Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Construction managers oversee the day-to-day operations of construction projects and are responsible for managing construction labourers, subcontractors, equipment and materials. They use various skills to determine project needs, work schedules, budget estimates and compliance with building regulations. By getting informed of the different skills necessary for a construction management career, you can prepare well to work in this field. In this article, we explain what construction management skills are, provide examples, discover how to improve them, give their workplace uses and suggest how to highlight them in the job application process.

What Are Construction Management Skills?

Construction management skills are the abilities and characteristics that can help you efficiently manage a construction project's cost, quality and timely completion. It is necessary to have various soft and technical skills to oversee residential, commercial and public construction projects. Aside from being knowledgeable about construction techniques and materials, you require the ability to develop detailed yet flexible plans, communicate project requirements to stakeholders and collaborate with other construction professionals. Negotiating with suppliers, directing labourers, adopting new technologies, determining potential risks and accepting feedback are other essential skill requirements.

Related: How To Write A Construction Management Resume Objective

Examples Of Construction Management Skills

Successful construction managers demonstrate a high level of entrepreneurial and communication abilities. They can be flexible in their approach and assertive in implementing their management techniques. If you want to pursue a construction management career, you can benefit from developing the following skills:

Communication

Because construction managers interact daily with clients, suppliers, subcontractors, labourers and other stakeholders, it is essential to have excellent verbal, writing and listening communication skills. They can enable you to express yourself clearly. You can make sure that all involved parties get a clearer understanding of project requirements and timelines.

Flexibility

Even with the most meticulous planning, unforeseeable occurrences may impact construction projects. As a construction manager, it is your duty to plan for the unexpected and be flexible enough to adapt as necessary. It is important to understand your projects well, consider the various factors that can affect their timelines and determine how you might deal with the issues. That can enable you to make quick, informed decisions to prevent work delays. It is essential to keep your team informed about the changes and the necessity of making them.

Industry knowledge

Most construction managers require at least a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, construction management, building management or project management. Formal education and practical work experience can give you sound construction knowledge. You can also benefit from keeping yourself updated about the latest construction materials and techniques. It can help you be more innovative, adopt new building procedures and formulate strategies to complete your construction goals efficiently.

Risk management

When planning construction projects, construction managers use risk management skills to develop contingency plans to deal with any problems that might occur when construction is underway. For example, you might face a shortage of skilled labour or materials, or extreme weather conditions may cause flooding and damage to the construction site. By employing risk management techniques, you can identify solutions to these problems before the construction starts. That way, you can be well-prepared to handle all eventualities.

Negotiation

The ability to negotiate can help you communicate effectively about construction-related matters with various stakeholders. For example, when working as a construction manager, you may find it necessary to discuss the budget allocation with the project manager. You may negotiate material prices with suppliers, salaries with labourers and work schedules with supervisors. By conducting negotiations in a calm, mutually beneficial way, you can get people to agree with your plans and enable the project to proceed unimpeded.

Delegation

Construction projects are collaborative efforts that require construction managers to work with various professionals from project start to completion. As the person in charge of the construction, your responsibility is to delegate project tasks and help ensure their efficient, timely completion. For successful work delegation, it is essential for you to be well-acquainted with what each professional can do and make sure you assign tasks to qualified people you can depend on to deliver quality work.

Team management

As part of your construction management work, you may supervise different teams that handle various construction tasks. Your role is to help ensure effective collaboration between members of a team and between separate teams. You can develop well-planned work schedules that allow the teams to complete their tasks on time and assist one another in achieving the common goal. Your management responsibilities extend to handling disagreements and conflicts promptly and professionally.

Related: Team Management Skills (Definition And Ways To Improve Them)

Organisation

Strong organisational skills can help construction managers to handle multiple work responsibilities at the same time. You can organise the supplies, equipment and labour you need before the construction work starts. Scheduling daily work tasks can also help you stay organised. You can prioritise the most important work, reduce stress and meet project milestones.

Financial management

Construction managers require excellent financial management skills to create project budgets, make financial forecasts and track the spending for construction projects. Your financial skills can help you make optimum use of available resources and find other financing opportunities for the project. Generally, you may work with a project manager to set up a budget and allocate funds. While you can make spending decisions at your discretion, it may be necessary to make regular financial reports to the project manager.

Technology

Advances in construction technologies have made it necessary for construction managers to be technically proficient. Your knowledge can help you identify and select the appropriate technology for your construction project. It can help you improve communication, increase work efficiency, improve work quality and reduce the work timeframe. Aside from keeping track of materials and finances, you can share work plans, changes and updates at once with various stakeholders.

How To Improve Construction Management Skills

Your career success in construction management depends to a large extent on your ability to keep up with the rapid changes in your field. It is essential to strive for improvements in your skills and make a consistent effort to improve them. Here is a list of steps you can take to improve your skills for the role:

1. Network with industry experts

Develop a strong network of industry experts by staying in touch with your college professors, attending lectures and participating in conferences. You can join online forums on the construction industry and reach out to established professionals on various social media platforms. It can help to subscribe to industry publications and newsletters. You can also consider setting search engine alerts to get news and information about the construction industry.

2. Research past construction projects

It can help to check the past projects in your company's database and review their development. Consider discussing these projects with senior construction managers and ask them about their management techniques. Try to find out how they undertook work scheduling, budgeting and material procurement. You can ask them how they ensured construction site safety, resolved issues arising from work delays and lessened the inconvenience to the general public. The tips and advice you get may help you get better at your work.

3. Review construction best practices

Even if you are well-acquainted with construction best practices, it can help to review them regularly and ensure their implementation in construction projects. These practices can enhance project performance, reduce conflicts, improve workplace safety and develop work relationships. Some of the construction best practises you can follow are pre-project planning, team building, design effectiveness, materials management, quality management and benchmarking.

Related: Comprehensive Guide: How To Become A Construction Manager

Construction Management Skills In The Workplace

Your skills in construction management can help create a more collaborative work environment and motivate employees to do better. The skills can also enable you to become better organised and improve your work efficiency. You can use the skills to do the following:

  • Work in partnership with the project manager to oversee construction work and help ensure its proper progress

  • Procure construction materials and equipment from various suppliers

  • Hire unskilled and skilled labourers to work on the construction site

  • Develop a work schedule, assign work tasks and supervise day-to-day work operations

  • Keep track of project finances and send reports to the project manager

  • Resolve problems and conflicts

  • Complete the work on schedule

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

How to Highlight Construction Management Skills

Highlighting these skills in the job application process can improve your chances of getting a job offer. They help recruiters in assessing your suitability for the available position. When applying to construction manager positions, you can highlight your skills in the following ways:

Construction management skills for cover letter and resume

Refer to the skills listed in the job description and check if you have skills that match or are close. List them on your cover letter and provide more information about them on your resume. Try to explain how these skills aided you in your career achievements and give verifiable details.

Related: Short Cover Letter Sample (With Helpful Steps And Tips)

Construction management skills for a job interview

Prepare to answer skills-related questions by practising well before the interview. You can expand on the information given on your cover letter and resume. It is advisable to practise talking about it and work on improving your speaking style and presentation. You want to appear confident and self-assured at the interview.

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