Construction Managers

Occupation:Construction Managers

About the job

Nature of work:

Construction managers plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the activities of a construction company or a construction department within a company, under the direction of a general manager or other senior manager. A general contractor manages construction projects from start to finish according to schedule, specifications, and budget. They are employed by residential, commercial and industrial construction companies and by construction departments of companies outside the construction industry.

Job duties:
Construction managers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate construction projects from start to finish according to schedule, specifications and budget.
  • Prepare and submit construction project budget estimates.
  • Plan and prepare construction schedules and milestones and monitor progress against established schedules.
  • Prepare contracts and negotiate revisions, changes and additions to contractual agreements with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers and subcontractors.
  • Develop and implement quality control programs.
  • Represent company on matters such as business services and union contracts negotiation.
  • Prepare progress reports and issue progress schedules to clients.
  • Direct the purchase of building materials and land acquisitions.
  • Hire and supervise the activities of subcontractors and subordinate staff.
Sample job titles:
  • construction assistant manager
  • construction expediter
  • construction general contractor
  • construction manager
  • construction project co-ordinator
  • construction project manager
  • construction site manager
  • construction superintendent

To work in these fields, you should have good interpersonal skills as well as effective oral and written communication skills. Leadership qualities and the ability to motivate others are important. You should also be able to organize projects, solve problems, and make decisions.

Job requirements:
  • A university degree in civil engineering or a college diploma in construction technology is usually required.
  • A master's degree in project management may be required.
  • Professional engineering status or construction trade certification may be required by some employers.
Other considerations:

Several years of experience in the construction industry, including experience as a construction supervisor or field superintendent, are usually required. Extensive experience may substitute for post-secondary education requirements. Progression to senior management positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Construction Managers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 74% of Construction Managers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $64,955. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Construction Managers1,575decline80High
Minimum: $17.00
Median: $26.44
Maximum: $45.00
Minimum: $10,950
Median: $57,844
Maximum: $132,531
Occupations in Management44,250Decline2,775Low
Minimum: $15.77
Median: $34.97
Maximum: $57.69
Minimum: $10,632
Median: $55,002
Maximum: $124,014
Construction ManagersCompared to: Occupations in Management
Percent employed full-time97%93%
Percent self-employed13%19%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentConstruction ManagersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton8%$67,96913%$32,974
Annapolis Valley13%$62,72413%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeConstruction ManagersCompared to: All Management
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5049
GenderConstruction ManagersCompared to: Occupations in Management
% Employed% Employed
EducationConstruction ManagersCompared to: All Management
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school9.0%$28,2466.2%$30,033
High school19.9%$47,13723.5%$37,496
Trades certificate20.8%$44,6587.0%$41,701
College certificate or diploma23.1%$60,12320.6%$45,432
University certificate or diploma3.5%$63,8513.0%$59,985
Bachelor's degree19.9%$57,94527.7%$66,107
University advanced certificate or diploma1.9%$74,8601.9%$74,902
Master's degreeN/A$82,0549.2%$81,234
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$79,443
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Canadian Institute of Management - Maritimes
PO Box 463
Port Williams, NS B0P 1T0
Tel: (902) 670-0746
Nova Scotia Construction Safety Council
35 MacDonald Avenue
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1C6
Tel: (800) 971-3888
Fax: (902) 468-8843
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Atlantic Home Building and Renovation Sector Council
PO Box 312
Halifax, NS B3J 2N7
Tel: (902) 240-1133 

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Civil engineering - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of structural, load-bearing, material moving, transportation, water resource, and material control systems; and environmental safety measures.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
Program Name:Project management
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply quantitative and qualitative knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to manage projects in a wide range of fields and occupations. These programs include courses in project planning, risk management, cost and time management, contracts and procurement, accounting, statistics, decision making, and human resources.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Additional resources: