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Construction Project Manager

by Staff Reporter
If you’re a strategic thinker, follow through on your commitments and have an interest in the construction industry, a career as a Construction Project Manager could be for you.

Career Overview

Construction Project Managers will plan, map out and then follow through with the project that falls within the construction world. You will need to have specific expertise about construction and the various laws that apply to it in South Africa. You’ll manage the project from start to finish, including all the workers and influencers involved in the project. A Construction Project Manager will be responsible for the financial, strategic, coordination and implementation of projects for their organisation or various organisations.

Required School Subjects

Most institutions will require you to have taken the following subjects at high school:

  • English Home Language or First Additional Language
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Physical Science 

Recommended subjects:

  • Accounting
  • Business Studies 
  • Economics

Institution and APS

In general, you will need an APS of  between 30-34+ in order to get in at one of these institutions:

  • Univeristy of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) – APS of 33
  • University of Witwatersrand (WITS) – APS of 36+
  • University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 30
  • University of Free State (UFS) – APS of 32
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) – APS of 25

Required Qualification/s

A degree or diploma in Construction Management is available at most South African universities, and other degrees within the construction industry would be needed to become a Construction Project Manager. In most cases, this qualification will take 3 years to complete.

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills in order to succeed in Construction Project Management:

  • an ability to work with people
  • decision making
  • dedication to a project and strong follow through (implementation)
  • technical developmental and communication skills
  • strategic thinking
  • problem solving
  • able to plan a project from start to finish
  • adaptability
  • attention to detail and accuracy
  • time management
  • commercial construction awareness
  • health and safety concern
  • management of multiple projects and portfolios (discipline)
  • IT knowledge, and using certain software to see the projects through

Where you can work

As a Construction Project Manager, you have the opportubnity of working in the following areas:

  • Private Organisations
  • Building companies
  • Estate Agents in the Developmental department

Working Hours

Regular working hours will be between 40 – 45 hours per week depending on the projects and deadlines you set. You could potentially work weekends or after hours, depending on where you work.

If you gain a lot of experience, and you develop your own company from scratch, you could define your work culture.  

Expected Salary

The average salary per year as a Construction Project Manager, in South Africa, is around R441 248 with an hourly rate of about R170.  As you gain experience, your pay will increase!

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Construction Project Manager:

  • You will be expected to hit the targets and deadlines that you set out for a construction project, within an allocated budget and framework
  • You can expect to work with various people from totally unique points of reference, you will need to bring unity to a project collaboration so that the project can be completed at the necessary standard
  • Meeting the demands of a client as well as ensuring those who are working under you within the project are being well looked after
  • Potentially managing conflict situations
  • You may be working in an office for some of the time and at various construction sites for the rest
  • Expect to wear weather and high visibility clothing when you’re at the sites, and be aware of the legal health and safety requirements, that will need to be implemented where you operate
  • Expect to work with a lot of unique people

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