What's it Like Being a Construction Project Manager?

February 2, 2014
By Jayrocks BRONZE, Kansas City, Missouri
Jayrocks BRONZE, Kansas City, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

What is it like to be a project manager? This article is about a project manager, qualifications for the job, and what it takes. A project manager is a person who is leading the project and is kind of the company’s inspector on what their progress is and keeps the job on schedule. I interviewed a project manager and asked him questions about the training required for the requirements for the job, as well as what the job is like; below is our conversation.

Q: How long have you been a project manager?
A: 17 years
Q: What is the favorite part of your job?
A: Working on different projects. Being involved in a project from start to finish. His favorite projects are a residential roof project on a remote island; Harbor Island in the Bahamas. His other favorite project is the NASCAR hall of fame, which is located in Charlotte, NC.
Q: What is the worst part of your job?
A: Dealing with projects that have leak issues and trying to collect money after a project is complete.
Q: What would you change to make your job better? Why?
A: To be at a point to where I am working for myself, there is a lot more risk, but potential for a lot more reward.
Q: Do you like your job? Why? (Elaborate)
A: Yes, I like my job because I get to work with a lot of talented people and I get to work on a lot of unique and high-profile projects.
Q: If other students were interested in your job what advice would you give them?
A: Always try to learn more. Always be open to what other people have to say.
Q: What classes or programs would you advise students to take, (still in middle or high school)?
A: I would advise them to take math, drafting, and accounting.
Q: What degrees in college do you need to have for somebody to hire you? How long are they? (In years) A: You have to have a construction science management degree. It is a 4 year program. Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas, has a highly regarded program, where I graduated from.
Q: Are there any skills needed for the job that they don’t teach you on college?
A: Yes, general construction knowledge.
Q: What type of things are needed for your job?
A: You will need a computer, phone, calculator, and protractor.
Q: How long of days do you typically put in? (in hours/ total number of hours a week)?
A: I put in 10 hours a day, so 50 hours a week. Occasionally I will go in on weekends for 3 to 4 hours.

Through this interview I learned that a project manager’s job requires multitasking, you have to put in long days to try to finish what you are doing for the many projects you may be leading, and you may even to have to put in a little extra time, whether that is evenings or week-ends. In the end, if you enjoy working with others, learning, and understand the construction process and can lead a project from infancy to completion than being a project manager may be a career for you. The individual I interviewed said being a project manager was worth all the work because the position pays well and you get a great feeling of accomplishment when you can say, “that was my project” and it is truly a unique work of art.

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