Construction managers held 389,000 jobs in 2002. Almost half were self-employed. Most of the rest were employed in the construction industry, 15 percent by specialty trade contractors—for example, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, and electrical contractors—and 21 percent by general building contractors. Architectural, engineering and related services firms, as well as local governments, employed others.
Good employment opportunities for construction managers are expected through 2012 because the number of job openings should be sufficient to accommodate the number of qualified managers seeking to enter the occupation. Because the construction industry often is seen as having dirty, strenuous, and hazardous working conditions, even for managers, many potential managers choose other types of careers.
Employment of construction managers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012, as the level and complexity of construction activity continues to grow. Prospects in construction management, architectural and engineering services, and construction contracting firms should be best for persons who have a bachelor’s or higher degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering, as well as practical experience working in construction.
Employers prefer applicants with previous construction work experience who can combine a strong background in building technology with proven supervisory or managerial skills. In addition to those arising from job growth, many openings should result annually from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
The increasing complexity of construction projects should boost demand for management-level personnel within the construction industry, as sophisticated technology and the proliferation of laws setting standards for buildings and construction materials, worker safety, energy efficiency, and environmental protection have further complicated the construction process.
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