How To Become A Construction Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become construction project managers in Australia.


Are you a strategic thinker and possess strong communication and leadership skills? If yes, consider a career as a construction manager. Construction managers play a crucial role in organising and executing different construction sites.


They have extensive knowledge of the building and construction industry and monitor and guide construction projects on small and larger scales.


To become a construction manager, you need a construction management, project management, or civil engineering degree. Alternatively, complete a Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction and have a valid White Card with an RTO within Australia.


Let us look at the construction manager role, the qualifications needed to become one, courses, salary, how much you can earn, and various job positions.



1. Who Is A Construction Manager?


A construction manager, also called a construction engineer or site manager, are the central point of contact and the most senior person present on-site for the general public and the subcontractors.


Construction managers are in charge of almost everything on a building site. They oversee, handle, and guide projects in commercial and residential facilities, civil engineering and infrastructure, houses, buildings, and large-scale parking garages.


They work closely with designers, investors, architects, and a crew of construction workers and ensure everyone on the job site follows workplace safety and health regulations.



2. Who Is A Construction Project Manager In Australia?


Construction project managers have strong communication, organisational, and accounting skills that help them lead projects in several stages, from the beginning to completion.


They specialise in arranging, managing, and executing critical factors of a construction project:


  • Acquisition

  • Project scope and plans

  • Deadlines

  • Recruitment of technical personnel

  • Budget planning

  • Quality assurance

  • Construction workforce

  • Communications

  • Safety hazards and more



3. Construction Manager Job Description in Australia


Here is the detailed list of tasks and duties performed by a construction worker:


  • Place bids for construction and building projects and negotiate their terms and conditions.

  • Infer architectural specs and illustrations.

  • Submit a project proposal to concerned zoning boards. 

  • Set calendars for to-do tasks, coordinate workflow, and report its progress to concerned parties.

  • Manage labourers, skilled trades, permits, machinery rentals, and other construction equipment.

  • Communicate about the project deadlines to labourers and make sure they finish the project within the stipulated time

  • Negotiate with property developers, subcontractors, homeowners, building owners, and others involved in the construction project to ensure the project is completed within the specified budget and deadline. 

  • Direct personnel to ensure they follow standards and legal codes for safety and productivity.

  • Review the progress of building and construction projects and regularly take input from clients to ensure that they meet specifications set by the client and designer

  • Recruit staff and subcontractors for varying roles as needed by the project

  • Look after concerns such as shortage of resources or delay in project completion.

  • Coordinate with labour resources to arrange the procurement and distribution of materials, equipment, and plant 

  • Prepare budgets and ensure that the project sticks to the financial guidelines.



4. Duties Of Construction Project Manager In Australia


Before you learn how to become a construction project manager in Australia, you must understand the position, including the job profile.


  • Organise building examinations with the concerned local authorities.

  • Consult with engineering professionals, architects, and other professionals involved in the construction project.

  • Coordinate labourers and obtain and deliver equipment and materials to execute a construction project.

  • Oversee project documentation and manage the progress of a construction project.

  • Prepare, submit, and evaluate project tenders.

  • Design safety plans to mitigate probable risks associated with construction.

  • Conduct project inspections and reviews and organise detailed reports for investors and clients.

  • Read the blueprint of the project and negotiate with involved entities to ensure the execution of projects within the deadline and budget.

  • Report about the progress of the project to the clients from time to time.

  • Develop strategies to enhance the efficiency of construction.

  • Ensure adherence to construction regulations and standards of quality, cost, performance, and safety.



5. Skills For A Construction Manager/Construction Project Manager


Along with the suitable academic qualification, you also need to have the following required skills to excel in this industry:


  • Strong leadership and work ethics

  • Able to control emotions under pressure

  • Knowledge of different types of building methods

  • On-point and excellent communication skills

  • Effective listening and negotiation skills

  • Optimism

  • Adaptability to variable situations

  • Prioritising and delegating skills

  • Able to motivate workers for timely project completion

  • Efficient planning, problem-resolution, and decision-making skills

  • Proper organisational

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Detail-oriented

  • Multi-tasking ability

  • Able to work under stressful conditions

  • Committing to employee health and safety

  • Computer literacy to operate accounting and project management tools

  • Good numerical skills to create a blueprint and perform accounting for finances and materials.



6. What Are The Industry Bodies Related To The Construction Industry?




7. Qualifications To Become A Construction Manager In Australia


Aspiring construction managers must fulfil the following qualifications:


  • Earn a degree in construction management, project management, or civil engineering. Alternatively, you can complete a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) (CPC40110), a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) (CPC50210), or an Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management) (CPC60212).


  • A valid White Card proves that you have completed the state-level official general construction induction training with an RTO in Australia.


To work as a construction manager, you need to check and meet the builder licensing requirements with the licensing body of your state or territory in Australia.



8. Steps To Become A Construction Site Manager In Australia


A job in the construction industry demands technical expertise and leadership abilities. 


If you are interested in making a career as a construction manager, then follow the below steps:



Step 1: Earn Educational Qualification


bachelor's degree in civil engineering, project management, or construction management is the minimum education requirement for this role.


This four-year program covers different aspects such as materials management, design, engineering, structural science, and economics to gain a comprehensive background in the construction industry.


Most Australian universities require a construction manager ATAR of 96.00+ to seek entry into bachelor's/master's degree courses in construction management.


Suppose you have a general university degree and a minimum of 1 year of work experience. In that case, you can complete short-term courses such as a Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction (Building) to get qualified for this role.


The Certificate IV course equips you with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to obtain a building license as per your state building requirements.


Arm your qualification with a Diploma in building and construction course to work as a construction manager in commercial and residential settings.



Step 2: Obtain A White Card


The next step is to get a White Card by completing certified construction induction training with an RTO.



Step 3: Gain Work Experience


Most employers look for candidates with several years of work experience on a construction site before hiring them for this position. Gain as much work experience by working on varied and diverse projects.


The more projects you undertake, the better equipped you will be to diversify your skillset and deal with the situations encountered during construction.



Step 4: Get Licensed


The last and most crucial step is registering with the Australian Business Licence and Information Service. You can work legally in Australia by completing the state-level licensing requirements.


The license is valid for only 12 months. This implies that you must fulfil the licensing requirements (industry experience and accredited qualifications) and renew your license yearly.



Step 5: Seek Employment Opportunities


Once you obtain the education and necessary credentials for construction management, you can start your job search in the field. 


Include all the relevant details in the application form, such as training, business operations, work samples, insurance, professional memberships, etc. Prepare a strong resume emphasising your job-specific strengths, knowledge, and training.


Once completed, start practising interview questions to face the interview confidently and stand out from the other job applicants.



9. Certifications To Become A Construction Manager in Australia


Certification and diploma courses in construction management make it easier to prepare for a role in this field.


The courses teach you about tools and techniques to plan and manage construction, methods to perform estimates and calculations for construction materials, and comprehensive risk management.


By gaining the required knowledge and hands-on experience, you get ready to execute the daily duties of a construction manager, builder, project manager, or site manager.



Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)


This nationally recognised course is ideal for gaining fundamental knowledge and skills in Building and Construction.


It helps the students learn how to plan, organise, and execute their duties in low-rise buildings in the housing and commercial sectors. You can attend this course at the following RTOs:


  • Swinburne University of Technology 


  • GoTAFE Victoria


  • Victoria University

  • Melbourne Polytechnic

  • Federation University

  • Trade Institute of Victoria



Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)


The diploma course is an ideal way to take the next step in your career. It gives you a combined knowledge of building and construction and project management.


By undertaking the course, you will meet the professional building requirements to work as a site manager, project manager, or registered builder


Students learn the skills to plan, coordinate, implement and complete the construction work of medium-rise buildings.


  • Holmesglen



  • RMIT University

  • Chisholm

  • South Metro TAFE



Various colleges offer online diploma courses to enable students to study the course at their convenience and at their own pace without any need to attend classroom sessions. 


Thus, the course gives you the flexibility to plan your study while managing your routine tasks in life.



10. What Is The Work Environment For A Construction Manager?



Daily Activities


Construction managers manage various construction projects from initial planning to end. 


They supervise and advise staff on the day-to-day construction site operations, including designing, budgeting, planning, and building several structures. The varied work environment keeps the job interesting.





Construction Managers spend most of their time outdoors supervising on-site construction work. They also work in the office to plan the different stages of construction.





27.1% of employees work in building and construction. They are in the 35 to 44 age bracket, while 25.6% fall in the age bracket of 45 to 54. So, the average age of employed professionals in this sector comes out to be 44 years.



Nature of Employment


This is a full-time job of around 48 hours per week. About 89% of workers in this industry work full-time. It shows that it is hard to find part-time work in this industry.


A construction manager may need to work overtime on weekends and evenings to meet tight deadlines. The job requires commuting between construction sites and meeting clients and building contractors. 


Due to this, a construction manager may need to travel and spend several days away from home.



Safety Accessories


The on-site environment can be noisy, risky, and dirty. 


They must wear protective clothing and safety equipment. These are hard hats, ear protection aids, safety glasses, safety boots, and reflective clothes to ensure safety while working on-site.



11. Career Opportunities For Construction Managers In Australia


Construction managers are some of the most desirable professionals in the industry. 


Qualified professionals can easily find work across commercial spaces, residential housing and apartments, agriculture, academic institutions, hospitals, museums, manufacturing plants, warehouses, storage facilities, and more.


Construction workers can pursue the following roles:


  • Estimators

  • Contract administrators

  • On-site supervision and management of residential and medium-rise constructions

  • Regional, national, and overseas construction management

  • Specialist construction roles in safety and quality assurance


With experience and additional training, a construction manager might work in several specialised roles, such as quantity surveyor, building surveyor, and civil engineer. 


A few experienced construction managers even choose to make a career in consultancy, contract management, and support services.



12. Job Outlook For Construction Managers In Australia


A building and construction management career are ideal for those with excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. 


This is a challenging yet rewarding role to harness your virtues, build technical, time management, and negotiation skills, and work as employed or independently in a flourishing Australian industry.


This is a male-dominated sector where only 7% of females work in this profession. Regarding education, 45.4% of workers working in construction management have a Certificate III/IV. 


Only 19.6% of workers employed have a bachelor's degree. This shows the reduced importance of university-level qualifications in this field.


Based on the Government's Job Outlook, the sector will have robust growth in the next five years. The number of licensed construction managers was 107,200 in 2020, reaching 120,100 by 2025.



13. How Much Do Construction Managers Earn In Australia?


The average construction manager salary in Australia is around $111,000 per year or $3450 per week. Those at the peak of their career, mainly chartered or senior managers, can earn up to $199000 per year.


An entry-level construction manager salary in Australia (less than 1-year experience) can expect to draw an average annual compensation of $70,000. The average first-year construction management salary is $88,546 per year.


Your salary can increase if you get more experience, work in larger cities like Melbourne, or work for a prominent construction firm. 


The average construction project manager salary in SydneyNSW, is $153,702 per year.



14. How Much Do Construction Project Managers Earn In Australia?


The average construction project manager's salary in Australia is around 155,000 AUD per year or an equivalent hourly rate of 75 AUD and 5% to 9% of their yearly salary as a bonus.



City-wise Comparison of Earnings


  • Newcastle NSW: $162,624 per year

  • Canberra ACT: $147,116 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $135,173 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $128,743 per year

  • Perth WA: $126,907 per year



Based on Experience


  • Less than two years of experience: 81,200 AUD per year

  • 2 and 5 years: 108,000 AUD per year (34% more than those with below two years of experience)

  • 5 to 10 years: 160,000 AUD per year (48% more than those with 2 to 5 years of experience)

  • 10 to 15 years: 195,000 AUD per year (22% more than those with 5 to 10 years of experience)



Based on Education


A construction manager with a bachelor's degree earns 94,300 AUD per year. In contrast, a Master's Degree holder makes 182,000 AUD annually, which is 93% more than those with a bachelor's degree.



Annual Salary Increment


The construction project manager observes an average salary increment of approx. 10% every 20 months.



14. Conclusion


A career as a construction manager is varied and rewarding. It is among the highest-paid roles in the entire building and construction industry. 


The more site manager jobs you do, the more money you can make. So, keep skilling up. Gaining education and experience is necessary to make a successful career.


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