Construction managers are sometimes referred to as project managers or general contractors. They are responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of construction projects. This entails preparing cost estimates, drawing up budgets and work schedules, interpreting contracts and supervising workers and interacting with clients. Needless to say, extensive experience in the construction industry is a must for prospective project managers.
Average and Median Rates of Pay:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of 2011, construction managers in the United States earned an average salary of $93,900 per year. The median of all salaries reported for project managers was $84,240 per year, with 50 percent earned between $64,000 and $112,000 per year. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned $51,000 or less per year on average, while the highest-paid10 percent earned more than $149,000 per year.
Regional Rates of Pay:
Salaries for project managers vary in different parts of the country. Those in the South Central states tended to earn the least, while those working in the Northeast and the West earned the most. The very lowest rate of pay was reported in Arkansas, where project managers earned an average of $67,120 per year and $32.27 per hour. New York reported the highest average rate of pay in the country, at $128,170 per year and $61.62 per hour.
Individual Industry Pay Rates:
As of 2011, about one quarter of all project managers worked in nonresidential building construction, where they averaged $94,450 per year and $45.41 per hour. Those working for construction companies that built primarily homes and residences averaged slightly less, about $90,490 per year and $43.50 per hour. Project managers working as independent contractors reported average salaries ranging from $89,000 to $97,000 per year. Comparatively high rates of pay, between $126,000 and $131,000 per year, were reported by those building primarily hotels and amusement parks.
Employment prospects for project managers should be good in the coming decade, according to estimates published by the Bureau of Labor Estimates. The number of jobs is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, slightly higher than the national average for all professions. Job prospects should be best for project managers who have a bachelor's degree in a field related to construction management, such as construction science or civil engineering.