How much money do Construction Managers make?

9January2007

seal.JPGOne of the questions that typically comes up when discussing potential career paths in construction management is – how much does it pay? The following link from the U.S. Department of Labor answers this question as follows:

“Earnings of salaried construction managers and self-employed independent construction contractors vary depending upon the size and nature of the construction project, its geographic location, and economic conditions. In addition to typical benefits, many salaried construction managers receive benefits such as bonuses and use of company motor vehicles.

Median annual earnings of construction managers in May 2004 were $69,870. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,430 and $92,350. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $42,120, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $126,330.

According to a July 2005 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, candidates with a bachelor’s degree in construction science/management received job offers averaging $42,923 a year.”

As mentioned above, the entry-level salaries for construction managers can (and do) vary greatly according to size of firm, geographic location, and type of construction work.

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14 Responses to “How much money do Construction Managers make?”

  1. Phil Says:

    What about for construction managers with graduate degrees? I currently work for a small company and am interested in a graduate degree in BCM as Purdue University is quite close. Is it worth the cost? I only have a few years experience and only studied construction management as a minor at my school. I’ve done some research, but can only find information about different schools’ graduate programs, and nothing about employers’ readiness to hire employees with masters degrees.


  2. Phil – My experience with graduate degrees in construction is that they don’t command much (if any) of a premium when it comes to a job offer. If you are looking at a top construction program, like Purdue, then you would likely benefit from the competition among employers for the students coming out of the entire program (both undergraduate and graduate). Is it worth the money? I would need to know more about your current position and salary in order to give you any specific guidance — but generally an advanced degree from a well regarded construction program can be a great foundation for a career in construction. – Mike

  3. Ben Myers Says:

    Mike,

    I like what you have accomplished on this blog. As a fellow construction management professional, I share many of your thoughts and opinions. Here, however, I must disagree. I would always encourage the pursuit of a graduate degree. With a post-grad education the candidate may not make much more money from their initial job offer, but in time advanced studies will pay dividends. For those with the means, stay in school.

  4. Troy Says:

    I have a BS in construction management and am looking for a school to complete my MS. I have almost 20 years of construction management experience in the Air Force and look forward to taking my experience into the civilian market.

    • Roldan Bautista Says:

      hey troy I’m about to join the Air Force and planning to be an engineer. I see you did it for 20 years I want to know how was it and would you recommend it now? I’m only 19 and curious about this profession and want to know more I would appreciate your guidance thanks!

  5. Keith Says:

    Troy,
    Checkout CH2M HILL, Weston, FPM, TetraTech, Washington Group, and TEAM Integrated Systems. All of these firms have large multiyear contracts with the Air Force for construction. I’m currently with CH2M HILL and I recommend it.

  6. john Says:

    Mike,

    Hello, this may be a general question but out of the different fields of construction management, which 3 areas do you think pay the most? For example building hotels, multi-family homes, highways, wastewater ect.

  7. john Says:

    mike, i should clarify that i was asking what would pay the most for a project/construction manager that is. thanks

  8. Ryan Says:

    John,
    I would have to say hospitality. More of the casino market which is always in demand. I good PM with good casino experience can just about go anywhere. It is more demanding, which in turn pays more and has bigger bonuses. Very time consuming.

  9. abe Says:

    Would it be better to go for a 2 year degree on c.m.or would that limit my opportunities in the field?

  10. Daniel Says:

    I am currently working as a co-op for a general contract who’s average contract is about 6 million. I will be graduating with an associate’s degree and will be working full time for this company while earning my BS in CM. What should I expect to make? Where should I begin negotiations when it gets to that point?

  11. Sophie Says:

    Hi Mike,

    so I am wondering if I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree in CM (I have a BA in Economics), should I pick the CM certificate program or the Master’s program if I am interested in a career in CM? Or neither is good for me since I don’t have a degree or job experience related to construction.

  12. David Says:

    I am a long time construction worker (from laborer to foreman) and am just finishing up my Associates in Construction Management and thinking of continuing on with a Bachelors in Construction Management and possibly a Masters. What tips could this group give me as a young beginning professional?

    • Anonymous Says:

      I am working on as degree in construction management and the research ive done says either one both get paid very similiar which is well for us because it said both make about 80000 year With the bs making a bit more on average furthermore I have been told experience is more valuable than degree so get tha as degree then get the experience either route take will benefit yourself


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