A typical construction operations manager’s duties and responsibilities revolve around ensuring their employer’s projects move forward on-schedule and on-budget. Often, this entails creating schedules, managing personnel, communicating with clients, and working with project managers to overcome challenges.
Keep reading as we share further insights into the construction operations manager role, including employment projections and essential skills.
What does an operations manager do in construction?
At a high level, construction operations managers solve problems that might impede their employer’s ability to produce deliverables on-time and within budget. This often means addressing urgent problems that arise day-to-day.
For example, a construction operations manager might be responsible for securing additional resources should changes in a project’s scope necessitate them. They would need to communicate with the project manager and other stakeholders to understand the issue, build a case, and present it to financial decision makers.
Successful operations managers aren’t just reactionary, though. They’re also proactive, staying involved at every stage of the project cycle to ensure planning accounts for potential issues down the line. For example, a construction operations manager might reduce the aforementioned scenario’s likelihood of occurrence by ensuring accuracy during the estimating process.
Sample construction operations manager job description
To help you better understand what construction operations managers do, here’s an example job description modeled after various real-world samples.
Construction Company A is looking for an experienced construction operations manager. This role’s duties include:
- coordinating the order and delivery of materials to job sites
- managing a team of 10 project managers
- facilitating site planning meetings
- tracking company resource usage
- identifying project risks and proposing solutions
- dispatching subcontractors and equipment
- measuring and managing client satisfaction
- facilitating weekly operations meetings
- coordinating equipment maintenance
- keeping track of vendor pricing
Construction operations manager qualifications
Next, let’s discuss what educational and professional qualifications candidates typically need to qualify for the role of construction operations manager.
Construction operations managers typically need a post-secondary degree or diploma in engineering or construction technology. Larger companies often prefer candidates with master’s degrees in project management or related disciplines.
Construction operations manager is by no means an entry level position. Rather, candidates typically need more than 8 years of professional experience in the construction industry. This experience should demonstrate they possess the skills required to manage operations effectively (more on those skills shortly).
Operations manager in construction: Employment projections
Now that you know a bit about the role of operations managers in construction, let’s discuss employment-related statistics for these professionals, including pay and projected shifts in demand.
Average pay for operations managers in construction
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places operations managers in construction under the category of “construction managers.” These professionals earn a median salary of $97,180 per year in the United States.
Projected employment demand for operations managers in construction
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment demand for operations managers in construction will grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the agency’s growth projections for all occupations in the United States, which is just 4%.
Construction managers are also projected to fare much better than managers in other industries, who should see employment growth of just 3% over the same time period.
Skills required to succeed as a construction operations manager
Next, let’s discuss the skills that typically make operations managers successful in the construction industry.
Operations managers in construction must be very strong communicators. This should come as no surprise since, as you may recall from earlier, the role involves communicating with stakeholders on a daily basis.
Operations managers need to be confident communicators not just in spoken form but also via email and standardized communication methods (i.e. RFIs).
As mentioned earlier, an operations manager’s goal in construction can be boiled down to two words: solving problems. Professionals who succeed in this role definitely aren’t the type to assume problems will sort themselves out. Rather, they take charge, evaluate their available resources, then propose and implement appropriate solutions.
From securing additional budget allocations to resolving interpersonal conflicts, negotiation is part of an operations manager’s daily duties. Consequently, candidates need to possess both a thorough understanding of construction and enough confidence in that knowledge to assert themselves.
Throughout a construction project’s completion, stakeholders may approach the operations manager for progress updates. Good operations managers can figure out what data should be presented, assemble that data in a concise format, and report confidently to the stakeholders in question.
This isn’t necessarily a matter of working harder, mind you. In fact, software can help operations managers complete this particular task in less time and with greater efficiency. When it comes to construction resource management-related reporting, Bridgit Bench is the software of choice for hundreds of general contractors and subcontractors. Learn more about it here.
Construction operations managers are held accountable for a wide swath of outcomes and deliverables. Consequently, they need to be adept delegators if they want to keep things moving on-time.
Construction operations managers are often directly involved in numerous projects at the same time. On any one of these projects, things can change rapidly, requiring a different approach than was originally planned on. Operations managers therefore need to be flexible and adaptable.
The ability to work under pressure
In many ways, operations managers are responsible for steering the ship. That comes with a lot of pressure, especially when projects encounter issues. Good operations managers are a stabilizing force during these times, helping to keep projects (and, often, even entire companies) afloat.
Bridgit Bench is the resource management software of choice for construction management professionals
With Bridgit Bench, construction management professionals (including operations managers) can:
- manage workers (including labor allocations) with ease
- visualize workforce data (including productivity and skill gaps) at the click of a button
- access resource management data from anywhere in the world via the cloud
- much more
Click here to learn more about how construction companies use Bridgit Bench.
We hope this article has helped you understand what operations managers in construction do and what skills they need to thrive, whether you’re looking to hire or become one yourself. For more construction management-related guides and information, visit our blog here.