As a construction manager, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve your skills and advance within the field. Taking on bigger responsibilities, managing teams, and learning new methods can help you stay ahead of the game while benefiting your future in the industry.
But what should you do to achieve professional growth? We are here to provide guidance for construction career advancement. Take a look at this helpful guide assembled by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) to support your career path.
Guidance to Set Yourself Up for Construction Career Success
Sometimes, a simple action can have far-reaching results. Doing things like giving yourself goals and talking to other professionals can help to advance your career. Follow these steps to show your commitment to being a construction manager.
1. Continuous Learning and Skill Development
Managing construction projects requires a deep appreciation for the fundamental principles of construction. Validating your understanding of concepts, ethical issues, and regulations is crucial.
Becoming a Certified Associate Constructor (CAC) is the first step, and leveling up as a Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) can open a lot of new doors. These certifications demonstrate your commitment to excellence and can set you apart from your peers.
2. Expand Your Knowledge Base
Expand your skillset beyond traditional construction management by delving into related areas that can supplement your knowledge.
Learning more about green building practices, sustainable construction, ethical issues in construction, and emerging construction technologies can make you a more versatile and valuable member of your organization.
The simple act of talking to people can really help your career in multiple ways. Not only does it allow other professionals to put a face to your name, but networking can also help humanize the entire construction process and build camaraderie.
Attend industry events, join construction associations, and engage in local and online communities related to your field. Building a strong professional network can lead to new opportunities, valuable connections, and insight from experienced professionals.
4. Leadership and Communication
Being a strong leader in the construction industry requires expert communication skills. As you progress in your career, your ability to lead and inspire your team will become increasingly important.
Often, your ability to create positive change hinges on your ability to explain, organize, collaborate, and motivate team members to take action. So, developing your communication skills is a must for construction career advancement.
5. Seek Guidance
Mentorship can be invaluable for career growth. Find an experienced construction manager willing to guide you, provide insights, and share their experiences. A mentor can help you navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and broaden your perspective on the industry.
Pro Tip: Joining an organization like AIC puts you in contact with professionals who are further along in their careers in construction and are ready to help you succeed.
6. Build a Strong Resume
It’s one thing to have the experience and the skills; it’s another thing to let people know. Your resume is your professional calling card. Ensure it highlights your accomplishments, certifications, key projects you’ve managed, construction jobs you’ve completed, and management roles you’ve accepted.
Don’t be afraid to tailor your resume for each job application so that it showcases the skill sets you bring to the table and the experiences that are most relevant to the position you’re seeking.
7. Look for Opportunities
Want to grow and prove that you’re the right person for advancement? Seek out leadership opportunities in your current company or industry associations such as AIC. Serving as a team lead, project manager, or volunteer in leadership positions can help you gain valuable experience and visibility.
For example, consider serving on the Board of Directors at AIC. You will develop critical leadership skills by working with fellow construction professionals to make critical decisions that affect the future of our industry.
8. Set Clear Goals
Taking the time to create a clear, actionable career advancement plan can help focus your efforts and push you in the right direction. Having discrete goals will help you stay motivated as you work toward desired milestones on your career path in construction.
9. Be Adaptable
Above all, learn to adapt. The construction industry is subject to fluctuations in the economy and changing market demands. Successful construction managers can pivot when necessary so that they’re continuously relevant. Embrace change, be open to new methods, and be willing to take on diverse projects to broaden your experience.
Become Certified Through AIC
One of the most important things you can do to prove your expertise to clients, employees, and other organizations is to receive professional certification.
AIC offers multiple exams that you can take to showcase your skills. For example, passing the CPC Level II exam lets others know you’re committed to the field, demonstrates your knowledge of construction management, and highlights your pledge to ethics in the industry.
The CPC exams are held every spring and fall season. They are meant for established constructors who want to demonstrate a high level of knowledge in the ethical management of construction projects. The following is a sample of the exam areas:
- Project Scope Development
- Employment Practices
- Working Relationships
- Construction Safety Management
Becoming a CPC shows that your skills and experience are verified. This step puts you in a good position for promotion and advancement, creates peace of mind for everyone working with you, and it demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and ethics.
We recommend that experienced construction managers take this step in their careers by sitting for the CPC exam. Learn more about why you should pursue this certification to support your construction career advancement.