California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

   Construction Managers in California

May also be called: Construction Area Managers; Constructors; General Contractors; Project Engineers; Project Managers

What Would I Do?

Construction Managers* oversee construction projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, roads, bridges, wastewater treatment plants, schools, and hospitals. Construction Managers may supervise an entire project, coordinating all construction processes such as selection and hiring of trade contractors, or just specific processes. They ensure all work is completed on schedule. Managers work with a wide range of professionals including architects, engineers, and public officials, such as construction and building inspectors.

Green Economy: Construction Managers can play an important role in the emerging green economy. The primary difference between the work of green Construction Managers and the duties of their conventional counterparts lies in their ability to implement environmentally friendly materials and technologies. This creates a more ecofriendly construction project.

Construction Managers oversee construction projects either from an off-site main office or a construction site field office. Some Managers may need to travel to other construction sites or out of state. Most Construction Managers work over 40 hours per week and can be on call 24 hours a day in order to deal with delays, bad weather, or emergencies at the site.

*This product was partially funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration. The information contained in this product was created by a grantee organization and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. All references to non-governmental companies or organizations, their services, products, or resources are offered for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement by the Department of Labor. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it and is intended for individual organizational, non-commercial use only.

Will This Job Fit Me?

This is a job that should appeal to those who like entrepreneurship, carrying out projects, leading people, and making decisions. The job may also be attractive to those who like working outside and enjoy work activities that include risk taking. Construction Managers should also have effective oral and written communications skills and time management skills.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Construction Managers in California is $113,918 annually, or $54.78 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefits vary by employer, but generally include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Some receive tuition reimbursement, bonuses, and vehicle allowance or use of a company motor vehicle. Those who are self-employed are responsible for their own insurance and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most job openings will be created by the need to replace Construction Managers who retire or leave the field for other reasons. Opportunities may be best for Managers with advanced technical knowledge or extensive experience. Green economy activities and technologies may increase the demand for Construction Managers; however, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.

How Do I Qualify?

A bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, building science, or civil engineering is generally the minimum educational level that employers will consider for a position as a Construction Manager. Construction Managers need to be knowledgeable in the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP).

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers is one of the most effective job search methods. Schools and training providers may operate placement centers for their students. Jobs may also be found through registration with temporary employment agencies and through classified advertisements in newspapers and trade publications. Internet job listings also provide helpful job leads. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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