Construction projects are complex processes, with many relationships to be managed and very precise sequences of events to be followed. A variety of roles are involved in coordinating the vast array of moving parts, resources and people involved. These include construction planners, site foremen and construction managers, their work is is essential in ensuring each step of the construction projection proceeds smoothly and to cost and schedule.
Construction planners will work with architects, engineers and construction contractors to map out the requirements of a construction project and plan their implementation. Involved in this process too will be construction managers, acting as a source of information for the planner and overseeing operations on the construction project by meeting with subcontractors and on-site management.
Some leadership roles such as Construction Site Managers and Site Foremen will involve significantly more day to day presence on-site. They will work with crews at the constructions site to prevent delays, ensure budgets and timelines are met, ensure quality is maintained and health and safety procedures followed. Together they ensure that projects have all the resources needed, that required work is organised and daily responsibilities are assigned and carried out efficiently. As professionals with many years of experience gained from working on site they are a valuable source of guidance and knowledge.
The more complex the site the more vital the work of planners, managers and foreman is to keep the required resources and manpower coordinated.
There is no set route into construction planning and management, but many will have experience of working on site and will progress into leadership roles thanks to their experience and conscious efforts to upskill themselves through further training and education.
Foremen are almost always construction workers with many years of experience gained from working on site. The best way for a construction worker to put themselves in a position to become a foreman is to focus on learning as much as possible from their experience on site and to take courses relevant to construction to develop a broad and deep level of technical knowledge.
For those looking to progress to more senior management roles training in project management offers a grounding in the essential skills and knowledge required for working on a complex project. Keeping up to date on new developments in construction technology and processes is also advised.
On the planning side, many occupations offer the experience and skills necessary to succeed as a construction planner or manager. Occupations offering such transferable skills include civil engineering, construction management, quantity surveying, mechanical engineering and project management. Nonetheless practical experience of construction sites would certainly be an asset in building a career in the occupation.