The job of a construction contracts manager is to handle building contracts, securing new developments and renovations on behalf of the client. They will typically work on either one large project or several smaller ones. This could include the development or refurbishment of office structures, public housing or engineering projects. They will oversee the construction process, providing detailed feedback to the client and construction personnel, and ensure work is conducted within the limits of the budget and on time.
Typical starting salary is £25,000 - £45,000, with those moving up to senior level able to earn in the region of £50,000 or more. Other benefits may include a company car and a pension scheme. Salaries are dependent on the organisation and its location, as well as individual experience.
Working hours are usually nine to five, with over-time often unnecessary unless a deadline needs to be met. Work is usually conducted in the office but you will need to travel to construction sites to carry out inspections, and will also have to liaise with clients. Some agencies will necessitate you travelling throughout the UK. When on-site you will be required to wear safety equipment.
In order to enter this role you typically need experience of management in construction or engineering, with a position such as quantity surveying also adequate. Experience working on contracts is also beneficial, and those with project management level experience within other business areas could possibly move into this area. There is also potential to start out as a contracts assistant working for a construction company, and then move up to the level of contracts manager.
A degree in areas covering contracts and contract law would improve your chances of landing a role, as would equivalent qualifications such as the BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) Diploma in Construction. Degrees of interest include building management, building surveying and construction engineering management. You can then apply to get on a company training scheme as a contracts assistant. A valid driving licence is often essential.
Construction contracts managers will usually start out in a trainee position such as contracts assistant or construction manager, where they will acquire experience on the job, learning about planning and buying. Promotion to senior level is then an option, with speed of development dependent on individual experience and company openings. There is also the chance to move up to company director level, with the prospect of moving into other sectors a distinct possibility.
There are a variety of additional qualifications available through the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building). They offer a graduate development programme, and a variety of NVQs which can further your knowledge and chances of progression. NVQ qualifications of interest to this particular vocation include Construction Site Supervision Level 3, Project Control Level 4 and Construction Project Management Level 5. For more information see the CIOB website.