Construction management

Porterka

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
39
I was in the same shoes as you. I welded on aluminum work boats for sometime. Became a lead and did well at that but probably would have been stuck there. I became a CWI and that changed my world got me into the admin side of the business. I learnt a lot in the position as a CWI but I also learned I have no desire to inspect. I would rather do the work. I received an opportunity to switch to a competitor with much more opportunity for me and after about a year of working on the floor welding part time and helping them get their QA dept up to speed after about a year of that honestly I was ready to leave and start my own shop but a good friend who was a PM told the CEO who wouldn’t promote me because of his fear of the Peter principal that if he didn’t give me a shot I was already making plans to leave. He did end up giving me a shot which was what finally got me off the floor. I was a PM for 1 project then I was asked if I would move laterally to manage the production shop which turned out to be a better fit for my skill set. My position is a hybrid of a superintendent and PM if you look at it from a traditional construction hierarchy.

Knowing what I know now, the biggest things I would recommend is pursue that CWI endorsement it is a stepping stone and maintain it even if you don’t like it. Also take some communication and leadership classes even if you think you are good you will learn something. If reading, writing, and math aren’t your strong points take some classes. The knowledge of your trade is valuable but if you can’t express it well and tactfully no one with a degree will listen I have found, you have to be able to participate in the conversation at the same level. Education is important and when that is combined with trade knowledge you can combine the two and be very valuable.

As was mentioned earlier also you better be good at being an adult babysitter because everything that those below you do becomes your problem and that is the worst part of the job in management.
 

TSAMP

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
393
You might consider the robotic automation field. CRAW certification similar to CWI With emphasis on robotic welding. Gets you off the manual stuff but in a similar field and learn a new skill. Also very transferable as most manufacturers use automation these days. I find manual welders make great robot tech/programmers and generally enjoy the change of pace.
 

AK Shane

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
258
Location
Alaska
I changed my major in college from architecture to construction management because I didn't want to be stuck behind a desk the rest of my life. Guess what, I've still lived behind a desk.

Honestly, a couple business management/accounting classes, and a psychology class or two are about the only schooling you need for the PM world. Pretty much everything is learned on the job.

Personally I've never put much stock in the PMP cert. I know too many people who couldn't manage building a dog house but met the requirements to take the PMP test and ran through the boot camp that helps you cram for the test. But for someone who didn't have a degree, it would give you some credentials.
 

hodgeman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
1,293
Location
Delta Junction, AK
Personally I've never put much stock in the PMP cert. I know too many people who couldn't manage building a dog house but met the requirements to take the PMP test and ran through the boot camp that helps you cram for the test. But for someone who didn't have a degree, it would give you some credentials.
Yeah, the real value to the PMI methodology is when you get outside of construction projects. I've been fortunate to manage a lot of different stuff- construction, aerospace, software, testing. The PMI stuff really comes into its own when you do different stuff.
 

Silveroddo

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
152
LOL, The projects I was working on were Ethanol Plants and as every craft superintendent showed up on site that had built a few we'd get drawings out and they'd start pointing out issues from previous jobs, then I'd start the RFI chain. Like clock work, just all part of the process when you've got 6-8 crafts on a design build project. Thank god we self performed and had the engineers in house.
 

willidru

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
398
Location
California
I haven’t read responses so apologize if I’m repeating. I’ve been working for a commercial general for 17 years and run their operations out of the Bay Area. I seems the higher you move up the more you work. Nobody works less than 50 hours a week and most a lot more.

It can also be a step back transitioning from subcontractor to general contractor until you can learn how to coordinate between trades.

Do you like what you do? Is it a physical burn out or mental burn out? If you like the field side, but just know it’s going to be too much on the body long run I would stay in the industry you know. Couple thoughts

Spend time with your PMs/Estimators to see if you even like what the do. If so try to help on side projects to learn what they do and prove you can perform. Work on your computer skills if needed and have a open conversation with leadership about a career path.

You could also look into becoming a shop inspector or special inspector in the field. If you like that you could take you test to become an IOR. They all make good money and it doesn’t kill the body.
good luck
 
OP
CApighunter

CApighunter

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
1,492
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Do you like what you do? Is it a physical burn out or mental burn out? If you like the field side, but just know it’s going to be too much on the body long run I would stay in the industry you know.
I used to, but I don’t enjoy it anymore. I’d say it’s both mental and physical, I work 6 days/70hrs a week right now. Nothing to do but eat, sleep, work, and get ready for the next week. Basically running on coffee, Copenhagen, and ibuprofen at this point. I’d like to stay within the steel industry, but want a job that’s going to challenge me, which I’m not doing right now. While my pay has gone up nearly 50% since starting with this company, my job description is the same as it was on day 1. I want more responsibility and to be involved in the big picture side of things.
 

Drenalin

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
683
A few others may have alluded to this, but I'm going to play devils advocate a little.
Are you sure you want to be a PM? Usually a salaried position, baby sitting dumbasses, fielding calls between engineers that screw the same print up on every job, subs that are the lowest bidder and can't read a spec sheet or contract, and corporate management that just want to see your numbers lower? Oh yeah, if you didn't Dot the I's and cross the T's in your previous time in the field as a hand, guess what, now you get to enforce corporate safety policy, and if you don't when things go side ways you get to answer for it because you didn't make Jose tie off when he was 6.5' in the air. Did I mention you're probably salaried? Also for most of the lucrative project management jobs you get to spend weeks, months, or years in the middle of nowhere, living in a hotel, eating out every night, getting to use half of your vacation a year, and if you do leave the job in the middle of something when you come back your tasks really couldn't be delegated and you're doing 2 weeks worth of work the following week.
If you answered yes to most of those questions and don't mind the idea of being a construction secretary, then welcome to project management.
On a serious note I've got a project management degree, the killer for me was the lack of time off. My day dream would be been to be a civil superintendent, as a Supt. depending on the craft you might not get stuck on the same job for the same duration as the PM, your pay would be pretty similar in most situations (You might even be hourly) and when the job is over you might have half a chance of taking some time off in between. Every situation is different. My experience was in Industrial Construction as a field engineer. It was a good gig, paid well, but I opted to get into government work so I could live where I wanted to live and get some time off. I'm currently hourly, work 4 tens in the summer, get 4 weeks off a year plus holidays, and can bank my overtime as comp up to 150 hours. I also make half of what I made on the road. I bring all of this up just to say it depends on your priorities. I am by no means discouraging you from becoming a PM, just throwing some things out there to think about.
You left out clients...worst part of my job. I hate dealing with clients.
 

Bubdog

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
26
Location
McDonough GA
I used to, but I don’t enjoy it anymore. I’d say it’s both mental and physical, I work 6 days/70hrs a week right now. Nothing to do but eat, sleep, work, and get ready for the next week. Basically running on coffee, Copenhagen, and ibuprofen at this point. I’d like to stay within the steel industry, but want a job that’s going to challenge me, which I’m not doing right now. While my pay has gone up nearly 50% since starting with this company, my job description is the same as it was on day 1. I want more responsibility and to be involved in the big picture side of things.
I also had the desire to continue challenging myself at work and it eventually led to burnout. Now I also try to challenge myself by becoming more physically fit, being a better father and husband, as well as other physical and spiritual challenges. I think as long as I am being challenged in some aspect of life I am ok. Something to think about.
 

WesCAtoll

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
60
I stalled out for years as a commercial electrician stuck as a journeyman with no where to move up to, until I joined the local union. It took another year of labor but after proving myself , im now sitting here in front of a heater over seeing the electrical side of the catwalks in the Key Arena aka Climate Pledge Arena stadium in Seattle.

I’m sure I’m not the only one on here, but I’m ready to get off the shop floor and into a position with more responsibilities and a bigger picture.
A little about me, I’ve been welding since the Monday after highschool graduation and have worked for various companies for almost 10 years. I’ve done everything from sanitary stainless to heavy pipe and commercial construction. The last 3 I’ve been doing heavy structural steel. I work for a great company, with pay and bennies well above average, but I’m burnt out. I know my body can’t do this forever and not do I want to. I’ve been looking to make the move into an estimator/project manager type position but I’ve come to realize that isn’t going to happen where I’m at now.
Any advice from the guys who are in the management side of the trades on how to get in the door?
 

Rich M

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
1,953
Location
Orlando
You're gonna need a degree to make a decent move. You've got experience w welding but how's it correlate w project management? Have you ever overseen a crew or project?

Other side of coin (and you are doing this) , talk to folks who've made moves and see what they did.

We have a fellow here who's a Licensed engineer after getting the degree and moving up from field position. A 2nd guy is in process. Also have a girl who just got her degree at 30 yo.
 

Meshnasty

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
53
Lol, I forgot about clients, and clients representatives............and clients subs........
Dealing with clients is how I got to move over to the owner side.

There are things I miss about working for the GC, but I'll never go back. Less stress, better pay, better time off, and more perks. It is a PITA having to address all the quality issues, over priced change orders, and schedule delays (easily if not more than half are excuses in this industry) from the contractor. We are on site to protect the investment not to make friends.

My favorite from anyone who is building for us is "on such and such project we were able to do that". Which is typically told to us after they cut a corner to reduce their cost/time on task at the expense of our project's quality.
 

Coschie

Newbie
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
1
Understand you. I started running errands for a person who did not fully understand the specifics of the work for which he was responsible. And the authorities did not seem to pay attention to it. When I got tired of it, I decided to take several courses and raise my qualifications. Management, accounting, doing business - it helped me understand the other side of my work. When I finished studying the theoretical part, I decided to take the exam. Project Management Professional certification opened up new abilities for my position. At that time, I just received a job offer from another company. I agreed without hesitation. In my new job, I took the place of project manager. To achieve some success in work, you need to apply theory in practice.
 
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Jason K.Y. Wild

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
21
In have a BS in constitution management from Eastern Kentucky University I loved that school and its program. I believe you can get it 100% online now. But honesty I would not pay out of state tuition because more than likely a school in your state will offer an AS or BS that will work the same. I like in person learning because of making connections with your classmates and teachers. One classmate turned into a hunting spot and another hooked me up with my current job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Wrench

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
2,663
Location
WA
I'd go ask what you need to do the job you want. I have zero years as a college student. I completed two apprenticeships, held a d1.5 weld cert and nccco in every crane. I had 20 years on the tools with a ton of experience doing things most people dont know exist....then went home to my machine shop to build rifles.

On a whim i applied for a plant management position that would basically end my days on the tools....but still let me cherry pick a project if i wanted to do the craft work.

I interviewed and was offered the position. The position had a salary window that was designed to take 10 years to top out. I turned the job down and they asked if money would change my mind....so I can't get a raise in my current description....lol.

Now 2 years into the position I'm being offered a substantial step up due to my performance in my current position.

Learn how to get what you need from people. Learn to capitalize on your labors strengths and use their weaknesses as an opportunity to train and spread awareness. Stay out of politics. Be prepared to say "I'm not sure I know that answer, but I know where to look".....a lot. Be ready to have the conversation with your boss which tells them to change the rules or the expectations because we can't meet both.

Never let your licenses expire and be prepared to stand up for your opinions and be ready to be wrong at the same time.

Above all else, if it doesn't make you happy.....run. skilled workers are in HIGH demand right now
 

ruthlewis

Newbie
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
1
Skilled workers are in demand now. You can earn a nice amount of money. For example, the I was building the house, I needed the service of a scaffolding company. I was searching a lot for one that I would be sure that will do the work qualitatively. I have read a lot of reviews of different companies and decided to use the services of Pete Suen. They have done their work very fast and qualitatively. I paid them a lot of money, and I understand why because it is hard work that needs years to develop working in this domain.
 
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