Top 10 competencies of Construction Project Managers

One of the most important factors when tackling a construction project is having a reliable project manager. Someone that overlooks the everyday tasks, while staying within budget and executing the project successfully, on time. That’s a lot to keep track of, and success is crucial to solving America’s construction shortage. Not every candidate has the competencies to handle all those responsibilities simultaneously. That’s why it can be beneficial to ensure you hire a manager that you know will be able to take on the pressure of responsibility for the project’s outcome. 

When looking to hire a new construction project manager, it may help to keep these top 10 competencies in mind: 


Your team is looking for direction and you want to hire someone who can provide that for them! You need a project manager that is going to inspire and drive a team to accomplish their goals. Try looking for the candidates who you personally feel are self-motivated with leadership qualities. Chances are that your employees will also feel that leadership from them, and those are the managers that will get the job done. 

Decision Making 

If you have too much indecisiveness, progress will never occur. Hiring a project manager that can take on the responsibility of making decisions for the company, whether big or small, can change the way a business succeeds. When a team trusts their manager’s judgment, they are more likely to fulfill a request or assignment, resulting in a more efficient project. 


Having great communication skills as a construction project manager is a necessary skill to have. Any kind of project has several stakeholders that managers need to effectively communicate vision and direction with, and relay it to their construction team. From what the client is requesting to when contractors can be scheduled, they have to keep everyone involved on the same page at all times for months on end. 


As construction managers, projects will inevitably end up overlapping, leaving them to jump back and forth between projects and construction sites. The best project managers have remarkable organizational skills to stay on top of what has to get done every day and keep track of countless documents. Maintaining an organized work environment can optimize successful results for your company. 

Industry Knowledge 

Managers that have extensive knowledge of the history of the industry and what’s coming in the future can play a huge role in the success of the project. The construction industry is constantly evolving with new materials and developing different techniques. Meaning that you want to hire a manager that stays up to date with research and is aware of various innovative strategies that are going to be seen in up-and-coming structures. 

Negotiation and Financial Management 

Construction is an ongoing process of negotiating, especially with the stakeholders in a project. It’s important to hire a manager that is capable of creating a proper budget plan to stay on track of the project, specifically when discussing the distribution of a budget, use of resources, and scheduling employees. Hopefully not frequently, but every now and then negotiation skills will also come in handy when running into a disagreement. 

Open to Feedback 

No matter the title of a position or ranking in the company, every employee will receive feedback at some point or another. Experienced field workers are capable of noticing the smallest details that make the biggest difference in a project. Whether it’s from a superior or a colleague, being open to the feedback given and taking it to heart is a great characteristic to look for in a potential project manager. 

Flexible Planning 

Throughout the timeline of a construction project, bumps in the road are bound to happen. The tiniest delay could very quickly become a huge delay, potentially resulting in a major disruption. It can make a huge difference to have a project manager that has good foresight of a project and knows revision is constant, so they can plan accordingly for such changes. 

Risk Management 

With every construction project, comes a variety of risks that are being taken. A good project manager will be able to assess the most likely risks from the plan to occur and address them with their team beforehand. By calculating risks and alternatives in conjunction with high rewards, the best possible outcomes can be achieved, whilst still having a backup option. 

Execution Skills 

A project manager that is confident in their abilities to execute a construction plan efficiently and according to the timeline is one of the most valuable competencies to look for. Specifically for a construction project manager, the final product is essentially on them. Although countless other factors go into it, they were the person assigned to supervise and be involved in every decision that was made throughout the project. It will be on your manager if the client is not happy with the work done or if the project is deferred strongly from the original plan.

Would you like a set of behavioral interview questions for learning which of your candidates best match these traits? Try out Amtec’s free Behavioral Interview Questions Generator.

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