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Building and Construction Manager

Kaiwhakahaere Hanga Whare

Alternative titles for this job

Building and construction managers plan, control and co-ordinate civil engineering or building projects, and the resources and people involved.


Building and construction managers usually earn

$100K-$224K per year

Source: Hays, 2023.

Job opportunities

Demand for building and construction managers is good due to a shortage of workers.


Pay for building and construction managers varies depending on their specific role, the size and location of the project they are working on, and their experience and qualifications.

  • Construction project managers usually earn $100,000 to $224,000 a year.
  • Senior construction project managers, senior construction managers and project directors can earn more than this.

Source: Hays, 'Salary Guide FY 23/24', 2023.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Building and construction managers may do some or all of the following:

  • consult with clients, building professionals, local councils and architects
  • estimate the number of workers, types of machinery and materials required
  • estimate prices and put in tenders for jobs
  • plan building programmes and co-ordinate supplies of materials and machinery
  • hire workers and apprentices and liaise with subcontractors
  • plan, establish and monitor health and safety systems
  • establish and implement traffic management and environmental plans
  • work with quantity surveyors to ensure costs are kept within budget.

Skills and knowledge

Building and construction managers need to have:

  • knowledge of building methods and materials
  • skill interpreting drawings and architectural plans
  • an understanding of building standards and safety regulations
  • maths skills, and knowledge of cost control and purchasing
  • knowledge of health and safety procedures
  • an understanding of quality control systems
  • administrative and business skills.

Working conditions

Building and construction managers:

  • may work long and irregular hours, including weekends
  • work on building and demolition sites, where conditions may be dusty, dirty and noisy
  • may travel out of town to work on projects, or source materials and equipment.

What's the job really like?

Construction manager video

Bruce Dickson talks about life as a construction manager - 1.55 mins

I love to end my calls by telling my staff that I love their work and that
they're doing a great job.
My name is Bruce Dickson and I am a construction manager.
We are a commercial construction company and we have a,
a large focus around the education sector. We look after and,
and build new buildings.
My key role as a construction manager is ensuring that the sites are run
efficiently and safely.
A construction manager is responsible for handing over a job to the
clients on time and on budget. Typical day for me,
I usually start work in the office, give a couple of phone calls to my staff,
make sure everything's okay, if you've had any issues [French spoken]
how's it going? And just keep
an overall understanding of all the jobs that I'm involved in.
The rest of the time,
I would say I spend on site looking at the quality of the work,
making sure that the processes and systems and procedures that I've put in
place are adhered to. All the site managers will report to the project manager.
Their project manager would report to myself, a construction manager,
and I then report to the directors. To become a construction manager.
I would suggest a degree course at a university or polytech [Te Pūkenga].
There's no substitution for a good qualification.
Mathematics and English are 2 key subjects that you will need.
One of the most important skills you'll require is people skills.
So you need to be able to deal with all types of people. The other thing I love
is actually seeing these massive structures going up that last longer than I'll
be on the planet, and it's quite amazing to walk past and say,
"I was part of that team. I delivered that building." It's really pretty cool.

Entry requirements

To become a building and construction manager, you need extensive experience in the building and construction industry.

Construction companies employ building and construction managers with qualifications such as:

  • civil engineering degrees
  • building qualifications
  • construction management diplomas
  • quantity surveying qualifications.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a building and construction manager. However, NCEA Level 2 English, maths, construction and mechanical technologies, and design and visual communication are useful. 

Year 11 and 12 learners can find out more about the construction industry and gain relevant skills by doing a New Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Personal requirements

Building and construction managers need to be:

  • safety-conscious
  • accurate and practical
  • able to work with a range of people
  • able to work well under pressure
  • good communicators
  • good at managing and motivating workers
  • good planners and organisers.

Useful experience

Useful experience for building and construction managers includes:

  • building and construction work, especially in a managerial role
  • general managerial experience.


Some building work has to be carried out or overseen by a Licensed Building Practitioner. To get a licence, you have to prove your experience and/or have appropriate qualifications.

Find out more about training

Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)
0800 422 486 - -
0800 486 626 - -
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Building boom drives demand for building and construction managers

There is a high demand for building and construction managers due to:

  • a construction boom meaning more building work
  • the extra 22,000 houses that are needed over the next 10 years in Auckland
  • building work needed to upgrade leaky homes and earthquake-prone buildings.

However, like many building jobs, this role can be affected by economic conditions. A downturn in the economy can lower demand for building and construction managers.

Building and construction managers on skill shortage lists

Building and construction managers with experience in building, roading and infrastructure are in high demand. As a result, construction project manager, project builder and site foreman appear on Immigration New Zealand's regional and long-term skill shortage lists. They also appear on the construction and infrastructure skill shortage list.

This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled building and construction managers from overseas to work in New Zealand.

According to the Census, 9,777 building and construction managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Most building and construction managers work for commercial building companies

Building and construction managers mostly work for medium to large building and construction companies engaged in commercial (non-residential) construction. They are also employed by construction companies working on infrastructure projects and large residential projects such as apartment complexes.


  • BRANZ and Pacifecon, 'National Construction Pipeline Report 4', July 2016, (
  • Hays, '2017 Hays Salary Survey', 2017.
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Regional Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (
  • McClintock, J, operations manager, Certified Builders Association, Careers New Zealand interview, June 2016.
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

With experience, building and construction managers may progress to more senior positions and may also start up their own company.

They may progress into specialised roles, including: 

Construction Site Manager
Construction site managers have a hands-on role and deal with the day-to-day running of the construction site. They report to a project manager. On large construction sites, there may be a number of site managers, each with a specific area of responsibility.
Construction Project Manager
Construction project managers deal with the big picture and are responsible for the overall planning, co-ordination and control of a project from beginning to end.
Two females wearing hi-vis and helmets, standing on a housing development plot and looking at the plans on a piece of paper . One of the women is 7 months pregnant.

Building and construction managers plan and co-ordinate building projects

Last updated 6 November 2023