Building and Construction Manager Kaiwhakahaere Hanga Whare

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

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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.

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.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for building and construction managers includes:

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

Personal Qualities

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.


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.


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.

Subject Recommendations

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.

Building and Construction Managers can earn around $92K-$224K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Building and Construction Manager are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

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 $92,000 to $204,000 a year.
  • Construction managers usually earn $120,000 to $224,000.
  • Senior construction project managers, senior construction managers and project directors can earn more than this.

Source: Hays, 'Salary Guide FY 21/22', 2022.

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.

Years Of Training

2-4 years of training usually required.

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.
Building and Construction Manager