Project managers and construction managers are essential in ensuring that construction projects run smoothly from initial planning to successful completion. While both jobs have many similarities, there are also some distinct differences when it comes to project management vs. construction management.

In this article, you’ll learn about the specific job duties of project managers and construction managers and the differences and similarities between each position. We’ll also show you how both roles can benefit from utilizing monday.com’s templates and budget trackers to streamline the construction project process.

Get started

What’s the difference between project management and construction management?

Construction managers and project managers oversee various aspects of construction projects. The main difference between project management vs. construction management is the specific duties that each position must complete.

Project management

Project management relates to the entire scope of a new construction project. A project manager is generally responsible for the initial planning of construction projects, securing land for new buildings, and writing up project cost estimates from start to finish.

A project manager works on initial budgets and plans for projects they oversee, and they’re responsible for recruiting and hiring construction managers. While project managers may visit the work site from time to time, they usually work in an office or travel to meet with clients.

Construction management

A construction manager creates work schedules for crew members, and they write up cost estimates for construction tasks. On smaller projects, construction managers may also be responsible for developing project budgets and hiring crew members.

Since construction managers must oversee all aspects of the construction project in real time, they usually spend the bulk of their day at designated job sites.

How does project management help in construction management?

Since a project manager is generally responsible for ensuring the entire project runs smoothly from start to finish, they will generally:

  • Provide support to and oversee construction managers: Project managers help construction managers to complete their tasks by providing guidance, assistance, and access to the appropriate tools, as necessary.
  • Assist in maintaining and organizing legal documents : Legal documents are crucial in the construction industry and might include work permits, deeds, and other essential information. Ensuring this information is easily accessible at any point is a key part of a project manager’s position.
  • Schedule workflows to optimize efficiency: Project managers help to create a realistic construction schedule and ensure the appropriate resources are allotted to meet or exceed each deadline.
  • Help make final hiring decisions: A project manager will work with construction managers, C-Suite executives, and other team members to ensure new hires are the best options for the types of projects their organization will be handling. They can also help ensure skill gaps are filled with new hires.
  • Provide assistance if and when issues arise on job sites: Project managers will ensure they’re made available to handle internal or external disputes and offer solutions that allow the construction project to continue towards the next deadline or ultimate completion.

Tips for managing construction projects

While each construction project will have its own scope and schedule, here are some universal tips for successful construction project management.

Plan ahead for potential issues

While every construction manager begins each project with the confidence that everything will go smoothly from start to finish, they’re also aware that potential issues may arise in budgeting, scheduling, building codes, and delays due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather or equipment issues.

While some issues are unavoidable, planning ahead and implementing alternative solutions during the pre-construction phase can help you save time and resources if and when challenges arise.

Make communication  key

Construction project managers oversee every aspect of the construction project, from verifying construction plans to hiring subcontractors, so having good communication skills is imperative for getting things done properly.

Making yourself readily available to your crew, vendors, suppliers, and supervisors in the field can help you handle issues that may arise in a timely manner. It also shows your team that you’re always open to two-way communication. One crucial way to ensure two-way communication is always possible is to have a designated construction management tool or method to contact you that all employees and stakeholders are aware of.

Stay within your budget 

All costs associated with a project should be efficiently monitored and tracked, so there are no surprises down the road. If your project manager created the initial budget for your project, document all estimated costs for construction tasks and actual expenses incurred when ordering new inventory and supplies.

If you’re making the construction budget, consider utilizing a budgeting template such as monday.com’s Budget Tracker Template to input and manage your project’s expenses.

Get started

Using monday.com for construction project management

Manage your construction projects from inception to completion with monday.com’s Work OS and templates.

Our mobile app allows for real-time collaboration with team members, stakeholders, and individuals working remotely, in the office, or out in the field, and project managers can automate workflows and assign tasks to individual team members. By doing so, you ensure that every deadline is met or exceeded so your construction project remains on track for completion at the originally scheduled time.

Once tasks are complete, team members can easily share documents via the monday.com Work OS interface or through integrations with Google Sheets and Dropbox to ensure continued compliance. Best of all, all work created and saved in the Work OS automatically saves to the cloud for quick and convenient access at all times, so you’ll never lose essential legal documents.

We designed all of our templates for easy use within the Work OS, and you can customize each template for use with automation and boards to successfully manage your construction projects from the comfort of your laptop or device.

Get started

Related templates 

Our customizable project management templates allow you to streamline every aspect of the construction process, from creating and sharing your project schedule and construction site notes to assigning individual tasks and editing your cost estimations.

Construction management template

Our Construction Management Template allows construction managers to monitor projects in real time, from pre-construction to project completion. Project owners and project managers can receive instant updates from the field and implement budgeting and scheduling changes in real time.

Construction roadmap template

Construction managers often manage multiple projects at once, and monday.com’s Construction Roadmap Template is specifically designed for simultaneous project management. Special features such as Map View and Timeline View allow you to analyze data through different perspectives, and users can also set custom notifications to remind team members of important dates and deadlines.

Single project template

Our Single Project Template lets you bring each aspect of your construction work project together in one convenient place. Color-coded columns allow for easy categorization of tasks based on priority so you never miss a deadline, and you can easily integrate this template into the monday.com OS, where you can sync all due dates with Google Calendar and share files via Dropbox.

FAQs about project management vs. construction management

Is PMP worth it for construction?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can provide a wide range of benefits for construction project managers, including higher pay on certain projects and access to competitive jobs. It’s the highest level of certification for project managers, and the training teaches the best practices for successful project management.

What is a construction manager salary?

The average salary for an experienced construction manager in the U.S. is $117,355, with a low range of $87,042 and a high range of $149,355. Salary rates can vary based on geographical location and seniority level. For example, the average salary for a junior construction manager is approximately $67,929 annually.

How much do project managers make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, project managers make an average of $98,420 to $159,140 annually. However, specific salary rates can vary significantly depending on the specific industry in which a project manager works, geographical location, and overall experience levels.

Streamline your project management process with construction management software and project templates

Project management and construction management are both challenges for teams, but they can be made easier. Utilizing our construction management software and high-quality templates can help you stay within your project budget while monitoring all aspects in real time, ensuring each project is delivered in a timely fashion.