How to Become a Construction Manager in Washington

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How to Become a Construction Manager in Washington

Are you considering a new career in Washington?

How about one as a construction manager?

To begin, understanding the responsibilities associated with this role is crucial.

These professionals collaborate closely with engineers, construction workers, and government officials.

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Keep reading to explore further into this career path!

Construction Manager Job Description

A construction manager plays a crucial role in overseeing the entire lifecycle of construction projects, from start to finish.

Their daily responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring compliance with onsite specifications
  • Hiring skilled workers for various construction tasks
  • Ensuring timely delivery of construction materials
  • Addressing and resolving project delays
  • Generating progress reports for clients
  • Managing project costs to stay within budget

Typically, construction managers hold either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree with extensive experience.

In this role, you can specialize in various sectors such as:

  • Civil
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Residential
  • Agricultural
  • Institutional projects

This flexibility allows construction managers to focus on areas that match their professional interests and expertise.

Becoming a Construction Manager – Step by Step

If you aspire to become a construction manager, follow these steps.

This guide clearly outlines the essential requirements and actions needed to achieve your goal.

1st Step – Complete Your Education

As mentioned earlier, certification is essential for those aiming to become construction managers.

Typically, this role requires a bachelor’s degree, which in turn necessitates a high school diploma or GED.

However, some project managers can secure positions with an associate degree in a related field, particularly if they have extensive work experience.

Graduates from an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science program usually transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.

The bachelor’s degree lasts for 4 years, while the associate’s degree lasts just for 2.

In the BS program you choose, you’ll explore topics such as:

  • Design
  • Structural Science
  • Engineering
  • Materials Management
  • Economics

2nd Step – Become Licensed

The best construction managers out there not only hold a degree but additional credentials as well.

Consider earning certifications like:

  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
  • Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)
  • LEED Green Associate
  • Certified Safety Manager (CSM)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

Alternative Methods

If pursuing a bachelor’s degree after an associate degree isn’t your path of choice, gaining extensive field experience is another effective route.

Additionally, those with only a high school diploma can begin their careers as independent contractors.

Construction Management Programs in Washington

After familiarizing yourself with the licensing process, the next step is to find a suitable training program.

Washington is home to several esteemed construction management programs.

Let’s explore these options.

Central Washington University

The university has a construction management program offered in smaller class sizes and emphasizes “hands-on” labs.

This provides you with personalized attention and comprehensive exposure to all aspects of construction.

Within the program, you can choose between two tracks based on your interests:

  • General Construction focuses on commercial building
  • Heavy/Civil Construction focuses on bridge, road, and utility construction

Prospective students must be admitted into the Construction Management professional program before enrolling in 300 or 400-level CMGT classes.

To apply for the major, candidates must complete the following courses with satisfactory grades:

  • ENG 101 & 102 (C),
  • MATH 153 & 154 (pre-calculus) (C)

Each course also has lab classes that students must attend and pay for, usually the flat rate of $5 for each.

Edmonds College

If you want the liberty of choosing the type of credential you want to earn, then this college is a good choice.

It offers 3 types of programs:

  • Certificates:
    • Building Inspection
    • Construction Management
    • Civil Construction Management and Inspection
  • AAS – Transfer
  • Associate of Technical Arts

The certificate programs have a duration of 12 months.

They have either 48 or 58 credits to accumulate, and they cost either $5,155 or $6,237.

Two of the certificate programs share the credit numbers and tuition.

The AAS Transfer has 3 options as well and they are towards a bachelor’s degree.

All 3 programs last between 18 and 24 months to complete.

Each has a different number of credits to earn and different tuition costs.

The Associate of Technical Arts is in Construction Management, it has 100 credits and can be completed between 18 and 24 months.

The tuition is $10,820.

School Name Address
Central Washington University 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Edmonds College 20000 68th Ave. W Lynnwood, WA 98036
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Construction Manager Salary in Washington

It’s natural to wonder about your future earning potential.

In Washington, construction managers have the opportunity to earn substantial incomes, at around $144,330 a year.

However, earnings can vary depending on the location and the size of the city where you work.

Typically, larger metropolitan areas offer higher salaries as in the table below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Seattle $147,677
Edmonds $147,543
Sammamish $147,410
Issaquah $147,276
Preston $147,008
Lynnwood $146,205
Duvall $145,669
Skykomish $145,401
Everett $145,133
Startup $145,000

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA260$122,280$58.79$171,540$73,640
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA150$103,860$49.93$152,080$62,510
Kennewick-Richland, WA270$119,910$57.65$165,330$77,500
Longview, WA90$115,640$55.6$164,130$57,010
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA160$119,490$57.45$174,650$70,570
Olympia-Tumwater, WA320$112,840$54.25$154,130$78,440
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA5,850$127,650$61.37$172,050$78,410
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA490$103,030$49.53$156,090$63,390
Walla Walla, WA30$99,920$48.04$131,720$55,940
Wenatchee, WA90$107,200$51.54$137,080$67,130
Yakima, WA90$98,360$47.29$135,200$62,580
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Construction Managers, OCC Code 11-9021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How well do construction managers earn in Washington?

Construction managers from Washington State earn on average slightly more than the national median salary.

What level of education do I need for a career as a construction manager in Washington?

The minimum level of education you can have is a high school diploma.

The maximum is a Ph.D. along with all the extra certifications available in the industry.

Are project managers and construction managers the same in Washington?

No, there’s a chain of command between the 2 professionals.

The project manager is the direct superior of a construction manager.

USA Construction Manager Schools by State

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