project manager

What Is the Role of a Project Manager in Commercial Construction?

April 25, 2022 8:23 pm Published by

The role of a commercial construction project manager can seem quite daunting when set out in a job description. Most responsibilities articulated so dauntingly in a job description are really just things that a project manager does on a daily basis without thinking. One way to think of a commercial construction project manager (CCPM) is to think of someone who opens a complicated jigsaw puzzle and also has to complete it in a given time. To get the puzzle done on time, a CCPM must be brilliant at delegating as well as communicating. A project manager should also be well versed in building processes and construction materials.

What Is the Role of a Project Manager in Commercial Construction?

Job Description

To use the more formal language of the HR Department, the CCPM is responsible for:

  • Planning and supervising construction processes.
  • Ensuring compliance with all local government regulations and bylaws, including public health and safety.
  • Reporting on progress and performance from start to finish.
  • Negotiating contracts and prices with contractors, and suppliers, to secure deadlines and discounts.
  • Liaising with local authorities for access to utilities.
  • Securing all the necessary building permits and licenses from local governments and understanding the local building codes.
  • Ensuring deadlines and making sure the project stays on schedule.
  • Arranging the supply and arrival of the correct tools, equipment, and materials in the right quantities, in the correct sequence.
  • Analyzing risks on construction sites.
  • Liaising with onsite and offsite parties, and project stakeholders.

Above is an overall summary of the key responsibilities of a commercial construction project manager. However, there is more to it when looking in greater detail at the duties and responsibilities, as well as the knowledge and skills required of a commercial construction project manager.


Typically a CCPM would require a qualification in the form of a university bachelor’s degree or a relevant college diploma. A bachelor’s degree in construction management, engineering, building science, or even architecture would be suitable for the role of a commercial construction project manager.

Typically, project managers don’t start out managing projects when they graduate. Instead, they will usually start as assistant project managers or in other roles to gain the necessary experience. Having some hands-on construction industry experience is also very useful. Working construction during the summer vacation away from school will never go amiss.

To be successful as a commercial construction project manager, you should have in-depth knowledge of construction management and also be familiar with construction site health and safety regulations. A top candidate should have an analytical mind, superb organizational skills, and good negotiation skills. They also need to be familiar with a variety of project management software and how to analyze data. Knowledge of tools, construction equipment, and alternatives is also very important. Quantity surveying skills or at least a good understanding of the theory and the calculations is essential as well.

A quality commercial construction project manager candidate will have experience in the building trade. This is helpful as they understand what it takes to construct a building from the point of view of contractors and labor, even if they worked as an intern while at a university. Such experience will help with managing stakeholder expectations.


There are a variety of role-players involved in construction, both on-site and offsite. On-site as well as offsite construction roles include:

  • Unskilled
  • Semi-skilled, and skilled labor
  • Suppliers
  • Other project managers
  • Company managers
  • Shareholders

It is important that a CCPM is able to communicate the exact same vision and information at all levels. This helps to ensure a common understanding and purpose. It is also quite likely nowadays that a CCPM might have to communicate in Spanish as well as English. Therefore, being bilingual is a major plus in the industry.


One of the most important character traits of a CCPM is the human touch. A project manager who is self-assured, confident, capable, and cheerful is always a welcome visitor on-site. Such a project manager makes for a good leader, especially if they are seen to be leading from the front, instead of anonymously from the end of a phone or behind a computer.

Not only does a great leader inspire enthusiasm in others, but they are also seen as someone whom contractors and workers can share site ideas and problems with. There is always a willingness to be open and honest with a leader with the human touch. This can save a project time and also a considerable amount of money.

In other words, it is safe to say project managers deserve a lot of credit for successfully completed projects! Take a look at what some project managers have to say about working with Contour Construction:

Project Manager Testimonials

  • “Contour is a valuable subcontractor on a project, they work well with other trades, do their work correctly and on schedule.” – Joe Kramer, Project Manager – Charles Vrana & Son Construction Company
  • “Can’t say enough good about them! Hard to find any other contractors on a jobsite that work longer than their crews when the job demands. They are professional and do a great job coordinating all the material deliveries for all products within their scope. When I need additional help to finish a job on time, I know that I can count on Contour Construction.” – Nathan Hotovy, Senior Project Manager – Sampson Construction
  • “Contour has done a great job on the Flywheel project developing systems to install the high-end – prefinished wood work in a timely fashion to keep up with a very tight project schedule. This scope is no only very critical to the schedule but also to the overall aesthetic to the space.” – Carter A. Eberhardt, Project Manager – Lund Ross Constructors


Contour Construction | Commercial Carpentry in Omaha

Contour can complete large and small carpentry jobs for:

  • Multi‐Family Residential
  • Commercial
  • Educational
  • Small scale tenant improvement and build-out projects
  • Senior Living Facilities
  • Churches
  • Schools

Contact Contour Construction to outline performance in carpentry on your next project. Click to check out our services, projects, or contact us today.

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This post was written by Contour Construction