Building or Construction Manager

Building or construction managers use their knowledge of all aspects of building and construction to plan and oversee building projects and advise architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors.

Building managers organise subcontractors and materials, manage time, contracts and regulations, and serve as liaison between architects and building contractors.

There are five main, important functions that building managers perform: purchasing; calculation of expenses; planning; building surveying; and control management. Although they do not necessarily carry out these tasks themselves, they have to ensure that these aspects of the building process run smoothly.

Building managers may work in various positions including: project managers of large building projects or building controllers for large municipalities or contract or financial managers. They may also act as technical advisers when buildings are planned and constructed.

Personal Requirements

  • interest in building and construction
  • logical thinker
  • able to coordinate team work
  • prepared to work outdoors
  • get along well with and motivate people at all levels
  • good communication skills

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Economics

What to Study

The N.Dip. Building and the BTech. degree in Construction Management are offered by various universities of technology throughout the country, e.g. Northlink.

The duration of the National Diploma is three years. The first and third years are full-time study years at a university of technology whilst the second year entails working in the industry whilst simultaneously studying part-time. The BTech. degree can be obtained by extending the period of study by a further year, after successful attainment of the National Diploma.

Students are given assistance in obtaining employment during their practical in-service periods. These periods offer the students an opportunity of earning a salary whilst furthering their education and gaining an understanding of the workplace.

Degree: A BSc undergraduate degree suitable for construction managers is offered by six universities. The title of the degree varies from university to university but the objectives are the same - NMMU, UFS, UJ, UP, UCT, Wits



  • government departments and municipalities
  • building contractors and subcontractors
  • construction companies
  • financial institutions
  • retailers and manufacturers in the building industry
  • self-employment

Further Information

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA)
No. 1 Second Road
Midrand, South Africa 
Tel: (011) 205-9000

Getting Started

  • talk to a building or construction manager and ask permission to observe them at work
  • try getting part-time or vacation work with a building contractor

Programmes by Study Institutions


Related Occupations

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