4 Key Skills You’ll Learn in Construction Office Management Training (& How They’re Applied on the Job)

construction office management training
Students at the Pre-apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute get hands-on training at a job site

Construction office management training is ideal for students who are comfortable taking charge, have a natural interest in business, and of course, a love for building and development.

Wondering exactly what is involved in training, and if this career path is a good fit for your skills and interests?

To help students get a preview of core study areas and professional requirements, we’ve put together this list of four main topics covered in a typical construction office management program. Here’s a look at what you can expect to learn in class and apply on the job.

Occupational Health & Safety: Protecting Staff & Community

In construction, the rules of occupational health and safety apply not only to construction staff, but also to members of the surrounding community who may be impacted by the workplace environment.  During training, construction office managers become familiar with regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA); specifically, the manager’s legal obligations to tradespeople working under his or her supervision.

By law, construction managers in charge of a job site must ensure that the measures and procedures in the Act are enforced at all times. This duty extends beyond the manager to every tradesperson who works on the job site. Managers are responsible for verifying that each team member understands and adheres to the correct protocols.

Fundamentals of Estimating & Sketching

Another key skill you will develop in construction office management training is the interpretation—and evaluation—of drawings, blueprints, and schematics.  Students are exposed to orthographic projections: 3D renderings of an object from different directions (typically a front, side, and plan view).  They learn how to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various designs, taking into account the materials, techniques, and labour required.

As part of this training module, students are typically introduced to estimates and take-offs and learn how to use a cost-carrying program. These skills are essential for developing realistic and competitive bids for construction contracts, and helping to ensure projects remain on-budget.

Financial Management & Marketing Development

In addition to technical skills and legal knowledge, construction office managers must also build competence in the realms of finance and marketing.  From a financial perspective, students are taught to prepare basic financial statements, and use that data to evaluate a company’s current financial position and potential for growth.  They learn how to create a budget and manage accounting basics such as payroll and bookkeeping.

Since financial management and marketing go hand-in-hand, at least one of your construction management courses will focus on how to get noticed and attract clients within today’s competitive marketplace.

To start, students learn the four P’s of marketing: promotion, price, placement, and product.  They develop strategies to identify and understand a target market, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of top competitors.  Ultimately, construction management students learn to create a marketing strategy that reflects the budget of a company, its growth goals, and the needs of the defined target audience.

Human Relations Management

Last, but certainly not least, students in construction office management programs explore the challenges of supervising staff. These include everything from interviewing and hiring, managing personnel files, scheduling and benefits—to how to keep team members motivated, happy, and productive on the job site. In fact, humans relations in construction management  is so important, we recently devoted an entire blog post to the subject, which you can take a look at here.

As you can see, construction management training runs the gamut from theoretical knowledge to hands-on construction skills to administrative management to team-building. This career path is ideal for analytical thinkers who thrive in leadership roles, and want variety and challenge in the work they do.

Are you looking for a reputable, comprehensive construction management program in Toronto?

Consider the Pre-apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute’s program.  PAT’s Construction Office Manager training takes just 8 months to complete, and covers all of the coursework mentioned here —and more. Visit the program page for a complete list of courses, career paths, or to chat live with an academic advisor.  We’ll help you get started!

Visit PAT's Construction Office Manager Program Page for Details

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