Architectural Project Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Architectural project managers design and direct numerous phases of building projects. These supervisory roles require a considerable range of skills, in addition to education, training and licensure.

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Job Description for Architectural Project Managers

Architectural project managers typically are involved in most, if not all, aspects of construction projects. These professionals consider many factors as they help architectural projects involving commercial, industrial or residential buildings reach completion. Most architectural project managers spend a significant portion of their time consulting with clients in an office setting. However, they also visit construction sites, where they interact with engineers, contractors and construction personnel.

Architectural Project Manager Duties

From site preparation to building completion, architectural project managers oversee elements of the design and construction processes. Part of this preparation includes developing, organizing and reviewing building plans, as well as preparing construction contracts for general contractors. Architectural project managers also can take part in interviewing and hiring contractors for proposed projects. As they consult with clients, these professionals generally include a cost estimate based on equipment, materials and labor requirements.

Architectural project managers must ensure that construction projects meet environmental, safety, structural, zoning and aesthetic standards. They determine and schedule different stages of the building process according to client needs. During construction site visits, they monitor progress and ascertain whether phases of the construction process are in compliance with building plans and project deadlines. After building completion, project managers may provide additional services for expansion and relocation projects

Requirements for Architectural Project Managers

Many employers require project managers to possess a relevant, professional degree, such as the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.). A B.Arch. program typically takes five years to complete, and students take coursework in architectural design, building systems, architectural history, general physics, construction management and professional practices. In addition to obtaining a relevant degree, these professionals must complete a period of supervised training before taking the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) for state licensure.

Certification for architectural project managers is voluntary, but it may demonstrate competency and experience to prospective clients. This certification can be obtained through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards for candidates who meet education, training and licensure requirements.

Architectural project managers also must be able to balance technical skills and creative aptitude in a fast-paced environment. They must be familiar with architectural standards, engineering practices, building ordinances and blueprints in order to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers.

Employment Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of architects in general will grow by 17% from 2012-2022. The BLS also reported that the median salary for architects was $73,090 as of May 2012. PayScale.com data from February 2014, however, indicates that the median salary for architectural project managers is $64,657.

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