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Career Development for Construction Managers

Yesterday ShapiroCM hosted a virtual event for members of the firm interested in learning about advancing in the field of Construction Management and the best available career development paths.

The "Lunch & Chat" came from a discussion with an early career employee who was interested in learning about certifications and degrees that would help him advance in the field.

We called on the experience of two veterans, ShapiroCM President Jay Shapiro, P.E. and Registered Architect Bob Chandler. Shapiro CM Vice President Robert Lautato, CCM added a lot to the discussion regarding becoming a Certified Construction Manager.

Jay began the discussion by taking the group back to the late 1970's when he graduated as a civil engineer. The field of Construction Management didn't exist as it is today. Pursuing a CM path meant getting an engineering or architecture degree and beginning a career with a traditional firm or working in general construction.

Jay began his career in a traditional design firm but was drawn to the field to see "what we were doing to get it built". From there he obtained a master's degree in Civil Engineering, became a Professional engineer and obtained an MBA. Jay points out that even with all those credentials, writing skills are extremely important to be a successful construction manager.

Bob Chandler opened his remarks by addressing the many career routes for architects, and the explaining how many different job experiences prepare a CM with an architecture background for projects in the field. Jay noted that having a P.E. or R.A. license gives a CM credentials with other stakeholders that can lead to leverage for the client and that having the Certified Construction Manager credential carries as much weight as a P.E. or R.A. in the field of CM.

Construction Management as an undergraduate degree is a relatively new program that, like technical engineering or architecture degrees, combined with field experience can make an individual a strong CM. A certification as a Project Management Professional can enhance the credentials of an individual with a technical degree. In some countries, PMP is more common in the field of construction than in the US where we have the Construction Management Association of America issuing the CCM.

Both Jay and Bob discussed the importance of trade certifications such as the OSHA 10 and 30 hour certifications, LEED Accredited Professional certificates, Certified Energy Manger, Certified Climate Change Professional and certifications given by trade associations. Bob also recommended taking training seminars on software commonly used in construction management.

Jay reminded employees that ShapiroCM supports employee development with an allowance for employees to use for trainings and certifications. The company plans to hold more forums on career development as part of its commitment to growth.


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