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With more than one million employees working across 330,000 construction businesses, the construction industry is the third largest in the country, making up 9% of Australia’s total workforce*. And these numbers will only continue to rise.

Predicted to be one of the strongest growth areas of employment over the next five years**, there is no better time for people looking to start or advance their career in the building and construction industry. From technical knowledge to effective communication and digital technology capabilities, we’ve collaged the top skills construction professionals need to succeed in our 20-page career guide.

*Ai Group, Australia’s Construction Industry: Profile and Outlook July 2015
** Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Office of the Chief Economist, Australian Industry Report 2016

Top skills employers look for in construction professionals

  1. Strong technical construction skills and an understanding of the entire project lifecycle
  2. The ability to effectively communicate with all stakeholders
  3. Digital skills to use Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools
  4. Project management skills to ensure projects are finished on time, on budget and within quality standards
  5. Knowledge of sustainable construction and the environmental impact of building materials and processes

Get Your Construction Management Career Guide

Discover the essential skills construction management professionals need to succeed, career opportunities, and industry trends in your free 20-page career guide.


Building and Construction Jobs

Construction professionals are commonly employed by large construction firms and smaller building subcontractors. They can work on a range of buildings including residential houses, apartment complexes, offices, shopping centres, public buildings, hospitals, and schools.

There are also opportunities to work on heavy industrial or civil construction sites, road, tunnel and shaft excavations, demolition sites, as well as local government works.


Construction manager

Construction managers oversee and allocate resources for construction projects; work with architects and engineers to check plans and blueprints; manage timetables; determine material and labour costs, and liaise with hire subcontractors and workers.


Project manager

Project managers coordinate and plan projects; prepare budgets and cost estimates; create schedules and respond to issues and delays. Project managers communicate with clients about progress and ensure safety regulations and codes are met.


Construction Supervisor

Construction supervisors oversee all construction activities that take place on a work-site. Construction supervisors supervise staff while maintaining a safe and secure work environment by adhering to, and enforcing safety codes.



Estimators compile cost estimates based on variables such as labour, materials and equipment. Estimators work out project costs and create budgets, and analyse quotes from sub-contractors and suppliers.


Construction planner

Construction planners develop plans on construction projects so the project is completed safely, on time and within budget. Construction planners work with managers and engineers to discuss progress and address issues during construction development.


Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors manage all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from initial calculations to final figures. Quantity surveyors seek to minimise the costs of a project, and achieve required standards and quality.


Building surveyor

Building surveyors ensure buildings are safe to occupy, energy efficient, accessible and meet all legal requirements as a statutory responsibility. Building surveyors assess, certify and inspect building works; work in design, fire safety and energy efficiency.

Industry insight

As we move into more of a high technology industry where more work is done remotely, it’s vital that construction professionals are IT savvy and are competent in using programs like Revit and BIM (Building Information Modelling).

As we move into more of a high technology industry where more work is done remotely, it’s vital that construction professionals are IT savvy and are competent in using programs like Revit and BIM (Building Information Modelling).

Trevor Kokkinakis
TMK Consulting Engineers

Looking to change your career?

It’s never too late to pursue your passion. If you’re looking to make a career change in construction management, studying a university degree is a great option to launch your new career.

UniSA Online’s Construction Management degree will give you the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for while giving you the flexibility to continue working while you study.

Want to move up in your current role?

Are you currently working in the building and construction industry and looking to make the move into management roles? Complement your work experience and expertise in the sector with a tertiary qualification, and take the next step in your construction management career.

People interested in a construction management degree can come from a range of roles and including:

  • Construction trades worker
  • Architectural, building, and surveying technician
  • Civil engineering draftsperson and technician
  • Contractor
  • Builder
  • Site manager
  • Building supervisor

Whether you’re looking to upskill and advance your current career or embark on a career change, UniSA Online’s Construction Management degree will give you the skills to help you achieve your goals.

Study Construction Management 100% online

Develop a career in the construction industry focusing on residential and low-rise buildings and go on to pursue your goals in quantity surveying, building surveying or construction management.

Learn more

UniSA offers a range of other online degrees that can be studied off campus. Some on-campus study may be required.

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