Are you passionate about construction and building and want to enter the industry? Or, are you a builder looking to break into the construction management industry?

Both career choices are challenging and rewarding at the same time, and unlike what most people contemplate, they’re altogether different pathways.

Read on to know what differentiates a construction manager from a builder and vice-versa. Moreover, we’ll also look at what each of them does and how you can get there.

By the end of this informative read, you’ll know the roles and responsibilities of a builder and construction manager.

Without any further ado, let’s learn more about the differences between the two.

What Do Builders Do Exactly?

A builder is someone who builds homes and industrial and commercial buildings. Additionally, they do demolitions, excavations, and renovations. To put it simply, builders do specific construction tasks that include operating machinery and manual labor.

Moreover, the job of a builder varies every month. For instance, you may work on a multilevel office building at one time and the other on a residential unit.

Also, most builders are independent contractors. Rather than receiving wages against their labor, they charge for their work. And by being independent contractors, builders have to source their materials. Some other responsibilities of a builder include the safety of the team and on-site cleanup.

Advantages And Disadvantages

A builder has a very manual job. They’re usually on-site and spend most of their time outdoors. If a desk job doesn’t excite you, then you’ll enjoy the role and work of a builder. Nevertheless, it also puts them at higher injury risks, with injuries varying from a mild strain to more severe damages.

And since builders are independent workers, they take risks in their businesses. They can experience huge profits or losses based on the project’s execution. With that being said, being an independent worker does come with its advantages. For example, they can choose which projects to work on, set deadlines, etc.

Pursuing a career as a builder comes with both benefits and disadvantages. For instance, the average salary of builders can be near $17/hour or $33,145/year. However, if the company performs well, the amount can be more.

And if you ever feel you want to earn more, you’ve got a chance to move upward into the construction management or senior builders’ role.

What Qualifications And Skills Will You Need?

The primary requirement to be a builder is to have a builder’s license or builder’s registration. If you have educational qualifications, it will provide you a competitive advantage. Also, builders with training and experience in the construction industry get most of the work. If you want to pursue it as your career option, go for a course like “Diploma of Building and Construction.” The course will help you polish your current skill-set and make you ready to become a builder.

What Do Construction Managers Do Exactly?

Construction managers, also called building managers or site managers, supervise and oversee particular areas of the building/construction process. Though they also do some manual tasks that builders usually do, mainly speaking, they assign tasks and oversee laborers and builders.

A construction manager is responsible for ensuring everyone on-site remains safe and that  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations are met. To have the appropriate skills, many people study construction management courses.

Moreover, construction management includes office work as well, such as getting permits and hiring workers. Also, they work with several people like architects, project managers, and developers. Construction managers may also work with several other stakeholders, such as local councils and owners.

To become a building manager, you’ll have to be a tradesperson or builder first. And it may take about 2-4 years easily to earn a builder’s license or apprenticeship. Afterward, you can move to the construction management job with your transferable abilities.

Advantages And Disadvantages

Let’s admit it: construction managers have various advantages. For example, it’s less demanding in terms of manual labor. But, on the contrary, it also has more responsibilities and stress. Also, you have fewer chances to get wounded on-site as you spend most of the time working in the office. A construction manager is a company employee. Unlike builders, they get set wages against their work, no matter how profitable or loss-making the project is. The average salary of construction managers is around $78,356/year – much higher than the builder’s yearly earnings. Not only this, but they also get other perks such as annual leaves, sickness benefits, and superannuation.

If you can manage extra pressure, construction management is suitable for you as it’s an advanced job compared to builders and has higher staying power.

Construction Management Degrees And Courses

If you want to have the edge over your competitors and accelerate your progression, choose construction management degrees and courses. Enroll in construction management degree programs if you have time; however, a diploma is the best if you want a shorter program.

Compared to degree programs, the certification will only take one year. This way, you can efficiently and effectively study as well as work.

Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages. Construction managers have a higher responsibility, better working conditions, and a higher pay scale. On the contrary, builders earn less and work on-site; however, they have more freedom and less stress.