Home / Career Guides / How to Become a Construction Project Captain

How to Become a Construction Project Captain

Are you experienced in construction? Do you enjoy leading others and planning for the future? If so, becoming a construction project captain could be a great career choice for you! As a construction project captain, you’ll be working with project managers and construction teams to ensure that all daily tasks, weekly tasks, and overall tasks are completed in a timely manner. Schedules are extremely important in construction, so you should be confident in creating schedules that deliver.

Because you may be client-facing, you should have excellent communication skills. You should also have the ability to solve problems and work with the team to resolve any issues that may pop up. You’ll be known as the main point person on the project, so you will need to have experience in construction. If you’re confident with great interpersonal skills and a background in construction, this could be the perfect fit for your next career.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking for a motivated and experienced construction project captain. Responsibilities for the construction project captain will include working in extension with the project manager and construction teams in order to ensure quality, that daily tasks are completed, and that the schedule is met. This position will require frequent communication and solving challenging problems, so you must be comfortable working in a team environment on a construction site. If you are not confident in your ability to resolve issues quickly and efficiently while managing your team members, this job is not for you. Confidence and quick thinking are required for this position in order to be successful. Experience and certifications are not required, but a major plus. Experience in the construction and management fields is a benefit as well.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Produce construction documents
  • Communicate with clients during a project
  • Meet with architects and construction workers at a job site
  • Negotiate with vendors and subcontractors
  • Quality assurance and quality control
  • Monitor progress on projects
  • Meet deadlines 

Education and experience

Construction project captains need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students should go on to receive a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from an accredited program, ideally in architecture. Employers prefer candidates with knowledge of building codes and Revit, modeling software for architects and engineers.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Experience with Revit modeling software
  • Outstanding decision-making skills
  • Knowledge of building codes
  • Calm, professional demeanor
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • 5+ years of experience managing construction employees
  • Construction manager certificate
  • Self-managed
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to get projects done on time

Typical work environment

The job of a construction project captain will revolve around team management, project management, and ensuring that daily tasks, quotas, and schedules are completed according to plan. This construction project captain will be required to ensure the quality of completed tasks as well, and work closely with the construction vice president or a similar project manager, as well as with the specific construction teams. Construction project captains will be required to work full-time in order to oversee relevant projects and teams. A construction project captain will be in charge of quality assurance control, meeting standards, and more. The captain will also be in charge of managing and meeting with architects and team members. This means that a construction project captain will need a high level of communication ability and top-notch problem-solving skills.

Typical hours

Project captains often work regular hours, typically in an office, although they also visit construction sites. They frequently log more than 40 hours a week and might need to work in the evenings or on weekends to meet deadlines.

Available certifications

Construction project captains will oftentimes be required to hold some sort of relevant certification or previous work experience. Some of the certificates required might be:

  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM). The Certified Construction Manager is a very good certification for a construction manager or construction project captain to acquire. This certification covers the basics of management and relevant construction management techniques. This certificate is extremely beneficial to the position of construction project captain.
  • Construction Management Certification Institute (CMCI). The Construction Management Certification Institute provides a gold standard for management professionals. This institute provides certifications for construction management and other general management skills and is extremely beneficial in the recognition of a construction captain or manager.

Career path

The first step to becoming a construction project captain is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students then should pursue a bachelor’s degree, preferably in architecture. Those who go on to receive a master’s degree will enhance their career opportunities. An architecture license also could open doors for job candidates.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9021

2020 Employment448,000
Projected Employment in 2030499,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift51,400 increase

Population growth means that construction-related jobs, and project captains, in particular, will continue to be in demand. Maintenance, improvements, and construction of roads and bridges also will create more job opportunities. The emphasis on environmentally friendly development and energy efficiency should give the industry a boost as well.

Job prospects in the construction industry tend to ebb and flow with the economy. The Construction Management Association of America offers career coaching, a learning center, and job listings for candidates. Another good resource is the American Institute of Architects.