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How to Become a Construction Scheduler

Do you love managing deadlines and a team of people? Do you have a knack for finishing projects on time? As a construction scheduler, these traits are needed. Construction schedulers are responsible for recording and managing the schedule of projects. You may be working on commercial buildings, homes, or landscapes depending on the employer. Most of the time, you will be working in an office, communicating with the head of the project and checking that everyone is meeting their deadlines.

Much of this position will be done by gathering data through phone calls and meetings with the different construction teams. Once the schedule is created, you will need to periodically check up on the different teams to ensure that everything is going as planned. If you have strong interpersonal skills, excellent time management skills, and experience in construction, becoming a construction scheduler is a great choice.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is seeking a professional construction scheduler for a long-term and a full-time position at our company. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in the construction industry, as well as with data entry. Candidates will be required to manage deadlines and calendars for the company. Gathering data for the company as well as recording and managing the schedule will also be necessary. Fantastic communication skills and work ethic are also major benefits. Candidates will also be required to spend time standing when visiting construction sites, so familiarity with these sites is a major benefit. The majority of the work takes place at our office, but transportation is necessary for occasional fieldwork. If you are interested in this position, do not hesitate to apply.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Collect and analyze data
  • Determine staffing needs and supplies
  • Develop timetables for projects
  • Collaborate with project managers
  • Monitor progress on projects
  • Meet deadlines
  • Prepare summary reports

Education and experience

Construction schedulers need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students should receive a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field, architecture, or engineering. Most employers expect candidates to have experience with the critical path method (CPM) of scheduling, commonly used in the industry. Certifications are available, although they usually are not required. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong collaborative and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of critical path method (CPM) scheduling
  • Time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Solid analytical skills to collect and interpret data
  • Proficiency in understanding blueprints and contracts
  • Outstanding decision-making skills
  • Calm, professional demeanor
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ experience in scheduling
  • Data entry knowledge
  • Managing schedules for a large company
  • Great communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to self manage

Typical work environment

Construction schedulers are required to schedule and maintain the calendar and schedule for a construction agency. These schedulers will be required to manage deadlines and projects for the company. Oftentimes, this position will be full-time. The main location will be in an office environment, although occasional fieldwork is required to ensure task completion and quality retention. The construction scheduler will often be required to have a basic knowledge of data entry, as well as a knowledge of construction and similar work environments.

Typical hours

Schedulers typically work regular 9 AM to 5 PM, hours in an office environment, but they also visit construction sites to meet with people and gather information. Sometimes they might need to work more than 40 hours a week.

Available certifications

Although construction schedulers are not required to have a specific certification, having one or more of the following certifications can be a major benefit when applying to positions:

  • Construction Scheduling (CS). The Construction Scheduling course and certificate cover networking and construction scheduling required for this position. This course is available online and allows a learner to actively achieve the proper procedures which help a construction scheduler.
  • OSHA Training. OSHA training allows a construction scheduler to have a comprehensive knowledge of OSHA guidelines and procedures in order to properly represent a construction business and ensure that during the scheduling no guidelines are violated or modified. This certification is an immensely helpful certification for any construction position, including those in the scheduling aspect.

Career path

The first step to becoming a construction scheduler is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students should continue their education and receive a bachelor’s degree in construction, architecture, or engineering. Some employers provide on-the-job training; many prefer candidates with an internship or other experience and knowledge of the critical path method of project management. Job candidates will improve their career opportunities with certifications offered by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering.

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 schedulers, in particular, will continue to be in demand. Maintenance, improvements, and construction of roads and bridges 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.