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Career Connections: Construction Manager

5 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Construction Manager.

When I wake up every morning, it's like going to play.

(female narrator) According to Luis Gaitan, a project manager at Turner Construction Company, hard work feels like play when you love what you do. He says 80% of his time is spent overseeing construction projects, making sure they get done in time. We start about 7:00 in the morning. We do all the drawings, all the quality control, all the safety on the site, change orders, coordinate different installations as you build on the building.

(narrator) That includes making sure the customer is getting what was promised to them within their budget. This build is for $60 million. Our budget is $60 million. What we do is we manage somebody else's money. We know exactly how much we're spending day per day.

(narrator) One project could involve hundreds of people, which means many of the tools they use are for communication.

(Gaitan) We use cells. Okay? We use a walkie-talkie sometimes. And sometimes we use an iPad.

(narrator) Which allows them to send information to hundreds of people at once and store information needed in the field.

(Gaitan) For this project, we'll probably use about 1,500 drawings. There's no way you can carry 1,500 drawings with you. Back in time, you would bring the person in, sit in the trailer and go through the drawings. Nowadays, through the iPad software, immediately have 1,500 drawings on your hand.

(narrator) This technology, he feels, will fuel the construction industry in the future.

(Gaitan) If any city wants to be a big city, they have to construct. So, the construction industry not only brings jobs to the society, they also bring new technologies.

(narrator) Watching projects get completed is a rewarding part of his job.

(Gaitan) That was an emergency pavilion for Metro Hospital on 25th,

(Describer) Photos show the different stages of the construction.

and the best reward of the thing is creating something or helping create something that is gonna help the community. There's nothing better than a hospital.

(narrator) Luis has worked at Turner for 20 years. It took him 15 years to become a project manager. He took college courses, many in science and math.

(Gaitan) I'm a mechanical engineer, so I went for a mechanical engineering degree. Classes I took-- physics, calculus, stress analysis,

(Describer) All wearing construction helmets, a man leaves other people in a large elevator before another man closes its gate.

dynamics. Do we apply all those classes in the field? The majority we do. What you learn with an engineering degree is not how well you can do or decide, it's how well you can think and apply the knowledge.

(narrator) He then got his master's of business administration before becoming a project manager. Not everybody wants to be in college. There's nothing wrong with it. There's plenty work out there that you can do and be very successful. I know people that work with us in the construction industry, and they love what they do. They went to trades, they got their GEDs or their high school diploma, and after that, they got into the union.

(narrator) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a median salary for a construction manager is $94,590 a year. For students interested in pursuing a career in construction, Luis says to first finish high school and then decide what you want to do.

(Gaitan) First, you go to the union. They'll tell you exactly all the classes you have to take. If you want to be an engineer, be the best you can be. As soon as you accomplish your goal in life, you will be a happy person. When you're happy, the rest is a piece of cake.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. Western Reserve Public Media. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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A manager for a construction site discusses the importance of blueprints in ensuring the safety of buildings. He also explains that construction managers are responsible for quality control and the budget of building sites of the sites they oversee. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12