Building a Career as a Construction Admin

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Fueled by a down economy, Do It Yourself (DIY) TV programs and retail outlets such as Home Depot are gaining popularity. Not everyone is suited to a career in construction, as exciting and creative as it seems to be. The work is difficult, exhausting and requires specialized skills. Construction workers are on the job before the building is completed, leaving them at the mercy of weather and temperature. If you always wanted to be involved in construction but not the difficult working conditions, an administrative position in construction may be right for you.

As with every industry, experience in some related field or service is a plus. Drawing on a job opening for an administrative position for a construction/finance company, here are some of the responsibilities and related skill sets needed to qualify:

1. Work with real estate and leasing agents to gather information for the Notice to Proceed (NTP). Previous experience with real estate or property management will make a candidate familiar with the processes, terms and jargon used in this part of the construction phase.
2. Prepare work orders and process invoices. This individual needs to have the aptitude for preparing forms to specifications, math and organization skills.
3. Work with accounting to ensure timely payment to vendors. Communications skills, a sense of urgency and the ability to organize and process according to payment schedules are skills that will eliminate late fees or complaints from vendors.
4. Receives and processes construction status reports from the General Contractor. In order to hold contractors accountable for schedules and reports, the admin needs to have confidence, be assertive and the ability to negotiate. Successful construction projects depend on schedules and clear communications.
5. Maintain the dynamic priority task list for all project managers. Construction has a lot of moving parts, and the priority of a task can change overnight. Delays in shipments, weather and lack of skilled workers on the job site can impact the work flow and cause delays. The admin has to be able to think on his feet, assess the situation, know the flow and schedule of a project and be able to make adjustments. He also has to be able to work with all levels within the project and keep accurate records, distribute change orders and keep the project on schedule.
6. Provide administrative support for all members of the construction and management team. Paperwork, ordering supplies, payroll; phone, fax, email, texts and all the other tasks of running a construction office is the admin’s responsibility. The ability to multi-task is essential to success.

Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, is a consultant, blogger, motivational speaker and freelance writer for Based in Savannah, GA, her work has appeared in Training magazine, Training & Development magazine, Supervision, BiS Magazine and The Savannah Morning News. When she’s not writing, she enjoys singing Alto II with the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and helping clients discover what they love and spend their life on it. You can read more of her blogs at and view additional job postings on Nexxt.

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