How to Become a Construction Project Manager in South Africa: Qualifications, Jobs and Salary

Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority

About the accreditation, courses & Seta


Seta Code: 2019-643201

NQF Levels: NQF 4    

SAQA Code:

64409 - National Certificate 

94182   - Occupational Certificate

Construction Project Managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and monitoring various construction projects. For instance, they can be in charge of the construction of bridges, facilities, buildings, roadways, and building systems. 

Such professionals oversee the construction process from conceptualization to completion.

Many times, they have to organize and command teams of construction supervisors, contractors, and various trade workers. Usually, the construction project manager only reports back to the owner and local officials. 

A Construction Project Manager requires a solid set of skills and qualifications that result from mandatory Construction Project Manager courses and apprenticeships.

Proper learning and training provide future professionals with essential knowledge on managing distinct construction projects for a particular client.

Construction Project Manager jobs in South Africa pay a reliable salary. This specialization comes with essential benefits and good prospects for qualified labourers.

Furthermore, they can apply for Construction Project Manager positions in various sectors, such as large companies and government institutions.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Construction Project Manager?

Construction Project Managers must have an excellent understanding of blueprints, schematics, building codes, and relevant laws. Also, they must have excellent interpersonal skills to organize efficient task schedules for numerous workers.

To work as a Construction Project Manager, one must have a Matric Grade 9 certificate confirming the completion of the studies period. Some employers may require higher certifications.

Registered operators in this field have to gain their skills and knowledge from short courses and training before they are eligible to earn an entry-level salary.

The job of a Construction Project Manager in South Africa is part of the MerSETA (Manufacturing Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority) environment.

To be able to apply for this position, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in construction.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF level 4 or equivalent
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 4 or equivalent
  • Communications at NQF level 4 or equivalent
  • Possess outstanding knowledge of tools, processes, and materials involved in general construction.
  • Have a national certificate that shows you have completed Construction Project Manager courses.

Besides these mandatory qualifications, a Construction Project Manager must also prove the following traits:

  • Be physically fit to work in various organizational environments.
  • Be mentally strong to handle the responsibility of large construction projects.
  • Be able to work for long hours.
  • Enjoy managing multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of construction projects and employee management.
  • Be able to complete project management reports.
  • Have a strong sense of practicality.

According to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), having a Construction Project Manager job also implies these requirements:

  • An in-depth understanding of health and safety compliance rules in the workplace.
  • Have above-average mathematical, communications, and computer abilities.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Be precise and reliable.
  • Show confidence, assertiveness, and resilience.
  • The ability to work well with others.
  • A great set of communication skills.
  • Be proficient in speech and writing.
  • Be able to remain calm under pressure.
  • Be transparent, fair, and trustworthy.

What is a Construction Project Manager’s Job?

Expert Construction Project Managers have a broad range of mathematical, computing, and communication abilities, which they gain from study and hands-on experience.

Construction Project Managers use their knowledge and skills to organize a construction project. Also, they ensure that it reaches its goals according to local laws and construction industry standards. Furthermore, they have to oversee the work of various construction workers, contractor teams, and more.

Being a Construction Project Manager comes with a decent amount of occupational hazards and dangers. Such professionals often have to travel outside their offices. For instance, they have to visit construction sites in potentially dangerous terrain conditions.

A Construction Project Manager’s main duties include:

  • Manage and ensure that a construction project develops according to plans, laws, and preset costs.
  • Read blueprints and schematics, building codes, and relevant laws.
  • Effectively schedule tasks, meet deadlines and follow a budget.
  • Monitor and organize construction workers.
  • Help workers in understanding their tasks as parts of a larger construction project.
  • Ensure that all the construction project-related documents get processed in time.

After finishing Construction Project Manager courses and four years as an apprentice, one can begin a career as a drafter in sectors like:

  • Government departments
  • Municipalities
  • Large companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Suppliers and distributors
  • Private firms

How Much Does a Construction Project Manager Earn in a Year?

A proper set of mathematics, construction, and management skills together with the obligatory Construction Project Manager studies can help a professional earn an above-average salary in South Africa.

At the moment, the average hourly pay for Construction Project Managers is R245.
Depending on your level of abilities and experience, you can earn between R61 and R690 per hour. In addition, you may also receive a bonus ranging between R11,000 and R84,000 for an entire year.

As a student or apprentice, you may earn only the minimum rate at first.
However, in time, you can earn an average of R466,871 per year.
The most that you can make within 12 months of working as a Construction Project Manager in South Africa is R918k, which is well above the average wage.

How to Work as a Construction Project Manager in South Africa

South Africa has a broad market for Construction Project Manager jobs.
There is substantial demand for such professionals in several industries and sectors, with more than 240 listings currently available.
Candidates that meet the mandatory qualifications and expert skills have several directories available to apply for this specialization.

Construction Project Manager Courses give you an in-depth understanding of what this vocation requires.
They help you acquire skills and experience that are impossible to obtain through other learning methods.
By having a certificate that proves you had training in the field, you have an immediate advantage over other candidates for the same job. 

Working as a Construction Project Manager in South Africa gives you the freedom to pick a field of work from numerous industries and job sites.
Additionally, with enough experience and knowledge, you can start your Construction Project Manager business and practice the trade privately.