Contracts Administrator Construction

What is a Contracts Administrator?

A Contracts Administrator ensures all contractors are fulfilling their requirements as highlighted in the project contract. This means ensuring tradespeople and contractors are meeting deadlines, milestones and budgets.

A Contracts Administrator must understand the contract and make amendments and variations to work orders and deliverables as they occur. It’s a paperwork heavy job requiring a high level of detail!

What are your options as a Contracts Administrator?

Contracts Administrators are found in a variety of industries wherever there is a project with a contractual agreement. However, generally they are in the property or construction industry overseeing a project through to completion.

They often work for the key project stakeholder such as the property developer or Head Contractor. A Contracts Administrator may work on a single project at a time (if it is large) or several smaller ones. If employed permanently then they are likely to work from project to project for the same employer. They can also work in a project capacity for a fixed term seeing a project through to completion.

Contracts Administrators sometimes work remotely in an office-based location. However, not being on site can make it harder to communicate with contractors which is a big part of the role. It’s often easier to be based on site, particularly if it is your only project.

As with most construction industry jobs, you can find Contracts Administrators roles all over Australia. If you’re in the residential or commercial building industry you’ll usually be metro based, where property building is more likely to occur. If you’re in civil construction such as infrastructure civil projects you could be anywhere where there are roading, rail and utilities projects. This could be in a remote location. 

How do I become a Contracts Administrator?

Generally your best bet is a qualification in Construction or Engineering. In Australia this is gained at TAFE or university.

A quick look at the CVs of Contracts Administrators on our database shows that 40% are engineers, mostly civil engineers. 33% have a university qualification in Construction such as a Bachelor of Construction Management and Property. 12% have a trade qualification such as licensed builders. 15% have a masters degree in a related field such as project management or engineering.

How much does it pay?

The role of Contracts Administrator comes with responsibility. You’ll need to coordinate the management of multiple people and processes and ensure the project meets contracted objectives and other factors.

A Contracts Administrator in Australia can expect to earn roughly $86,000 according to government website Job Outlook. This is well above the national average salary in Australia.

Looking for your next job in the Construction and Property Industry?

Here at Extiro, our job is to connect quality candidates with great jobs in the construction and property industry. To ensure you don’t miss out on any new opportunities, sign up to Extiro. We’ll notify you when a job comes up that is a match with your profile. If you’re interested, you can submit your resume quickly and conveniently directly from within the platform.

For employers, we have a database of hundreds of pre-vetted candidates throughout Australia who are actively seeking new roles. Contact us and learn how we can help you find your perfect match for your next job vacancy. 

community-engagement

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WITHIN NSW’S MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

If you reside in Sydney, no doubt you have either been subject to, or seen headlines on the development of the Sydney Light Rail, WestConnex Rozelle Interchange and NorthConnex. We may merely think of it as the construction we pass by on our morning commute to work, but there is so much more that happens behind the scenes – in particular, the large and intricate role of community and stakeholder engagement managers. To shine a light on this, Rebecca Spencer, recently working on WestConnex Rozelle Interchange, Anne Learmonth from NorthConnex, and Marianne McCabefrom Sydney Light Rail, joined us for a panel event and shared some great insights from their experiences on these projects. Some highlights from the panel are below:

Having a seat at the table

In this profession, much of the role is focused on ensuring that the senior managers and directors are invested in and take a genuine interest in community engagement. They need to understand that stakeholder issues are a priority, and having their support and empathy is crucial to getting the job well done. However, it is important to be a part of this process end to end – from the very beginning when the project is being scoped out and contractual obligations are put in place, right to final delivery and review. An immense amount of planning and consultation needs to be undertaken with the community prior to the project kicking off, and it is crucial for the community engagement manager to be present and an active part of such discussions. If you are in this position and still fighting that fight, don’t give up.

Engaging the engineers

Within new infrastructure projects, engineers are at the core – which is why having their full endorsement of the role of communications is important. Anne spoke of getting the engineers involved in creating the mobile displays and running school education programs, where they found this frontline experience valuable to see the positive effect of their own team’s efforts. Bringing along the superintendent on door knocks or a community session, allows them to understand the value of community engagement and see it as an enabler rather than an inhibitor.

Community engagement managers – the new therapist?

Funny stories (for us not them!) were also told from our panel’s escapades in doorknocking and manning the complaints overnight line. Whilst community engagement managers must be respectful and do what they can to assist, they must know when to draw the line and make a call on putting the responsibility back on the resident. Marianne dealt with callers who treated the hotline as a counselling service, which steps into a hazy area of referring to professional medical help. To face such instances, Rebecca supported the growing necessity to provide training to deal with these at times, scary situations.

Providing support and building resilience

Despite the difficulties of the job, it is great to hear that support amongst CE teams is very strong – Rebecca mentioned that the engagement and stakeholder managers who work on these major infrastructure projects get together to share their war stories and provide advice. Our panel members support their teams to build resilience in the face of tough situations, such as those outlined above, by taking time to reflect on the week’s wins whether big or small, taking care of the team’s mental and physical wellbeing, and most importantly, sharing the burden equally – in this case, having a rotating schedule of each person manning the phone on the overnight complaints hotline!

How is it all measured?

Our audience asked some fantastic questions, one being how all these efforts are measured. With numbers and data becoming a key focus in each discipline, community engagement managers also need to leverage such tools. At NorthConnex, Anne and her team use a tool to measure how timely their responses are to complaints. They also scored 94 points on the ISCA sustainability award system for the community engagement efforts they undertook, which was a great achievement and provided further tangible evidence for them to have a ‘seat at the table’. Surveys are also a viable option to measure satisfaction – however, Rebecca wants to see more done to ensure that these surveys are monitored and carried out more regularly.

This article originally appeared on the website of our partner company, Commtract. To find out more about Commtract and subscribe to their newsletters, visit https://www.commtract.com

Construction Manager

What is a Construction Manager and how do I become one?

The Construction Manager is the go-to person on a building site. They are involved in most decisions from early planning stages, right through to execution and the final result.

A Construction Manager will:

  • hire and supervise workers
  • coordinate contractors and staff schedules
  • estimate project costs
  • ensure staff safety and building compliance
  • be responsible for communicating to stakeholders about the progress of the project

What are my career prospects as a Construction Manager?

The website joboutlook.gov.au has good news for anybody interested in pursuing a career as a Construction Manager. The average salary is $179,000 and job growth is high.

Extiro regularly has job vacancies for Construction Managers, all over Australia. All industries have requirements for Construction Managers, whether for residential, commercial, government or any other kind of construction project. 

Roles are available in regional and capital cities, however the bulk of the workload is in metro locations. Working for national construction companies can present opportunities to do short term assignments in regional locations or travel regularly. Recently we had a job opening for a Construction Manager over the summer in a popular beachside holiday spot. Who wouldn’t like a working-holiday near the beach for the summer?

How do I get a job as a Construction Manager?

There is no doubt about it, Construction Manager is an important role in any construction project. Therefore, the skill level required for the role is high.

The higher the qualifications, the better outcomes for salary and job prospects. A bachelor degree in Construction Management or a similar field is recommended. A diploma of building and construction is an alternative pathway, combined with relevant work experience. 

Engineers or construction tradespeople may move into a Construction Manager role, often with additional training such as Project Management qualifications.

As with many construction roles, hands on experience and a trade background will help immensely. Many Extiro candidates have a trade certification such as licensed builder or carpenter, in additional to university or TAFE qualifications. 

To be successful in the role, you will need a talent for managing people and multiple priorities. This is a varied role with many competing requirements. You will need to have a good rapport with your team, leadership and contractors to communicate successfully to produce outcomes.

Overall the career outlook is excellent. Construction Manager is an exciting role where no two days are the same and offers long and successful career opportunities.

For information about roles with our network of leading companies, contact us at info@extiro.com or 1300 398 476.

Construction-Estimator

What is a Construction Estimator and how do I become one?

Building construction takes the skills and expertise of so many people. We all know about engineers, builders and tradespeople and their roles in construction projects. However, there are dozens of other careers in the construction industry. Construction Estimator is one such example which is less broadly known yet it is super important for the overall success of a construction project.

Whether you’re contemplating a career switch or starting out, Construction Estimator is a career worth considering.

A Construction Estimator is responsible for determining the cost of materials, labour and any other inputs to complete a construction project. The focus is on accuracy and reliability so in that respect, “estimate” can be a misleading term. They will need to define the costs as close to the final figure as possible. Estimators ensure the project is delivered on time, to budget and without any unexpected costs cropping up along the way.

Understanding of laws and building regulations is a requirement of the job. Likewise, the ability to interpret plans and drawings is essential.

You will work with others such as construction managers, architects, surveyors, engineers and suppliers of materials and labour to help establish a budget. Critically you will need to understand the role each of these services in the construction project to provide an overall picture of how they will affect your budget.

You don’t need to have a head for figures to balance the costs and develop accurate financial forecasts. Construction estimators use technology software to compute estimates and produce reports. Estimator’s reports and cost estimates are used in the planning and tendering process by other stakeholders.

How do I get a job as a Construction Estimator?

There are three estimating qualifications offered in Australia:

1. Certificate IV in Building & Construction (Estimating)
2. Diploma of Building & Construction
3. Bachelor of Construction Management

In addition to relevant training, a Construction Estimator will require a whitecard and relevant site safety certification.

Those with experience in the construction industry already, such as Project Managers, Construction Managers or Site Managers may find it a logical lateral career move. For some, the allure of becoming an Estimator can be due to the more office-based hours and work location. Estimators regularly make site and supplier visits but generally they have an office-based role. If you’re used to years of early starts and inclement weather, you might be drawn to the more sociable work hours and office environment.

Often Estimators prefer to establish a niche for themselves such as estimating construction projects in one or two disciplines. This could be retail, medical, residential, commercial or aged care. But there is really no limit to the specialisation you can choose. If someone wants to build, they will need an Estimator!

In capital and metro cities in Australia, having a niche area can be a lucrative career option, particularly if you gain a reputation as being an expert in your field. In other locations, it can be the case that an Estimator has a more varied skill set due to the volume and variety of work available.

What are my career prospects as a Construction Estimator?

The website joboutlook.gov.au claims the average annual salary of a construction estimator is $95,576. Anecdotally, the roles we have had advertised on Extiro have paid a lot more than this.

Estimators may work in consultancy firms or permanently within a larger organisation such as construction or property development firm. Short term roles are also an option but are not common. There is also the option for an Estimator to set up their own business as a Consultant Estimator.

As with any role in the construction industry, economic conditions can very quickly change in the construction job market. Because the role of an Estimator is focused on quality and cost control, it is a career that rides the ebbs and flows of construction downturns better than some others.

Clients are often recruiting for Estimators on the Extiro platform. It is one of our more common job roles. This is great news for those hoping to transition to a career as an Estimator, or an Estimator looking for their next role. There certainly seems to be more demand than supply!

For more information about Estimator roles with our network of leading companies, contact us at info@extiro.com or 1300 398 476.

Look what we’re building…

Newsletter: Tightening the purse strings