In the construction sector, you may see the terms ‘construction manager’ and ‘general contractor’ used interchangeably. While both play key roles in coordinating and completing a construction project, there are a few key differences.
General contractors are most often business entities, who employ an entire team of workers that will participate in various construction projects. Construction managers, on the other hand, are individuals who will help manage the project from start to finish but are not necessarily performing the actual construction on-site.
Let’s take a look at the key differences below.
- A business establishment with a variety of employees
- Employed through a bidding process
- Starts their work after the design is finalized
- Constructs entire project from beginning to end
- Physically on a job site the entirety of the project
- An individual or group of individuals
- Hired based on resume and experience
- Likely to be involved in the project prior to the design
- Oversees the entirety of the project from beginning to end
- May or may not be physically present on a job site daily
A General contractor is hired to work on a project through the process of bidding and maintains responsibility for any overages in costs or time. They typically specialize in one or multiple areas of construction. For example, one general contractor may offer services related to residential builds, while another specializes in commercial work.
A construction manager is hired by the owner of a business and is assigned to a project based on their skills and expertise. They’re paid based on a predetermined rate, which will not change based on whether or not the project maintains its expected timeline.
Whether or not you need a construction manager is completely up to the project. Most times, a general contractor can assume any responsibilities a construction manager may have.