Architect vs Construction Manager

by Usama Chaudry on May 15, 2022

We can observe that the construction industry continues to grow as infrastructure is improved day by day in any developed or developing city.

Any building project is based on a strong construction crew, including a building owner, an architect, a builder, an engineer, and a building designer.

However, our concern is about the Architect vs Construction Manager in this discussion.  It is to note that they both are the two most important pillars of any building project.

A construction manager is responsible for the logistics and personnel required to construct the building, while the architect plans and designs the structure of a building.

The two disciplines are majorly different in their qualification, roles and responsibilities, and even salary outlook.

Want to know how?

Go on reading! We will discuss their differences and similarities in detail.

Who Is an Architect?

First of all, it is important to know who an architect is. In simple words, he is a professional who creates architectural designs.

Architects have a thorough understanding of building design’s art and science. They can effectively design schematics and structural plans for public and private landscapes. 

Moreover, we can also say that an architect is someone qualified to make infrastructure attractive, useful, and safe.

Architects may also act as trusted advisors who merge many standards and disciplines in a creative process while acting responsibly.

Perhaps, we can say that architects are like orchestras who organize and lead the way in achieving a building’s objectives.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Architect

You might be curious to know what duties an architect has to perform.

An architect plays many roles and responsibilities on the construction site before or during a project.

Here is a list:

  • Making a building plan that meets the specific requirements of a client
  • Designing and fine-tuning blueprints
  • Creating graphic models of a structure using specialist design software
  • Investigating local zoning rules, building codes, and regulations
  • Estimating and analyzing costs and impacts of the project, such as environmental changes
  • Coordinating and supervising the project to verify that the team constructs the design properly
  • Collaborating with a construction crew, including the manager of all workers

Who Is a Construction Manager?

Construction managers are those who are responsible for the coordination and scheduling of the design and development processes. They play prominent roles in the construction of office complexes, residential houses, and commercial and industrial buildings.

A construction manager is someone who is in charge of overall construction management including approving and hiring specialized contractors. Not only this but they are also bound to oversee the entire project from initiation to completion.

However, for some major projects, he or she might be in charge of only a single portion of the construction area.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Construction Manager

Now, let’s dive into the regular duties of a construction manager.

Construction managers do the following:

  1. Assist in the preparation and negotiation of budgets, timetables, and overall cost of the project
  2. Supervision and scheduling of all construction ideas and operations, from installing lender to putting marble on flooring,
  3. Provide  workers with contract interpretation and site’s technical information
  4. Inform and update clients about the development and expense of their infrastructure
  5. Work with architects and engineers to develop new ideas
  6. Guide and monitor the performance of workers on the construction site
  7. Deal and manage work delays, construction issues, and emergencies timely
  8. Hire and train freelancers as well as manpower
  9. Make sure that construction projects complete on the given time
  10. Deal with legal issues, including safety codes and other restrictions
  11. Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other professionals, including stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters, to complete a project

Difference Between Architect and Construction Manager

We shall now walk through the difference between architecture and construction managers concerning their education, skills, qualification, and salary.

Education: Architect vs. Construction Manager

Here are the main differences in architect vs. construction manager education.

Education for an Architect

1.  A Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)

This curriculum is specifically designed to obtain professional architectural degrees. Unlike most bachelor’s degrees, this one takes five years to finish and is suitable for students who have no previous degree in architecture.

2.  A Master’s Degree in Architecture

Acquiring a master’s degree is essential for aspiring architects to stand out professionally. Any candidate can opt for this curriculum that has finished a bachelor’s degree in another subject or architecture.

3.  A Master in Architecture Program

It is a specially designed course that expands on previous pre-professional knowledge and gives field exposure.  

4.  Design Courses

Students master architect design through a combination of design studio courses and advanced courses in:

  • History and theory of architecture
  • Technology for construction
  • Professional practice in environmental building design

Education for a Construction Manager

Although construction managers can get jobs with just high school graduation and a few years of experience, a bachelor’s degree in a field is prioritized.

It is essential to obtain any of the following bachelor’s degrees to become a professional.

  • Construction management,
  • Science,
  • Engineering, or
  • Architecture.

 For instance, students of bachelor in construction management learn about:

  • Sustainable building practices,
  • Cost controls, and
  • Construction theory.

Skills: Architect vs. Construction Manager

Now we will be talking about the skill sets of architect vs. construction manager

Skills for an Architect

To be a professional, the following architect skills and qualities are a must:

  • Designing competence
  • Legal Awareness
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Business awareness
  • Market analysis
  • Artistic creativity
  • Numerical skills
  • Creative ability

Skills for Construction Manager

A professional construction manager should have the following skills to stand out:

  • Appropriate delegation
  • Leading power
  • Organizing and Planning
  • Good Communication skills
  • Setting objectives
  • Prioritizing tasks
  • Risk Management
  • Goal setting
  • Receptive to feedback

Salary: Architect vs. Construction Manager

You might be wondering about which career path can make me earn better money. Right? Let’s talk about the difference in average architect construction manager salary.

 The average pay for a construction manager in 2021 is $78,356, which includes incentives, commissions, and profit-sharing.

On the other hand, the average income for an architect in 2021 is $67,077, which includes both incentives and commissions.

All we can say is that both a construction manager’s and an architect’s salary depends on the following:

  • Region
  • Industry
  • Abilities
  • Qualities
  • Progress on-site
  • Years of experience

Similarities Between an Architect and Construction Manager

Architect vs. construction manager, both are similar in the following ways:

Planning

Planning is common among both professionals. The architect plans the design for the building while the construction manager plans how to construct it.

Communication

The architect has to communicate with clients and other professional crew. On the other hand, the construction manager communicates with labor, suppliers, etc.

Payment

They both do not have fixed salaries and are paid according to their working progress on the construction project.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Can an architect be a construction manager?

The answer is a simple no because Architects deal with designs of construction while the construction managers are responsible for the overall management of the project.

2- Who gets paid more, architect or construction manager?

They both receive payments according to their working progress in a project. So, these two professions have different average salaries, according to US payscale.com. An architect earns $67,077 per year on average. Comparatively, construction managers’ average salary is $78,356 per year.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the discussion on architect vs. construction manager tells us that each career path has its prerequisites. They both have to ensure that a project is effective and functional.

By now, we hope that you probably have realized that they both are entirely different from each other from several perspectives. But, remember, hard work will pay you off in any of these professions on the construction site.

Usama ChaudryUsama is a professional engineer and graduated from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.

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