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July 27, 2023

Get off the tools and into construction management

Fresh out of high school or looking to change jobs? Or maybe you want to progress your existing construction career? Build a career with huge prospects with this UniSA degree.

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  • This article was produced in collaboration with the University of South Australia.

You know you are doing the right degree when you are offered a job halfway through your course, like Cameron Logan was.

Cameron has been with national construction firm BADGE for six years and in 2019 completed his Bachelor of Construction Management (Hons) at UniSA while working as a contracts administrator. He was offered the role while in his second year at uni and says it offers a great foundation for a career in project and construction management.


Find out about Construction Management at UniSA here.

At BADGE, he has worked on construction projects for diverse industry sectors – including the Woomera Range remediation project and the redevelopment of the Defence Force School for Signals in Melbourne, the new Woolworths shopping centre at Mount Barker and the $17 million upgrade to Seaton High School.

The Bachelor of Construction Management (Hons) is the only fully accredited construction management degree in South Australia. Depending on a graduate’s choice of stream – building surveying, quantity surveying or construction management – they will also graduate with a range of accreditations from the leading industry bodies.

The degree opens doors to careers – not only as a construction manager or contract administrator – but also as a construction planner, site manager, estimator, quantity surveyor or building surveyor.

Offering an insider’s perspective on the industry, Cameron believes the outlook for employment in the industry for the next decade is strong.

“I don’t think there’s a company out there that wouldn’t be looking for staff at the moment. Labour resources and professional resources are hard to find and there’s a plethora of construction projects around,” he says.

“You know, one thing that the government does in tough times – like coming out of COVID – is they look to stimulate the economy via construction. You see a lot more construction projects get released.

“That’s just recently happened. With the schools, there’s about 60-odd school projects that got released and Seaton High School was one of those.”

In good times too, construction remains a core industry. With the ABS projecting Australia’s population will grow by almost 50 per cent to near 40 million in 2060, industry bodies, such as the Master Builders Association, say a significant, knowledgeable and skilled workforce is critical.

The construction sector is the country’s third largest employer and has one of the highest numbers of full-time workers at 1.15 million people.

But there is still a huge unmet need. The National Skills Priority List released late last year ranked construction manager at number four of the most in demand occupations, based on both the current shortage and projected future employment growth.

Meanwhile, construction is one of the top five contributors to Australia’s GDP and enjoys strong indicators for growth in all sectors, including residential, commercial, industrial and community building, as well as civil projects.

For Cameron, the industry rewards go beyond both job security and good salary prospects. (A quick check on Seek shows construction managers, his potential next move, earn on average between $140,000 and $160,000 per year in South Australia.)

“The fast-paced nature of construction is definitely something that is quite good, because you do form a team relationship with your immediate project team, and it’s kind of ‘one in, all in’,” he says.

“And it’s not just the same thing over and over – every project is unique.”

He says there is currently a big push for greater efficiency in projects and construction techniques, which is also helping to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

“Rather than very labour-intensive work, [there is a move to] prefabbing elements of buildings and then that saves time on-site and labour, and [helps deliver] energy efficiency. Modular and prefabricated buildings are definitely on the rise.”

Cameron decided to study at UniSA after learning a trade.

“I was a carpenter for a couple of years [but] I always thought in my head that I would have preferred to manage the construction process, rather than be on the tools. It’s a more of a longevity kind of thing,” Cameron says.

Having experienced UniSA’s Construction Management degree first hand, Cameron says the option to gain practical industry skills, in addition to the theoretical learnings, made it more valuable.

“While working at BADGE and studying, I could see that progression to where I was going to be working within the industry,” he says.

“That was a really good kick starter for me in my career to get a taste of where I’d be in the real world after I’d finished studying.”

The three-year degree and four-year Honours degree are delivered on-campus with two intakes each year in February and July. They are also offered 100 per cent online, with intakes four times each year.

Apply to study in 2024 here.

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