Project managers in high demand amid Aussie construction boom

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

With an ongoing housing crisis, an upcoming Olympic games to host, and a promise of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it’s safe to say the Australian construction industry has some busy years ahead. 

Currently, the federal government has set the target of building 1.2 million new homes alongside $120 billion worth of new infrastructure projects before the decade’s end, while also building more renewable energy sources to meet its Paris Accord climate agreements. 

So it’s no wonder some believe the construction industry has bitten off more than it can chew, with building company collapses, rising material costs, and a dwindling tradie shortage making the likelihood of achieving all those plans seemingly ambitious at best. 

Quality management boosts project success

However, recently released data from the 2024 Project Management Institute report shows one of the most effective ways construction firms have ensured projects reach completion within allocated time and budgetary targets is by having the correct management professionals in key roles.

This has led to quality project managers becoming one of the most sought-after personnel for any job site to ensure work stays on track and navigate challenges when and as they arise before they escalate. 

Project management professional Alan Sivandi, a program manager for Wabtec says a number of ongoing major projects will require highly trained project managers to deliver them, presenting employment and career opportunities to work on exciting, legacy projects.

“The simultaneous occurrence of ongoing construction and infrastructure ventures, coupled with the Australian government’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions, has led to a continued surge in demand for skilled project professionals,” Mr Sivandi said.

However, similar to most construction roles, project managers are in short supply and high demand, with the average LinkedIn job ad receiving just four applications per position opening. 

This unmet demand quickly led to Aussie project managers becoming the best-paid in the Asia-Pacific region, second only to the United States, with a median annual salary of approximately $159,000.

Project professionals, in general, now have the highest median salary in the Asian region, with an average of $ 103,789. 

Project management and AI roles to rise in 2024

Data from the Project Management Institute 2024 Jobs Report shows that the vast number of ongoing construction projects nationwide will increase demand for skilled project managers, with experienced construction workers encouraged to consider upskilling.  

alan sivandi
Project director Alan Sivandi says their will be a spike in project management and AI opportunities.

But project management isn’t the only role on the rise around Aussie job sites, with experts also predicting the growth of on-site AI incorporation to give project professionals an extra hand to help manage the project manager shortage.

With one-third of Aussie workers using AI as part of their jobs, mastering the technology tool is set to help project managers further expand their job and career opportunities. 

“I believe the integration of AI represents a transformative leap for project managers,” Mr Sivandi said. 

“AI-powered analytics, automation and predictive capabilities can revolutionise project planning, risk assessment and resource allocation.”

“By embracing digital transformation and harnessing the potential of AI, project professionals can position themselves to excel.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.