Vice presidents in the building industry have their feet in two very different worlds: operations and construction. They recruit, train and organize staff to accommodate the current roster of projects, while monitoring costs to ensure projects come in on time and within budget. They manage sales activities and vendor relationships, depending on the construction company. Due to the variety of construction projects, pay varies by sector.
Pay for vice presidents varies by the nature of construction. In 2012, those working in residential construction earned an average of $111,320 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those working in nonresidential construction averaged $131,610, while those specializing in foundations and exteriors earned $114,520 annually.
Most top executives possess at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and the construction industry is no exception. Employers typically seek candidate with a BS in business management, construction management or finance, among other disciplines. VPs also need experience in the construction industry and a vast knowledge of operations management. A familiarity with real estate, engineering, urban planning, contracts and government services, such as zoning, permits and taxes, is also important. In addition, many employers desire candidates with an established network of customers, trade associations and suppliers.
Duties vary by employer. Besides managing staff and costs, many VPs must recruit and train project managers, head carpenters and other team members. They maintain customer relations, monitor sales performance and ensure compliance with permit and zoning requirements.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for top executives, such as presidents and vice presidents, to grow 5 percent between 2010 and 2020, compared to the national average for all U.S. occupations (14 percent). Though businesses continue to grow and hire additional staff, the limited number of executives needed to run companies constrains the growth rate for this occupation.