Architect vs. Construction Manager: What Is the Difference?

What is the difference between construction management and architecture? Thinking about a career in one of these disciplines? You came to the right place as we offer many degree options in both disciplines. Construction is an art. Whether you are working in construction management or architectural design, it’s important to know the basics of the building process and all the small details in between. Both architects and construction managers play a vital role in this undertaking and work closely with the building owner. Take a look at the infographic below to learn the difference between architecture and construction management roles. Contact NewSchool of Architecture & Design’s Enrollment Team to learn more about architecture and construction management programs.

Construction managers usually work on a project from conception to completion. On large projects, they may be responsible for only one segment of the operation. Architects design buildings and structures that not only look good but are safe, energy efficient and functional.

Architects & Construction Managers | Know A Pro

What is a construction manager?

A construction manager is a professional who oversees the design and building process. They collaborate with clients and a building team to ensure the project meets the clients desired qualities. They may manage the building schedule, project budget and team members.

A construction manager may have the following duties:

What is an architect?

An architect is a professional who designs buildings. They understand both the art and construction science behind a buildings design. They can create blueprints and structural plans to create aesthetically pleasing, functional and safe buildings.

An architects duties can vary depending on the size of the project, but common duties include:

Differences between architects vs. construction managers

An architect and construction manager may have similar duties on a building project. Understanding how these career paths differ could help you determine which one is best for you. Here are some of the key differences:



Professionals in these career paths may use many similar skills. Sometimes, an architect may serve as the project manager for small builds. This means they may have overlapping duties and skills. Both architects and project managers may use the following skills:

In addition to these skills, construction managers may also need the following skills to succeed in their role:

An architect may use these additional skills:


Becoming an architect requires more education than becoming a construction manager. To become a construction manager, professionals need to earn a bachelors degree in a relevant field. These programs take four years to complete. Aspiring construction managers may earn a degree in one of the following topics:

Aspiring architects must complete a Bachelor of Architecture degree program. These programs take five years to complete and often include an internship with professional training. If a professional has a bachelors in a different field, they can choose to complete a masters degree in architecture. These programs take one to five years to complete depending on the focus.


These career paths require different qualifications. Construction managers can earn an optional certificate. These are optional but may help a construction manager earn an advanced or competitive role. Certifications can include:

An architect must obtain a license before they can begin working. To earn this license, professionals must complete an accredited education program, complete an internship and pass the Architect Registration Examination. Aspiring architects can take this exam through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. This exam tests a students practical knowledge and technical processing skills.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


Do project managers make more than architects?

Project architects and project managers can make comparable salaries. The average salary for a project architect is $80,792 per year . A project manager makes an average of $74,889 per year . Salaries for both positions can vary based on education, employer and geographic location.

Is construction management related to architecture?

Construction managers and architects differ in that the latter requires more years of education, a mandatory internship, and a license to practice. In addition, architects design structures while construction managers are responsible for overseeing the completion of those structures at construction sites.

Is it worth becoming a construction manager?

The project manager has greater responsibility to the project, as he/she oversees more than the construction process. Therefore, a project manager will often supervise a construction manager.

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