Property owners develop land for residences, as entertainment or shopping venues, or for nonprofit activities such as charity, education and worship. Buildings and other infrastructure on properties periodically need improvements, upgrades or replacements. The details of these projects fall to owner representatives, who may also hold the title of contract or project manager. The job description of these professionals detail the education, skills and training necessary to see owners’ needs and visions to fruition.

What Does an Owner Representative Do?

Owner representatives oversee construction and other projects on behalf of the owner or developer. As such, the representative relieves the owner of having to wrestle with the details involved in a project’s life cycle. This occurs by entering into agreements, procuring the materials and human resources, managing those involved and ensuring the successful completion of the project.

Owner Representative Job Description for Resume — Responsibilities

  • Prepare estimates of costs and budget for project
  • Establish the schedule for performance and completion of stages and overall project
  • Oversee design of project
  • Prepare agreements with contractors or subcontractors, suppliers, equipment providers, engineers and architects
  • Acquire or assist in acquisition of licenses and permits for work
  • Enter into or authorize change orders and other amendments to contract
  • Determine appropriate or necessary construction processes
  • Monitor weather conditions, availability of personnel or materials, and events which may disrupt project activities or cause delays in completion
  • Select and assign laborers to particular tasks
  • Arrange for or supervise painting, plumbing, electrical or other work
  • Inspect and approve work at various stages
  • Authorize payments or release of construction funds
  • Report progress of work to owner

Owner Representative Essential Skills

Analytical. Analytical skills help owner representatives plan projects, budgets and timetables and solve problems such as weather-caused delays and work defects. Construction management requires the ability to understand the effect of the costs of supplies and equipment on budgeting and specifications for the project.

Decision Making. Owner representatives must have skills in deciding to whom bids are awarded or with whom design, engineering and other workers the owner will otherwise contract. Other decisions consist of approving work, changes in work to be performed and hiring workers. Representatives on many occasions may face emergencies or unforeseen events requiring quick decisions.

Interpersonal. Various stakeholders, such as regulators, governmental inspectors, the owner, architects, engineers and the public, interact with owner representatives on projects. The representative should display the ability address concerns and questions in a respectful manner and resolve disputes arising between or among those participating in or interested in a project.

Leadership. The job description of an owner representative includes oversight of the project and those who perform in it. Leadership skills include the ability to instruct, offer insights to and delegate tasks to project workers and suppliers.

Technical. Owner representatives need a technical vocabulary and show a grasp of terms of art used in architectural, engineering and technology professions. This helps the representative understand issues such as feasibility of a project and materials or space needed to accomplish the project and relay those to the owner in an understandable manner.

Time Management. Projects have deadlines and work must be scheduled in an orderly fashion with significant consideration of those deadlines. Owner representatives should understand that certain stages must be completed before others are started. This means, for instance, that a foundation must be prepared before framing.

Becoming an Owner Representative

Through college education and work experience in relevant fields, prospective Owner representatives acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to manage projects. To enhance hiring chances, candidates for owner representative jobs may become certified by the Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors.

Where an owner representative serves as on a contract basis for rather than as an employee of an owner, a general contractor’s license may be required.

Education and Training

According to O*NET, three out of four construction managers hold a bachelor’s degree. Approximately 12 percent have some college education, but not a degree.

Most employers of owner representatives require or prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as construction science, construction or other engineering, architecture or building science. In programs that award these degrees, students take engineering, architecture, design, project management, construction methods and materials, statistics and math. Computer science classes may form part of the curriculum of an owner representative.

Helpful classes for those pursuing project management also include law classes, especially in contract, employment, principal-agent and environmental law, and human resources.

Work Experience

Attaining the role of an owner representative requires extensive work experience particularly where the applicant has not undergone the academic rigors of a relevant undergraduate program. The work history consists typically of construction-related jobs, such as carpenter, mason, plumber, electrician and grader.

Owner representatives can also acquire experience as interns for general contracting, engineering and architectural firms; and businesses with engineering departments. Representatives may start out managing smaller projects such as single-family residences and build their portfolio to land roles in larger-scale projects.

Work Schedules

Full-time work forms part of the job description of an owner representative.

Construction management duties require availability for handling emergencies and meeting deadlines. Consequently, longer work days and weekends may arise in the face of time-crunches. Construction may proceed during evenings and weekends.

Owner representatives often have to travel and spend nights away from home or headquarters to manage multiple projects at a single time period.

Career Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 373,200 people held jobs as construction managers in 2014. Nearly 40 percent of construction managers were self-employed in 2014.

Construction manager jobs should rise by five percent, or 17,800 through 2024. The demand for owner representatives will arise from demand for upgrading buildings to meet building codes and standards from government and otherwise for safety and environmental protection. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, upgrading of buildings likely will create more jobs than new, expansive construction projects.

Resort communities and areas with increasing populations will generate needs for homes, commercial establishments and offices and owner representatives to oversee new construction and retrofitting projects.


Owner representatives use the authority conferred by the property owners or developers and their education, skills and experience to shepherd projects. In doing so, these project and construction managers plan, schedule, manage and evaluate the progress of the work.

Prospects for employment should appear strong for owner representatives who grasp environmental concepts and advances in building codes and construction process. Representatives may find ample work in areas experiencing population growth and the resulting demand for places to live, work, eat, play and be entertained.