The role of the commercial manager in a contracting capacity covers all financial aspects of a project, from bidding for work through to the close out of final accounts when the project is completed. This involves procurement of works to maximise the profit margin, and the subsequent management of costs through the design and construction phase in order to ensure that margins are realised. A graduate trainee commercial manager would typically start working on sub-contracts, assisting in procurement, carrying out valuations, and agreeing variation costs. As their construction knowledge and negotiation skills develop, the complexity of their work packages will increase. From there they will become involved with cost reporting and the main contract account.
Quantity surveyors working in a consultancy capacity are often referred to as private quantity surveyors (PQS) whose role can be defined under a multiple job titles such as cost consultant or cost manager. Cost consultancy graduates and placement students work closely with the main contractor, and client, providing authoritative commercial and risk advice. If you are interested in working in consultancy rather than contracting, please see cost consultancy.
The Mace two-year graduate development programme offers you the chance to specialise in a specific role within the company. Through structured training and working relationships with colleagues you will also have the opportunity to learn about our work across a variety of disciplines that cross the entire property life cycle: project management, programme management, project controls, architecture and design, facilities management, sustainability, construction, commercial management, cost consultancy, structural engineering, and mechanical and electrical engineering.
Graduates that join our programme gain exposure to the variety of services offered to our clients and take on responsibility in real, live project environments. You will work alongside industry leading professionals at Mace and many prestigious and high-profile clients. Our comprehensive two-year development programme includes:
- A two-day formal induction
- Classroom and virtual sessions covering technical skills in the construction life cycle and key business skills including presentation and leadership skills.
- Interactive group projects using live case studies
Guidance and support in order to progress towards professional chartership status with industry bodies. Our development programme is recognised by the following industry bodies: the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Support towards CIBSE, IChemE and BIFM is also fully supported.
- Networking opportunities with senior managers and peers
- One-to-one support from line managers, mentors, recent graduates and chartership advisors.
Professional qualification routes
Graduates working in commercial management will be supported in working towards their professional qualification with either the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), depending on your degree.
- An undergraduate degree (expected or obtained) in Quantity and Grade C in GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent qualifications). Candidates must be studying an RICS accredited degree
- Evidence of significant extra-curricular activities that demonstrate drive and excellent interpersonal skills
- Must be studying Quantity Surveying or Commercial Management
- A passion for a career in the construction industry.
Qualifications, knowledge and skills
In addition to the minimum requirements, candidates must have:
- Strong numerical skills
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Ability to negotiate and act decisively when valuing and agreeing costs
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.