A master's degree in construction can provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage construction sites or entire construction firms. The most common graduate degree awarded in the field is the Master of Science in Construction Management. These programs are intended for experienced professionals who have some background in construction or a related field.
Over the course of these programs, students are trained to plan construction sites, manage expenditures, and assess the risks involved with construction projects. The curriculum also covers scheduling conflicts, materials management issues, construction industry trends and human relations disputes, among other topics.
The most basic educational prerequisites for prospective graduate students in construction management include a baccalaureate degree in a subject such as construction, facilities management, architectural technology or engineering technology. Many programs also consider an applicant's real-world construction site experience. Typically, students must submit a portfolio of past work as well as undergraduate transcripts and GRE scores.
Masters in Construction Management
In these programs, students may take courses in some of the following subjects:
- Construction documentation
- Management of land use
- Construction scheduling and cost estimating
- Global construction management
- Labor relations
- Construction management and law
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Construction managers held 239,640 jobs in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). About 40 percent were self-employed in 2014. In 2015, construction managers earned a median annual wage of about $87,400, per BLS data. Jobs in the field of construction management are projected to rise 5% from 2014 to 2024.
Continuing Education Options
While certification is not required in the construction management profession, more and more construction managers are opting for voluntary certification. The American Institute of Constructors offers the Associate Constructor (AC) and the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) certifications, which can improve job prospects and increase networking opportunities within the industry. The Construction Management Association of America offers its Certified Construction Managercredential to those with varying levels of education and work experience.
To summarize, experienced professionals who want to advance to leadership positions in the construction industry can benefit from an MS program in construction management.