Associate's degree programs in construction management can be found at several community colleges. These programs encourage students to develop a variety of complementary skills related to the construction business, such as project management, construction planning and estimating construction costs. Many programs offer internships in the construction industry to allow students to gain on-site experience. Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent. Construction certifications and continuing education in a bachelor's degree program are among the options available to graduates.
Associate's Degree in Construction Management Technology
Participants in construction management associate's degree programs may learn to read and analyze blueprints, survey sites and understand the nature of various building materials. Additionally, students take courses to understand the physical elements involved in construction projects. Courses may include:
- Architectural drafting
- Civil engineering
- Project scheduling
- Construction management
- Blueprint reading and assessment
- Construction cost estimation
Popular Career Options
Graduates will typically work at construction sites, but may work off site in offices. Although bachelor's degrees are becoming a popular standard in the industry, many jobs in construction technology and management can be obtained by associate's degree holders with the appropriate work experience. Some popular employment opportunities may include:
- Construction project manager
- Construction materials estimator
- Construction office administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects about average 5% growth for construction managers during the 2014-2024 period, and the median earnings for these professionals were $87,400 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Cost estimator employment growth is projected to reach a faster than average rate of 9% over the 2014-2024 decade. Median earnings for cost estimators in May 2015 were $60,390, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
While on-site experience is highly regarded within the construction industry, students may wish to enhance their skills and broaden their career opportunities by earning a bachelor's degree in construction management. Some programs will allow credits earned through their associate's degrees to transfer into their bachelor's degree programs.
There are a number of different voluntary certifications that can validate the competency and skills of project managers, and a growing number of employers prefer construction managers to be certified. These certifications are offered through organizations such as The Construction Management Association of America and The American Institute of Constructors.
Students in an associate's degree program for construction management technology learn the business and project management side of construction. Graduates can go on to earn a bachelor's degree and professional certification or work as construction managers right away.