Construction Administration Education and Training Program Overviews

Oct 12, 2019

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree program in construction administration takes four years to complete, and combines business administration concepts with training in construction techniques and construction technology. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED. A graduate certificate program could be an ideal education for professionals who want to prepare to head construction projects. The program might take one year to two years to complete. To be considered for admission, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and may need to complete some post-secondary coursework in computers and math.

Students in a master's degree program should have earned an undergraduate degree in a related field. In addition to preparing participants to take on upper-level administrative roles, this advanced program might include a capstone project or a thesis requirement, including some independent research. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 may also be required.

Bachelor's Degree in Construction Administration

Students in this program learn to analyze structural systems, solve engineering problems, estimate project costs, adhere to a project's budget and comply with safety regulations. General education courses in the fine arts, English and humanities are likely to be part of a bachelor's degree program.

Construction administration programs may also into include a core of business-related courses, such as accounting, economics, statistics and organizational behavior. Other common courses include:

  • Surveying fundamentals
  • Construction plans
  • Construction materials
  • Construction technology
  • Site safety
  • Quality control

Graduate Certificate in Construction Administration

Certificate programs in construction administration are designed for construction industry professionals, accountants, attorneys, developers or real estate agents who want training for leadership roles in the management of construction projects. Course content examines the full arc of construction projects, including cost estimating, contracting, site layout, record keeping and field planning.

Certificate programs may be as short as six courses, but are more likely to have ten or more. Possible course topics include the following:

  • Cost and materials estimating
  • Procurement
  • Soil assessment and foundations
  • Building codes and regulations
  • Project management and supervision

Master's Degree in Construction Administration

A master's degree program in construction administration engages all tasks required of an administrator in managing a construction project from inception to completion. Program content considers the responsibility of designers, contractors, subcontractors, consultants and owners on a project and the interactions administrators have with each. Participation in real-world scenarios helps students develop strong analytical and decision-making skills.

Core courses in a construction administration program often review fundamental material presented at the bachelor's degree level. Non-thesis programs typically add additional coursework. Topics discussed include:

  • Construction accounting and finance
  • Construction engineering
  • Human resource management
  • Contract negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Building sustainably

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a construction administration bachelor's degree program are qualified for positions as construction managers.

Certificate program graduates can pursue administrative career opportunities in specific areas of construction, particularly if they have prior experience with a trade. Careers in the following are among the possibilities:

  • Excavation
  • Carpentry
  • Roofing
  • Drywall
  • HVAC

Graduates of a master's level program are eligible for more advanced positions. On large projects, senior-level construction administrators have a number of different titles and specialties. The following are among the possible alternatives.

  • Project coordinator
  • Quality and safety controller
  • Construction superintendent
  • Planning and scheduling engineer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Over the years of 2018 and 2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% rise in employment of construction managers. A combination of population growth, business expansion, building retrofits for energy efficiency and infrastructure improvements will drive the need for construction managers. In 2018, the BLS indicated a median annual salary of $93,370 for construction managers, with most earning from $55,240 to $161,510 a year.

Continuing Education Information

Although a bachelor's degree and work experience are sufficient to obtain employment as a construction manager, earning a master's degree facilitates access to the highest-level supervisory and administrative positions. Construction administration and management programs are widely available at the master's level.

Many schools will allow certificate holders to apply their credits towards a master's degree. Some schools host both certificate and master's level construction administration or construction management programs.

Students looking to enter the construction industry in administrative roles can enroll in graduate certificate, bachelor's or master's degree program in construction administration. Although all three programs prepare graduates to enter the industry, master's degrees offer the greatest opportunity for the highest-level positions.

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