Construction document management training is not available as a stand-alone education programs; however, it is commonly found as a topic within construction technology or construction management programs. These courses prepare students to read and interpret construction-related documents. A course in an associate's degree program may cover documents such as blueprints, drawings and specifications. Students in a bachelor's-level program may also learn about contracts, bid forms and project manuals, as well as have the chance to practice completing these forms. Master's degree programs may cover these same documents in more depth, as well as introduce students to insurance and bond forms. These programs require a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA.
Associate Degree in Building Construction Technology
Through these 2-year programs, students can gain hands-on experience through practical assignments in remodeling, cabinetmaking and rough carpentry. Throughout the program, students can become familiar with documents like structural and electrical drawings. Applicants are required to have completed high school; an academic background in geometry, algebra and science may be recommended.
By engaging in interactive projects, students learn about building codes, construction safety, scheduling, project layout and time management as well as the proper techniques to use with specific building materials. These types of programs can include coursework in:
- Construction site planning
- Exterior finishing
- Technical mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
At this level, students can begin to learn to treat construction projects like a business, learning to mitigate risks, mentor employees and set prices to account for costs and desired profit margins. These 4-year programs can offer courses in building codes, contracts, quality control, business management, engineering fundamentals and construction law. Topics in construction documentation are typically integrated into the curriculum. Additionally, these programs usually cover topics like:
- Business management
- Cost estimation
- Project planning
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Master of Science in Construction Management
Graduate students can learn to shorten building time and improve the process of building construction by studying computer science, accounting, labor relations and public policy. These programs explore the underlying principles of efficiently run construction businesses and are less hands-on than undergraduate-level sequences. Construction documentation is studied as part of the general curriculum. Traditional and distance-learning options are available for these programs, which can be completed in 18-24 months.
Graduate students learn to manage risks and variables, like costs, in building retrofitting and construction using sustainable techniques. These programs offer training in:
- Risk analysis
- Financial reporting
- Safety management
Popular Career Options
BLS data showed that most of the 239,640 employed construction managers worked for building equipment contractors or in the nonresidential and residential construction industry as of May 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports showed employment of 887,580 construction laborers as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Bachelor's degree program graduates or entry-level workers can be qualified to find placement as:
- Assistant project managers
- Construction technicians
- Finish carpenters
- Code enforcement specialists
- Construction managers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The 2014-2024 BLS forecast showed that construction laborers were expected to see a 13% growth in employment. For the same time frame, construction managers were projected to experience a 5% growth in job prospects. According to the May 2015 BLS salary reports, general construction laborers earned a median annual wage of $31,910. The same reports found that construction managers took home $87,400 as a median annual wage.
The Construction Specifications Institute administers a voluntary certification program for those interested in obtaining certification as a Construction Document Technologist. Applicants take a test covering the fundamentals of construction documentation through the post-construction process to demonstrate their knowledge of writing and managing construction documentation.
The American Institute of Constructors and Constructor Certification Commission as well as the Construction Management Association of America administer voluntary certification for Associate Constructor and Certified Construction Managers, respectively. Bachelor's degree program graduates are able to bypass any work experience requirements to obtain these certifications.
Even though there are no programs focused specifically on construction document management, there are associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs that allow students to study the administrative aspects of the construction industry.