Construction Management: Career Education Overview

Sep 26, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a construction manager. Get a quick overview of the requirements, such as degree programs and job duties, to find out if this is the right career for you.

To become a construction manager, one needs a few years of experience working construction. While there are no formal education requirements, a bachelor's degree is usually preferred. It is also suggested that construction managers receive professional certification and pursue more advanced degrees.

Essential Information

Construction managers oversee the day-to-day operations on construction sites. A construction manager works at the construction site in the event of an emergency, day or night. To get a job in this field, many aspiring construction managers need to have prior experience along with a college degree in construction management or a related field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree preferred, though a high school diploma or equivalent may be acceptable
Other Requirements Work experience
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10%
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $93,370

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Construction Management Career Overview

A construction manager oversees a construction site and its workers. They direct workers and work with clients, engineers, architects and suppliers to ensure that projects run smoothly. They make sure that projects meet applicable codes and standards, prepare contracts and obtain building permits. A construction manager reports to the construction site in the event of an emergency, day or night.

These professionals work on a variety of projects, from buildings to transportation systems. Depending on the size of the project, there may be multiple managers, each concentrating on a specific area; for example, one manager might be in charge of scheduling, another in charge of estimates and costs.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that between 2018 and 2028, construction management jobs will increase by 46,200 jobs, which is faster than average. In 2018, the BLS noted that the average hourly wage for construction managers was $49.57, or $103,110 annually. A construction manager's income could vary, depending on their location. For example, the BLS reported that the annual mean wage for construction managers in Texas that same year was $98,420; individuals doing the same job in New York earned an average of $131,950 a year.

Construction Management Education

According to the BLS, an individual might have a better chance of gaining employment after earning a bachelor's degree in construction management or a related field. Students in construction management bachelor's degree programs learn about materials and equipment commonly used in construction, how to install electrical and mechanical systems and ways to control project spending. In addition to studying construction codes and legal issues, they can acquire knowledge in project scheduling and documentation. Students could be required to complete an internship and a senior project that shows their understanding of the field of construction management, from planning to the final product.

Some colleges and universities offer master's degree programs in construction management. These degree programs are available online or on campus. In graduate-level programs, students take courses on construction law and construction accounting, among others. Enrollment in these programs often requires a bachelor's degree in construction management or a bachelor's degree in another topic and several years of experience in construction management.

Professional Certification for Construction Managers

Professional certification is not required to work in this field, but individuals who acquire certification can use their credentials to showcase work experience and knowledge in the field, according to the BLS. Organizations like the Construction Management Association of America offer opportunities for certification to individuals who provide proof of education and experience and successfully complete a qualifying examination.

Construction managers need to have extensive experience working in construction, as well as strong team leadership and communication skills. There are no formal education requirements, but holding a bachelor's or master's degree in construction management could be beneficial. Voluntary professional certification is available as well.

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