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Online Associate Degree Programs in Construction

Research online construction management courses and programs. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Students can pursue remote learning through an associate degree program in construction technology or construction management. It is quite rare to find a construction technology program that is offered fully online, since most traditional curricula include a hands-on internship experience. Exams may also need to be administered at a proctored location like a school. Students can enroll in classes that cover construction materials, cost estimating, sustainable construction and building codes. Students in a construction management associate degree program learn about construction topics that relate to leadership, including project scheduling, employee management and construction safety administration.

Associate Degree in Construction Technology

Graduates of a construction technology program are prepared to enter the workforce in entry-level positions within various types of construction industries. Students should expect to spend approximately two years to complete this degree.

Program Requirements

As classes are taught entirely online through the school website, students must have access to a computer and Internet connection. Support materials, such as CD-ROMs or textbooks relative to the course, may be physically mailed to the student as needed. Students interact with fellow classmates and their instructors via e-mail, message boards and chat rooms. Coursework may be distributed in several ways, including text, audio and video files.

Course Topics

Typical courses in an online associate degree in construction technology program are designed to prepare students to work in commercial construction. In order to earn an associate degree, the completion of general education courses is also generally required.

Construction Methods

This course introduces students to different methods and materials involved in commercial construction. Topics of study include various types of building foundations and elements, including wood modular systems, framing systems and masonry.

Construction Safety

This course discusses the importance of safety at the construction site. Topics of study include emergency response plan development, performance measurement, risk assessment and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance. Students also learn to analyze potential hazards in the workplace.

Construction Documents

This course teaches students to properly analyze and interpret various types of documents used within the construction industry. Blueprints, submittals, technical specification manuals and other related documents are among those discussed.


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Associate Degree in Construction Management

While it may include some introductory courses that are similar to construction technology programs, coursework for this associate degree focuses primarily on effectively managing different types of construction projects. Typically taking two years to complete, this degree program prepares graduates to seek assistant construction management positions.

Program Requirements

A computer and Internet connection are the most common technical requirements for this type of online program. Online chat rooms, message boards and e-mail allow students to interact with fellow classmates or ask questions of the instructor. Demonstrative video feeds, text and audio files may all be used by the instructor to help aid in teaching the online curriculum. Supplemental material may be supplied to the student as needed.

Course Topics

Courses in an online associate degree program in construction management blend knowledge of the commercial construction industry with business and management skills. General education courses are also generally required for this associate degree program.

Construction Management

Coursework in safety, labor law, engineering and project administration provide students with an overview of the skills and background needed to become a successful construction manager. Personal demeanor attributes necessary for a successful manager, such as leadership qualities and negotiation techniques, are also addressed in this course.

Business Law/Ethics

This course provides a basic introduction to legal and ethical matters as they relate to the world of construction. Social and professional topics, such as workplace discrimination and employment rights, types of insurance, property and sales are discussed.

Accounting

This introductory course covers basic accounting methods and principles needed in the construction industry, particularly for sole proprietors. Coursework includes learning transaction recording and preparing and reading financial statements.

Project Scheduling

This course provides an introduction to the factors and variables that are considered when developing the planning and scheduling of a project. Topics in resource allocation, delay claims and project control are included in the curriculum.


Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who enter the construction industry with college degrees usually start out as management trainees or as construction manager assistants. Construction management jobs are generally far more lucrative than non-managerial positions, with an average yearly wage of $97,510 as of 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Students who wish to continue their education may choose a bachelor's degree track in construction management. Typically offered on campus, this program is now offered online by a very small handful of schools. Despite the coursework being delivered online, certain in-person residencies or internships may still be required in order to complete the program.

Online associate construction technology programs focus on methods, documentation preparation and safety protocols in the field, while programs in construction management address business concepts, like financing.

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