Online Construction Certifications and Certificates

Dec 04, 2019

Find out about online construction courses and in which certificate programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Remote construction management certificate programs can be taken completely online; however, some may include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes. Many institutions require certificate candidates to have either completed prerequisite coursework or to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students can take courses in construction processes, accident prevention, construction project management and contractor supervision.

Entirely online construction inspection certificate programs are typically not offered, but students can instead find hybrid options that include some on-site classes. Students may also be required to complete an internship or apprenticeship at a county building and city department. Applicants typically need to have some prior experience in construction or hold a bachelor's degree. Classes are available in cost estimation, building code compliance, erosion control, civil construction and plumbing codes. Both online construction inspection and construction management certificate programs do not necessarily prepare graduates for the many certifications available, so students should check with their school.

Certificate in Construction Management

With an online certificate program in construction management, interested students, including those who already work in the industry, can broaden their knowledge and learn new skills in contracts, risk management and bidding practices. Major areas of study typically include on-site supervision, project management and contract administration. Many programs are designed to enhance knowledge of the construction industry, while providing a potential path to a management position.

Program Information and Requirements

Online courses for a construction management certificate program are taken using online learning management systems, such as Blackboard, which allow students to interact with professors and students through discussion boards and chat rooms. Individuals must have access to a computer, meeting hardware and software requirements, as well as a high-speed Internet connection. Most courses rely on textbooks, although software programs such as Microsoft Project and AutoCAD may be incorporated.

Course Topics

Certificate candidates examine the various roles and responsibilities involved with construction management, such as construction methods, building materials and building codes. They examine the fundamentals of construction project management with a particular focus on contracting, inspections and subcontracting.

Estimating and Bidding

In this online course, students gain a basic understanding of estimating and bidding procedures, including the role of the estimator. Emphasis is placed on the various details of an estimate, including an overview of the bidding process and strategies.

Construction Project Leadership

Students are introduced the styles and techniques required to promote teamwork on a construction project. They are trained in managing a diverse workplace and handling of crises. Online learners gain a greater knowledge of the tactics used to motivate people to achieve the goals of a construction organization.

Construction Safety Management

This online course overviews the basic principles of health management as it relates to the safety and environmental issues faced by construction firms. Emphasis is placed on the development of best practices in safety management and loss control strategies.

Certificate in Construction Inspection

Online certificate programs in construction inspection provide students with the theoretical knowledge in construction building codes and principles. Online learners explore laboratory and field testing, mechanical systems, electrical systems and report writing.

Program Information and Requirements

Many institutions require certificate candidates to have completed prerequisite coursework or been awarded an undergraduate degree in related disciplines, such as communications or computation and quantitative skills. Most programs are offered in hybrid formats, requiring students to attend on-campus lectures or engage in a field project. Online students complete coursework through online course management systems.

Course Topics

Certificate candidates examine the roles and responsibilities of a building inspector, including an understanding of the International Building Code developed by the International Building Council. Public safety codes and requirements are of particular focus in this course.

International Building Code

This course provides students with an introduction to the International Building Code. Areas of focus include fire and safety requirements, location limits and building code applications.

Electrical Inspection

Online learners explore the basics of electrical inspection including installation inspection in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Areas of emphasis include underground inspection and branch circuit layout.

International Residential Inspection Basics

In this course, students learn the processes and procedures used in residential inspections. They also study the building code as it applies to residential construction sites. Mechanical codes in residential dwellings may also be discussed.

Career Information

Certificate recipients can pursue a variety of positions in the construction industry, such as project manager, estimator and safety manager. In November 2019, the median annual salary for construction project managers was around $78,000, according to

Those who have completed a certificate program in building inspection can pursue employment opportunities at construction firms, private builders, or as independent contractors. In November 2019, the median annual salary for a building inspector was around $53,000, and the median annual salary for an experienced building inspector was around $59,000, according to

Certification and Continuing Education

Construction management professionals can seek certification through organizations such as the American Institute of Constructors and Construction Certification Commission and the Construction Management Association of America. Students typically must pass a written technical exam in order to be awarded designations such as Certified Construction Manager (CCM) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC).

Experienced construction inspectors who have completed a certificate program can seek certification through organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Concrete Institute (ACI). The ICC offers certification exams for Certified Code Safety Professionals. The ACI offers certification exams in concrete construction and inspection based on codes and job specifications. Students can attain designations such as Associate Concrete Special Inspector and Concrete Construction Special Inspector.

Online certificate programs in construction management are designed to prepare working professionals to advance to leadership positions in the industry, while hybrid certificate programs in construction inspection focus more closely on the legal and regulatory aspects of the field. Finishing one of these programs may be sufficient preparation to take a professional certification exam offered by a third-party organization.

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