Aspiring contractors will most likely find their most relevant online program options in the field of construction, such as a bachelor's degree program in construction management or construction engineering technology. The program explores construction from a business standpoint, covering pertinent topics from financing to building codes. These programs may offer online options, though they may not be offered entirely online. In some cases, a certain amount of prerequisite coursework must be completed for admission to the program. In others, online and evening courses are offered only to make the program more flexible, with the majority of courses being held on-campus. Students wanting a fully online program, may be interested in a civil engineering degree program.
Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
Students interested in construction often benefit from a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. Programs introduce various business-related aspects of construction management, such as basic building codes, financial and legal issues, contracts and personnel supervision. The program trains contractors to manage a construction site. They gain experience working with budgets, hiring crew members, ordering materials, supervising construction and working closely with clients to ensure satisfaction.
Program Information and Requirements
Prospective contractors will invest about four years in a bachelor's degree program. Online and hybrid programs provide students with flexible scheduling.
Online programs require a high-speed Internet connection, as well as an up-to-date computer and operating system. Instructors use a course management system and online presentations to create a virtual classroom environment. Communication with fellow classmates and instructors is conducted via e-mail.
In addition to core general education requirements, students take beginning and advanced courses in construction management such as building codes, construction law, drafting, quality control and scheduling. Courses are topic-specific and intended to prepare students for a particular career field in construction.
Introduction to Building Codes
Students get a comprehensive overview of mechanical, plumbing, electrical and structural building codes. Other areas of focus include inspectors, zoning ordinances and organizations involved in the development of building codes.
Contracts and Documents
This course indoctrinates students in the many contracts and documents used in the design and construction of a structure. Students study the formatting and administration of construction specifications, warranties, indemnity, dispute resolution and liability.
Construction and the Law
Students explore construction from a legal standpoint. Topics of special interest include land zoning, property ownership, litigation and arbitration, contractor liability, contracts, labor law and hazardous waste.
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), a bachelor's degree is becoming the standard for construction careers with more than 100 colleges offering programs in construction science and related fields. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is anticipating a 5% growth rate for construction managers between 2014-2024. The median annual salary for construction managers in 2015 was reported by the BLS to be $87,400.
Students interested in becoming a contractor can complete a bachelor's degree program in construction management mostly online. Civil engineering degree programs, which provide similar coursework, can be completed entirely online for students wanting that type of option.