Typically, construction workers who want to advance in the field will pursue a degree. This advancement can be towards management positions or possibly starting a construction company.
Schools with Construction Programs
Below are various schools offering construction programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||In-State Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,360|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, PhD||$13,560|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, VA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,138|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, primarily associates, Public||Associate's||$2,805|
|Austin Community College District||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's||$9,210|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,598|
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,104|
|El Camino Community College District||Torrance, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,142|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for construction schools:
- Students should find out about the hands-on training options available at the school, such as lab or studio work and internship opportunities.
- Potential students may wish to find out about the school's facilities in order to make sure that they will be trained to work with industry-standard equipment.
- It is important to make sure that the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) ore a similarly well-regarded organization has accredited the school.
Associate's Degree Programs
Two-year associate's degree programs in construction or construction management provide a combination of construction industry-focused courses, basic business classes and general education requirements. For the major, students may take courses in topics such as blueprint reading, safety planning and construction surveying. Some programs are available entirely online.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Construction Management contain the same general construction training as associate's degree programs, but because they last for four years instead of two years, they give students the chance to take a broader range of relevant elective courses in topics such as specialty contracting, sustainable construction and international construction. In addition, students may gain real-world training through an internship or cooperative education experience. Prior to graduation, some schools require students to complete a senior design project.
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science (MS) in Construction Management programs train students for high-level positions in the construction industry. In addition to advanced coursework, some include opportunities to conduct research in the field. There are also programs that allow students to pursue a particular concentration within the field, such as real estate or sustainable construction. Many schools offer master's degree programs in online formats in order to meet the needs of working professionals.
Doctoral Degree Programs
While doctoral degree programs in construction management are uncommon, it is possible to earn a PhD in the field. Students in these programs take graduate-level engineering, design and mathematics courses, and they conduct research in a highly specialized area. Possible topics include construction management information systems, international project management and lean construction. This research leads to a final dissertation and oral defense.
While the most commonly offered construction degree is an associate's degree, bachelor's and even graduate-level degrees are available. Higher levels of education typically prepare students for management positions or academic research careers.