Graduate students learn about construction management theories, trends, and business strategies, while master's programs focus on management skills and usually require about a year of study. Doctoral programs are research-intensive and often prepare graduates to work in academia.
Prerequisites for master's programs include a bachelor's degree in architecture, engineering or construction management, although applicants with unrelated degree majors may be admitted with prerequisite coursework. Doctoral candidates must have a master's degree and provide GRE or GMAT scores.
Master's Degree in Construction Management
Students interested in enrolling in a construction management graduate program can earn a Master of Science in Building Construction Management or a Master of Construction Management. Programs typically require 30-36 credits for completion. Students develop leadership skills and gain advanced knowledge of financial and technological aspects of construction management. Both non-thesis and thesis options are available at the master's level. Construction management topics of study include:
- Industry developments in construction management
- Evaluating and approving construction project plans
- Legalities in construction
- Turning blueprints into buildings
- Business aspects of construction management
Doctoral Degree in Construction Management
The Ph.D. in Construction Management program develops students' analytical and communication skills. The program is also research-intensive, preparing students for work in scholarly settings. Construction management doctoral students are often required to participate in teaching assistantships. In a construction management doctoral program, students are not only required to develop and defend a dissertation but must also complete a thorough program examination. Throughout the graduate program, students take classes in:
- Sustainability in construction
- Global project administration
- Technological advances in construction management
- Advanced researching
- Incorporating preparation, blueprints and construction
Popular Career Options
Construction managers can work for government agencies or in private sectors. Job titles might include:
- Construction management professor
- Construction technology scholar
- Engineering or construction executive
- Construction consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, employment of construction managers is expected to increase approximately 5% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2015, construction manager salaries averaged $97,510 annually, and most of the country's construction managers were employed in California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Ohio, reported the BLS.
While construction managers do not have to be professionally certified, employers may prefer hiring or promoting individuals with industry certification. Organizations like the Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors offer construction credentials to individuals who meet educational and work experience requirements and pass an examination.
Graduate programs in construction management prepare students for employment with government agencies or in the private sector, and graduates from a research-intense doctoral program often enter teaching and research positions. Voluntary industry certifications are also available for construction managers and may increase their employment options.