Associate's and bachelor's programs tend to focus on managerial practices, such as hiring, scheduling, project management and budget forecasting. Courses in accounting, building codes and safety are part of the curriculum as well. Graduates are prepared for their state's contractor licensing exam. One must obtain a state license to legally work as a contractor.
Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management
Though it is not necessary to obtain a degree to become a contractor, a license is required in order to legally work as a contractor or construction supervisor. An associate's program in construction management may be beneficial for those interested in working towards a contractor's license, because it teaches many principles and skills that can be applied when taking a state contractor's license examination.
During an associate's degree program in construction management, students will learn such administrative techniques as hiring and supervising employees and ensuring safety on the construction site. Additionally, the curriculum will cover accounting, cost estimates, ordering materials and working with architects and designers. Upon graduating, students will need to apply for their particular state's licensure, which usually includes a written examination on construction business and law. Depending on the state, applicants may also have to provide a list of references, as well as proof of prior experience before obtaining their contractor's license.
Prospective students wishing to enter an associate's degree program in construction management usually must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many institutions may also require students to take the SAT or ACT examination prior to apply.
Classes in an associate's degree program in construction management may include:
- Accounting basics
- Foundations of management
- Customer relations
- Project management
Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
Those with an associate's degree in construction management or those with prior on-the-job experience in construction may consider obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. This program can allow students to further develop their management skills. It also provides in-depth courses on different aspects of construction, which may benefit those who are interested in working towards higher-level careers in the field. Through this program, students will receive instruction on conceptualizing construction sites, organizing project bids and schedules, developing estimates and effectively managing a construction team. Additionally, the curriculum covers the differences in working on residential and commercial properties.
In order to begin a bachelor's degree program in construction management, prospective students will have needed to complete a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the institution, there may also be a minimum GPA requirement.
The bachelor's in construction management program teaches students how a contractor schedules and coordinates all stages of a structure's development, from hiring to scheduling specialty contractors, engineers and construction workers. BS in Construction management coursework may include:
- Project management
- Building codes
- Construction graphics
- Construction safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 373,200 construction managers in 2014, employed mostly in large, metropolitan areas. Employment opportunities in the field of constriction management were expected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024. There will also be an increasing need for contractors who are trained in the areas of environmental protection and energy efficiency. The median annual salary for construction managers was $87,400 in 2015, according to the BLS.
Construction managers arrange and lead a wide range of construction projects, including residences, businesses, schools, bridges and streets. With job growth for construction managers on par with the national average, interested individuals can complete either an associate's or bachelor's degree program to prepare for certification.