Programs providing general contractor education are most often available at the undergraduate level as associate's degree, bachelor's degree and certificate programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in construction management, civil engineering, construction science or building science is usually required for employment as a construction manager or general contractor, although associate's degree programs can prepare individuals for small project management roles. Such programs commonly include some business courses with courses in construction, and specializations like residential construction are sometimes available. Students often gain experience through hands-on construction projects.
University of Florida
The University of Florida (UF) is located in Gainesville and enrolls over 50,000 students annually. The university's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction is the country's oldest construction school and offers a bachelor's degree program in construction management. Students are admitted into the construction management program their junior year, after completing their general education and prerequisite construction coursework. The university also offers a construction management certificate program and the ability to transition from that program into either the school's Master of Construction Management or Master of Science in Construction Management program. In addition, the school also provides the option to pursue a PhD in Construction Management.
Some courses included cover construction management, graphic communication, marketing, construction techniques, electrical systems, terrain, construction contracts, construction safety and cost estimating. Students also have the opportunity to specialize their degree through elective courses with an emphasis in civil construction or residential construction. Seniors also complete capstone projects in which they design, develop, contract and complete small construction projects.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is located in Orlando and comprises 13 colleges that offer programs in over 200 areas of study. The Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences offers a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. Prerequisite courses are taken during the freshman and sophomore years of the program.
Some of the topics covered in this program include advanced calculus, economic analysis, advanced physics, material mechanics, structural analysis, engineering dynamics, fluid mechanics, concrete structures, transportation engineering, estimation, electrical systems and construction methods. Senior students complete final projects that involve proposing comprehensive plans for construction projects.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Program Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city|| Construction Management Certificate,
BS in Construction Management,
M/MS in Construction Management,
Doctor of Philosophy in Construction Management
| $6,381 (in-state),
|University of Central Florida||4-year, public; large suburb||BS in Construction Engineering|| $6,368 (in-state),
Source: *NCES College Navigator