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Construction Management Degree

The construction industry has been a driving force for the US economy for many years. This sector has successfully employed thousands and injects billions of dollars into the US GDP every year. There are quite a number of ways in which one can enter this industry, however the best would be by securing a construction management degree.

  1. Degree Course Covers
  2. Which Construction Management Degree should you enroll in?
  3. Entry Level Construction Management Jobs
  4. Want to go beyond managing small projects?
  5. What do Construction Managers do?
  6. Construction Cost Estimator
  7. Online Construction Management Degree

Degree Course Covers

A degree in construction management prepares students for increasingly complex construction processes. Academic degrees in construction management cover the following:

  • Project management and control
  • Cost estimation
  • Construction methods and materials
  • Design
  • Statistics
  • Mathematics
  • Contract administration
  • Building codes and standards

Construction managers are responsible for organizing and managing projects on a large scale.
Construction Management Degree

Required Education

Associate Degree in Construction Management, bachelors of Science in Construction Management, masters of Science in Construction Management

Job Requirements

Work experience & training, Certificate from bodies such as:

  • The International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association
  • The AACE International
  • The American Society of Professional Estimators

Job Growth (2012-2022)

16% for construction managers

26% for cost estimators

Median Salary (2013)

$84,410 for construction managers

$59,460 for cost estimators

Which Construction Management Degree should you enroll in?

That will depend upon where you see yourself in the construction industry. If you see yourself supervising smaller construction projects then an associate degree in construction management or construction technology may suffice.

Associate Degree

A 2-year college degree, Associate in Science (AS) in Construction Management is offered by many community colleges. The degree may cover the following courses:

  • Introduction to Structural Design
  • Construction Planning & Scheduling
  • Construction Documentation
  • Estimating & Bidding for Construction Management
  • Sustainable Construction Practices

Entry Level Construction Management Jobs

Some of the career options within the construction management industry with an AS degree may include entry level positions as:

  • Supervisor
  • Project engineer
  • Coordinator
  • Estimator
  • Quantity surveyor

Requirements for Associate Degree

Admission requirements for the AS degree usually are:

  • High school diploma
  • Online application
  • Health clearance

Want to go beyond managing small projects?

If you are interested in becoming a construction manager or cost estimator, then you may need to hold a bachelor’s degree in construction management.

Bachelors Degree

A 4-year degree, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management may cover the following topics:

  • Design and construction technologies
  • Quality assurance
  • Results measurement
  • Construction project management
  • Contracts and specifications
  • Estimating

The students may specialize in one of the following fields:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Highway/Heavy-Civil works
  • Facility management

Bachelor Degree Requirements

The degree requirements usually are:

  • Successful completion of 120 credit hours
  • Successful completion of all major and prerequisite courses
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better
  • Completion of an internship

Admission requirements for Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree usually are:

  • A high school diploma
  • SAT or ACT score
  • TOEFL (if applicable)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

What do Construction Managers do?

Construction managers perform the following duties:

  • Prepare work schedules, budgets and cost estimates
  • Comply with building and safety codes and other legal requirements
  • Respond to labor issues, delays and emergencies
  • Manage and coordinate subcontractor activities
  • Collaborate with construction specialists, engineers and architects
  • Update clients on work progress and budget matters
  • Inform the labor and others about contracts
  • Explain technical information to other professionals

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction managers are trained before working independently. That is why they are initially hired as assistants to construction managers. The training period is not fixed and may last for years, depending upon the complexity of projects and nature of the employer.

Prior work experience matters a lot in this industry. A fresh graduate with an internship may therefore fit in despite having no other previous work history.

Certifications are not required but may enhance your chances of employment. The American Institute of Constructors and the Construction Management Association of America are two certificate-awarding bodies. If you are interested in supervising a public project then you must be licensed.

Top 3 employers of construction managers are:

  • Construction firms
  • Specialty trade contractors
  • Civil and heavy engineering construction firms

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported construction managers earning a yearly median salary of $82,790 in 2012. Their jobs are expected to grow at the rate of 16% from 2012 to 2022.

Construction Cost Estimator

Cost estimators also hold a bachelor’s degree in construction management, engineering or building science. They perform the following duties:

  • Identify and quantify cost factors
  • Develop project plans
  • Work with sales teams to bid for contracts and prepare estimates
  • Recommend ways to make a project more cost effective
  • Evaluate a project’s cost-effectiveness
  • Use software to calculate estimates
  • Collaborate with contractors, clients, architects and engineers to calculate estimates
  • Read technical documents and blueprints to calculate estimates
  • Visit project sites to gather information on labor, materials and other factors

In addition to college training, cost estimators also receive on-the-job training. Practical training usually involves using software for cost-estimation and company’s techniques.

Licenses and registrations are usually not required however a certificate may help you get employed. The following organizations and bodies can award a certificate:

  • The International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association
  • The Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International (AACE International)
  • The American Society of Professional Estimators

Cost Estimator Jobs

Top 4 employers of cost estimators are:

  • Construction firms
  • Building equipment contractors
  • Manufacturers of building materials
  • Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported cost estimators earning a yearly median salary of $58,860 in 2012. The BLS also predicts an exponential growth with 26% from 2012-2022.

Online Construction Management Degree

Construction management degrees are available online. This holds true for the Master of Science in Construction Management degree which may suit those interested in holding upper level management positions.

  • Company management
  • Project management

A 36 credit program, it can be completed in 2 years of full-time study or up to 5 years of part-time study.

Courses offered may be titled as:

  • Operating & Managing a Construction Organization
  • Negotiation & Dispute Resolution
  • Construction Safety Management
  • Project Management
  • Construction Cost Estimating
  • Construction Scheduling
  • Construction Financial & Cost Control
  • Legal Principles & Practices
  • The Construction Process
  • Construction Methods & Technology

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements usually are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute
  • GRE or GMAT score
  • esume
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Interview
  • TOEFL (if applicable)

The program may be ideal for those already working in the following fields:

  • Global project management
  • Green building techniques
  • Sustainable development
  • Repositioning of distressed projects

Online degrees in general are meant for working professionals who cannot make time for on-campus classes. The three biggest advantages of enrolling in an online construction management degree are:

  • Relaxed admission requirements
  • Extended degree completion time
  • Cost effectiveness

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How long does it take to get a construction management degree?

A construction management degree can take you somewhere between two to four years, depending on the level of education you go for. For instance, an associate’s degree in construction management would take you two years to complete. A bachelor’s degree in construction management would take four years, while a master’s degree would take two years.

What are the requirements to get a construction management degree?

The requirements to get a construction management degree would depend on the degree level you go for. For instance, in case of an associate’s degree program, you will need to complete coursework in science, algebra and geometry. For a bachelor’s degree, you will need to have completed coursework in algebra, computer science or physics along with some training in architectural drawing.

How much can I make with a construction management degree?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction managers earned good money in the US in 2019. As per BLS, their mean annual wage in 2019 was $105,000. Construction managers made $95,260 as median annual salary in 2019. The state of New Jersey was the highest paying state for this occupation with an annual mean salary of $147,410.

On top of that, the job prospects for construction managers are also great. According to the estimates by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are projected to enjoy an 8% growth between 2019 and 2029.

Job Outlook

Construction managers will enjoy an 8% increase in job opportunities from 2019 and 2029. These figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are the general courses included in the curriculum of Online Construction Management Degrees?

A:The curriculum of Online Construction Management Degrees consists of a number of general courses and a number of elective courses. Important courses that are build the foundation of knowledge in this field include: safety management, building codes and procedures, principles of building construction, cost estimating and analysis, mechanical systems, legal issues in construction, contracts and documents, and many more.

Q:What is the coursework for online construction management degrees?

A:Construction management is a complicated task and to efficiently manage these tasks, you need to get professional training. There are construction management degrees that can be taken online. They aim to provide the student with project management fundamental concepts, human resource management, knowledge of construction materials, equipment, architectural basics, engineering and contract planning etc.

Q:At what levels of education can I find a construction management online degree?

A:Construction management online degree programs are available at all post-secondary levels of education. These include bachelor degree in construction management, master's degree in construction management, and an associate degree in construction management. Apart from these, students can also opt for short courses, diploma programs, and certificate programs in this field.

Q:Can you name a few of the basic subjects I will have to study in an online construction management degree?

A:Construction management degree programs cover a wide range of basic topics and advanced topics. These focus on various aspects of the construction management. If you enroll in this program, some of the fundamental courses you will study include the following: project scheduling, design development, construction law, safety and health, estimation techniques, and construction industry.

Q:How shall I fund my construction management degree?

A:You can opt for a number of different financial aid programs to help fund your degree program. Since costs are on the rise, many students are looking external sources of finance to help cover their educational expenses. Loans, grants, work-study programs, and scholarship programs are among the most popularly pursued federal aid options. On the other hand, there are a number of private loans that you can also consider.

Q:What are some of the core courses offered in the construction management classes online?

A:The courses offered in construction management classes online can vary according to the different institutes. Most of these courses focus on the technical and management aspects of a construction manager's job. The major courses offered include construction methods and technology, the construction process, legal principles and practices, and construction financial and cost control.

Q:What are the essential personal qualities that will help me succeed in the career, along with the construction management online courses?

A:Apart from the construction management online courses, you need to have some personal qualities to achieve a competitive edge in the construction industry. You need to be honest and ethical as this job requires a lot of integrity. Attention to detail, dependability, leadership, and initiative are also some of the vital traits of a construction manager.

Q:Can you give me some tips to perform well in the online construction management courses?

A:In order to perform well in the online construction management courses, you need to stay consistent and focused. You can enhance your performance by going through the previous lectures before starting a new one, taking part in class discussions, asking questions from the instructor, regularly practicing exercises, revising notes, and by reading the latest trends and practices of the construction industry.

Q:How can I choose among the different construction management degrees online?

A:In order to make the best possible choice among the different construction management degrees online, you need to keep in mind certain important factors. One key factor is the accreditation of the online program which determines its quality as well as acceptance by the employers. Other important factors include the repute of the school, qualification of faculty, curriculum and courses offered, learning resources used, tuition cost and placement rate.

Q:Do construction management courses online have the same value as the ones that are offered on campus?

A:There is no reason why construction management courses online will be valued lower than the traditional on campus courses. If you are going for an accredited online program, it will not have a lesser value. An online program only provides more convenience and flexibility to the students, but the curriculum and courses are very similar to ones that are offered on campus. Many reputed universities are also offering online programs which indicate the credibility of online education.

Q:Are there any online schools offering Construction Management Degree?

A:There are a number of online construction management degree programs available at a variety of different schools. You can pursue this academic discipline at associate. bachelor, and masters level. When selecting a school, make sure you consider the following factors: school accreditation, faculty, rankings, costs, students reviews, curriculum, and availability of learning facilities.

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