Get a Construction Management Degree

by Chuck Lorrell

1. What is Construction Management?

Construction Management is the study and practice of both the technical and managerial aspects of the construction industry. A project manager will usually coordinate and supervise the entire construction process from the conceptual stage to the final production. They may be self-employed or salaried employees of a property owner, developer, or contracting firm.

2. What kind of responsibilities does a Construction Manager have?

Construction managers oversee construction supervisors and personnel, but they usually do not perform any actual construction. Projects vary widely and include residential, commercial, or industrial structures, as well as infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants, schools or hospitals. They may work with owners, engineers, architects, and others involved in the building process. They determine the labor requirements for a project and oversee the hiring process. They supervise the delivery and use of all building materials, tools, and equipment. In addition, they must obtain all necessary permit and licenses, monitor compliance with building and safety codes, and ensure worker safety and work quality.

3. What kind of degree do I need for a job in Construction Management?

There are a variety of degrees available in construction management. Many colleges offer 4-year professional programs to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as relevant Masterís programs. If you have a few years of previous experience, it is also possible to get an associateís degree from many institutions. These degrees can also be obtained through online programs.

4. Do I need experience in construction to get a degree in Construction Management?

Practical experience is very important for a degree in construction management. This can be obtained through an internship, a co-op education program, or a job in the industry.

5. Is certification required for a career in Construction Management?

Certification is not required, but it is becoming more important because it shows competence and experience. Voluntary certification programs are offered by both the America Institute of Contractors (AIC) and the Construction Management Associate of America (CMAA). These programs include a written examination and verification of education and professional experience.

6. What are the job prospects for a career in Construction Management?

Although the construction industry is not doing as well as it was before the recession, prospects are better for a qualified individual in a managerial position. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of job openings will exceed the number of qualified individuals in the years ahead. There is also a growing emphasis on making buildings energy efficient and environmentally friendly. As technology continues to improve, the demand for technically qualified individuals will also increase.

7. How much can I earn with a job in Construction Management?

Wages can vary greatly based on the nature and size of a construction project, its geographic location, and economic conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for a salaried construction manager in May 2010 was $83,860.

8. Which places in the U.S. have the most jobs in Construction Management?

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that Alaska, Texas, Maryland, Nevada, and New Mexico have the highest concentration of jobs in construction management. The metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels include New York, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Santa Ana, and Phoenix.

Chuck Lorrell is a construction management enthusiast who writes about various topics including everything related to construction and is the owner of the site Construction Management Schools.