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Construction Management Majors

Explore the career requirements for construction managers. Get the facts about education, employment outlook and average salaries to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Does Construction Management Do?

Construction managers plan and coordinate construction projects. Their duties include preparing budgets, acting as a liaison between the client and the construction site and ensuring compliance with local and federal safety codes. When initially meeting with clients, they are often responsible for learning what they can about a project and making price estimates. During construction, they report progress to clients, respond to problems and collaborate with other professionals, such as architects and engineers. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree in construction science, architecture, engineering or related field is required
Licensure/Certification Certification is not required but is preferred
Key Responsibilities Analytical skills, problem solving, leadership skills
Job Growth (2018-28) 10% (faster than average)*
Median Salary (2018) $93,370*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Overview for Construction Management Majors

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction managers don't necessarily need a degree, with some gaining the position through accumulated work experience. However, the BLS does say that it is becoming increasingly important for professionals in this area to hold a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Degree programs in this field commonly award a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and require about 123-180 credit hours for graduation.

You can expect to complete courses in construction documentation, safety codes and requirements and project planning. A common course for this degree is one that introduces computer-aided design (CAD) for construction. Other common courses include accounting, construction law and construction surveying. You will probably be required to complete an internship in the field of construction management, with this internship counting for course credit.

What Is the Work Like?

A construction manager or supervisor is responsible for overseeing work done on a construction site, including personnel management and project oversight. They also select contractors and sub-contractors, plan construction projects and monitor costs, according to job descriptions from Monster.com and the BLS.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 construction managers earned a median yearly salary of $93,370.

What Professional Certifications Are Available?

Construction management professionals can further their careers by becoming a certified construction manager (CCM), a designation offered by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). The process for certification includes an application and an exam that covers a wide range of construction management topics, like professional requirements of a construction manager, contract administration, safety and risk management, according to the CMAA (www.cmaanet.org). The CMAA says that initial certification lasts three years, and recertification must occur every three years.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Construction managers share many of the same skills as other professionals in the industry, such as architects, civil engineers, cost estimators and architectural and engineering managers. Architects design and draft residential and commercial buildings. Civil engineers design and draft infrastructure projects, such as transportation and utility facilities. Cost estimators are tasked with estimating costs of projects, much like construction managers do. Also similar to construction managers, architectural and engineering managers plan and organize architectural and engineering projects for the companies they work for.