Best Online Construction Management Degree Programs

Explore the types of construction management programs that are available online, and what degrees can be earned without any on-campus requirements. Learn about program lengths and expectations, and what you can do after graduation. Schools offering Construction Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Top 10 Construction Management Degree Programs

When deciding what online construction management programs are best, students should consider flexibility, length, and cost. 10 of the best schools with online construction management programs are listed below.

1. Arizona State University-Skysong

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Scottsdale, AZ $10,317 82%

Arizona State University has an online Master of Science in Construction Management program that consists of 10 courses (30 credit hours) and costs $532 per credit hour ($15,960). Each class lasts 15 weeks and is 100% online. Students explore various topics including construction technology, project controls, and project management, and complete their program with a project, culminating experience, or thesis. The program faculty include members from the National Academy of Construction, National Academy of Inventors, and National Academy of Engineering.

2. Clemson University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Clemson, SC $15,374 93%

Clemson University has been offering a fully-online Master of Construction Science and Management degree program since 1992 that has regularly been recognized by various national organizations including the National Center for Construction Education and Research. The program consists of 30 credit hours, including thesis and non-thesis options, and costs $955 per credit hour in tuition ($28,650 total tuition). Students explore topics such as project delivery, planning and scheduling, and construction marketing.

3. Colorado State University-Pueblo

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Pueblo, CO $10,408 96%

Students of Colorado State University-Pueblo can earn a certificate or bachelor's degree in construction management completely online. The certificate consists of 4 courses (11 credit hours), includes topics such as construction safety and surveying, and has a total cost of $3,850. The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management program includes general education and focused courses, totaling 120 credit hours and a total tuition cost of $42,000. Courses run in 8-week increments, enabling students to begin their program during six different terms throughout the school year.

4. Indiana State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Terre Haute, IN $9,090 93%

Indiana State University has an online Bachelor of Science in Construction Management program that consists of 120 credit hours and courses in environmental control systems, cost control and building design. Students interested in another field may choose to alternatively pursue the construction management minor as part of their education, which consists of 23 credit hours. Indiana residents have a tuition rate of $327 per credit hours (part-time) or $4,518 per semester (12 to 18 credit hours). ISU also has a discounted rate for qualifying students from 10 nearby states.

5. Kaskaskia College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Centralia, IL $7,530 76%

The Associate in Applied Science in Construction Project Management program at Kaskaskia College can be completed entirely online in around two years. Students learn various construction project management topics such as estimation and utilize programs to practice their developed skills. The program consists of 60 credit hours, and can be used to waive some courses for students who wish to pursue the school's bachelor's degree in technical resource management. Students living in-district have a total tuition cost of $9,120, Illinois residents living out of district have a tuition cost of $15,060, and out-of-state students have a total tuition cost of $24,660.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA $11,950 96%
7 Mesabi Range College Virginia, MN $5,329 89%
8 Newschool of Architecture and Design San Diego, CA $27,501 71%
9 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY $10,032 99%
10 San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia Visalia, CA $47,850 78%

Tuition, location, and financial aid information in tables provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and represent undergraduate values for the 2018-2019 school year.

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Construction Management Programs

Students can earn a variety of degrees and certifications in construction management online. Types of construction management online programs are discussed below.

  • Certificate: Undergraduate certificates in construction management can be completed online in as little as one semester. Students may take courses in surveying and construction management, developing a basic understanding of construction management methods and implications.
  • Associate's Degree: Associate's degree in construction management programs are usually open to students with at least a high school diploma or GED and can typically be completed in two years. Courses in these programs may include construction materials, safety, scheduling, and cost estimating.
  • Bachelor's Degree: Construction management bachelor's degree programs can be completed in four years or less and usually consist of around 120 credit hours. Students with qualifying prior coursework may be able to have some courses waived, shortening the time to completion. Students in bachelor's programs may take classes such as statistics, surveying, structural systems, soils and foundations and mechanical systems.
  • Master's Degree: Master's degree programs in construction management may consist of around 30 or 40 credit hours with courses in construction finances, productivity, project management, and leadership. Full-time students may complete their program in as little as one year while part-time students may be able to complete their program over several years.

While all programs provide students with applicable knowledge and skills for positions in construction management, students should consider which program best suits their needs; how much time they have for studying, if they can have any courses waived because of previous studies, and how many years they want to invest into their education. While undergraduate programs require students to have earned a high school diploma or GED, master's degree programs require students to have earned a bachelor's degree.

Online programs and coursework typically require students to attend an online orientation or complete an online tutorial that gives an overview of the online learning environment. Students may use their learning portals for emails (peers and instructors), exams, lectures, and course assignments. Many programs offer asynchronous learning, which enables students to log in at their convenience, while others utilize some synchronous features, requiring students to log in at certain times for items such as lectures and exams.

Common Courses

  • Introduction to Construction Management - In introduction courses, students learn the basic roles and processes in construction as well as applicable regulations and laws.
  • Project Management - These courses explore the practices and controls of project management with a focus on managers' responsibilities.
  • Scheduling - Students review methods for scheduling and planning construction projects and resources.
  • Construction Materials - In these courses, students learn the various types of materials used in construction as well as their uses and limitations.
  • Surveying - These courses may explore different techniques of surveying, leveling, and traversing.
  • Safety - In these fundamental courses, students learn about safety procedures, workers' compensation, regulatory requirements, and safety ethics.
  • Construction Economics - Students study the various financial controls and processes that affect construction, such as cash flow management, time value and overhead costs.
  • Cost Estimating - These classes further explore construction economics, but focus on specific project estimations which can include choosing equipment, employees, schedules, and materials.
  • Management - Most construction management programs include an introductory course to business and/or management. These courses show students effective methods for management, and also explore communication in the workplace.

Online Construction Management Accreditation

There are two main organizations that accredit construction management programs.

  • American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) - ACCE accredits construction management programs at master's degree, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree levels. They meet twice per year to review programs, and those that meet the specific criteria gain accreditation. The organization seeks to ensure that construction education is consistent and effective so that graduates become productive members of the construction management community. Accreditation by ACCE ensures that programs have been periodically reviewed for quality and meet stringent standards.
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) - ABET accredits graduate and undergraduate programs in various fields, including construction management. Backed by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), ABET reviews and accredits programs that meet industry standards. The accreditation from ABET and CMAA gives students, graduates, and employers confidence in knowing that program graduates are prepared for construction management roles.

Construction Management Certifications

Although some construction management positions do not require certification, many states and employers require or prefer candidates who are certified. There are two bodies that issue construction management certification.

  • Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) - CMAA issues two types of construction management certification to qualifying individuals. Both certifications require individuals to pass an exam to demonstrate applicable knowledge, and enable certificate holders to articulate their skills in construction management. The available certificates are:
    • CCM - CCMs, or Certified Construction Managers, are construction management professionals who have extensive education and /or experience and are able to deliver high-quality service and results.
    • CMIT - CMIT, or Construction Manager-in-Training, is an entry-level construction management professional. This certification recognizes a foundational understanding of construction management through education.
  • American Institute of Constructors (AIC) - AIC oversees the Constructor Certification Program, which recognizes experience and education in qualified construction management individuals. In order to become certified, individuals must first apply, then pay for and pass the applicable exam. There are two types of certification available.
    • AC - Associate Constructor, or AC, is the lower-level certificate that's well-suited for recent graduates who are transitioning into professional roles.
    • CPC - Certified Professional Constructors, or CPCs, are experienced construction professionals that have the work experience and knowledge to represent the AIC as certified construction managers.

Construction Management: Jobs and Salary

There are a few career paths that construction management graduates can pursue. These are discussed below.

Construction Managers

Construction managers oversee and plan construction projects. They may occasionally work from offices, but spend the majority of their time working at construction sites and meeting with clients. The salary for all construction managers in 2018 was $93,370 and jobs in the field are expected to grow 10% between 2018 and 2028.

The duties of construction managers can vary based on position and job but can include creating estimates and schedules, reviewing contracts, reporting to clients, and collaborating with other professionals (such as engineers and architects). They also ensure that projects meet regulations, hire employees and subcontractors, and respond to emergency situations.

Construction managers can manage various projects such as commercial and residential properties, roads, and bridges. Larger projects (such as industrial complexes) typically need multiple construction managers in charge, with one overseeing the others.

The salary and outlook of construction managers by industry are shown in the table below.

Industry Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction $97,180 14.3%
Nonresidential Building Construction $95,150 12.4%
Residential Building Construction $83,640 13.9%
Specialty Trade Contractors $90,170 10.9%

Although there are many states that do not require construction managers to be certified, many employers prefer candidates who have that recognition. Because construction is becoming a more complex field, it is more and more important for applicants to have a certificate articulating their extensive knowledge of construction management topics. Managers of larger projects and companies may find a bachelor's or master's degree more imperative, while an associate's degree or a certificate can help candidates find positions managing smaller projects.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers educate students beyond high school in community colleges, universities, and other settings. Graduates of a master's degree program can qualify to teach at many community colleges, teaching the subject that their degree is in (such as construction management). Postsecondary teachers had an overall median annual salary of $78,470 and are expected to grow 11% between 2018 and 2028.

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators usually need a bachelor's degree in a field such as construction management, although some are able to qualify with significant experience (or the combination of a lower-level construction management degree and applicable experience). Cost estimators collect and review data to estimate how much money, materials, labor, and time are needed to complete a project. They may work in manufacturing, services industries, or construction. Cost estimators who work in construction create the estimates needed for projects such as roads, homes, and other buildings. Cost estimators can work for engineering firms or construction companies. Employment for these professionals is expected to grow 9% through 2028 and had a median salary of $64,040 in 2018.

Industry Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Construction of Buildings $68,310 13.1%
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction $73,040 14.2%
Specialty Trade Contractors $64,620 10.7%

Salary and job outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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