Becoming a Certified Construction Manager: Requirements & Certification

Get to know the different types of certifications that construction managers can achieve. Learn more about the education requirements, the necessary skills, the median income, and projected job growth for this career path. Schools offering Construction Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Construction managers are responsible for overseeing construction projects in their entirety. They schedule the coordination between different specialists and ensure that all building processes meet safety regulation guidelines. In the table below, you'll find information regarding available certifications, in addition to other details.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Architecture, construction science, engineering, construction management
Certifications Certified Construction Manager (CCM), Associate Constructor (AC), and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) certifications are available
Required Skills Organization, analysis, customer service, and time-management
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 11% (construction managers)*
Median Income (2017) $91,370 (construction managers)*

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Certified Construction Manager Do?

Construction managers, otherwise known as general contractors, are tasked with overseeing the design and construction of buildings and other projects in their entirety. These projects include residential, commercial, public, and factory buildings, as well as memorials, tourist attractions, and bridges. They also coordinate the schedules between any other specialists required for construction completion, including architects, drafters, landscapers, electricians, and carpenters. Some construction managers also meet with clients in the early phases of design to help determine the client's needs and budget. Construction managers are responsible for allocating financial resources and budgeting throughout the entire construction process.

What Type Of Education Is Required To Become a Construction Manager?

As building processes become increasingly complex, the need for a bachelor's degree from an accredited program in a construction-related field is becoming a more refined standard in the construction management industry. Most candidates focus their studies on construction science, construction engineering, or building management. It is essential that students take courses in mathematics, construction methods and materials, design, statistics, and construction codes and regulations. Certain companies may also consider candidates with a two-year associate's degree and substantial work experience to manage small-scale projects. Companies will often hire construction managers to begin as assistants to gain work experience under a supervised manager and promote them to managerial roles after a given amount of time which is decided by the firm.

How Do I Become Certified as a Construction Manager?

Certification is not mandatory for construction managers but is helpful when seeking a job to exemplify a candidate's knowledge and experience level. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) offers a certification to become a Certified Construction Manager (CCM). This certification requires that an individual has the minimum required years of responsible-in-charge (RIC) management experience, general construction experience or education, in addition to passing a technical exam that covers topics such as construction fundamentals and legalities.

The American Institute of Constructors also offers certifications to become an Associate Constructor (AC) and a Certified Professional Constructor (CPC). The AC certification is the first-level certification and requires that candidates have earned four years of educational or practical experience or a combination of the two and are then required to pass a written exam. For the CPC certification, candidates must first obtain eight years of experience and must also be able to pass a written exam on the application and analysis of construction practices.

What Skills Do I Need To Have?

Because construction managers are responsible for overseeing the work done by several different companies or specialists, it is essential for construction managers to be well-organized. Likewise, time management skills prove essential because it is the construction manager's job to ensure that all operations and phases of construction are completed before deadlines. Technical skills are required of construction managers in order to operate the necessary software equipment and read technical blueprints from architects and builders. Construction managers must be equipped with customer service skills, as well, because they have to meet with clients to speak about budgeting, timeframes, and building functionality and to ensure them that their needs will be met.

How Much Do Construction Managers Make?

Construction managers earned a median income of $91,370 as of May 2017. Employment rates for construction managers are expected to grow by 11%, faster than the national average for all occupations. Population and business growth is expected to increase the demand for new residential, commercial, and public buildings. Thus, construction firms will likely have a substantial amount of work for construction managers to oversee.

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