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Construction Trades and Management

Get education and employment information to decide if a career in construction trades and management is right for you. Read on to learn more about training options, job growth and salary for construction trade managers.

Are Construction Trades and Management For Me?

Career Overview

As a construction manager, you'll be involved in all aspects of structural and land developments. Projects might include private homes, industrial buildings and medical facilities. You might also work on freeway overpasses or streets. Experience in the construction trades is required to work in the field; personnel and project management abilities are essential when pursuing a supervisory position.

Career Options

As a construction manager, you might be employed as project manager or engineer, general contractor or foreman. Other titles might include construction superintendent or supervisor. If employed by a company, you will most likely work on a salaried basis. You could also choose to become self-employed.

Employment and Salary Information

Employment of construction managers was projected to grow 16% nationwide from 2012-2022, or faster than average, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction managers made an average annual salary of $92,700 in May 2013, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Work in Construction Trades and Management?

Educational Options

In addition to on-the-job training, construction management programs are offered through 2-year and 4-year educational institutions. Programs typically start at the undergraduate certificate or degree level and may lead to a bachelor's degree in construction management. In addition to learning how to analyze plans and estimate costs, you'll study electricity codes, safety procedures and scheduling. Learning outcomes include the ability to manage projects and serve effectively in a supervisory role.

Admission to a master's degree program in construction management usually requires a bachelor's degree in a career-specific area and experience in the field. As a graduate of a construction management program, you could also consider working at an architecture or engineering firm; management positions outside of the construction industry may also be available.

Certifications

Voluntary certifications are available through the Construction Management Association of America (www.cmaa.com), a professional association for construction management students and professionals. You can also get certified through the American Institute of Constructors (www.aicnet.org).