To be effective and efficient, any plan for furthering college education will include a comprehensive testing of the student’s basic knowledge and skill levels. Acquiring an online construction management degree is no different. Begin with an honest and complete self-evaluation. Follow up with an in depth study of current training courses. Perform a comparison of existing skills versus the desired achievement goals. Apply this to the available methods of education. Establish a curriculum. Enroll and start training.
Online programs offering free information on Construction Management education
Assess your current construction management knowledge and skill level
The following list is not all-inclusive. Nor are the individual concepts fully defined and specifically ordered. Yet this base guideline is sufficient as to establish a firm entry-level education goal. Add interest points that coincide with your personal aspirations. You alone know your primary focus. For better definitions and understandings, consult the dictionary at http://community.daptiv.com/forums/p/91/137.aspx. Meantime, examine and rate your understanding and skills in the following areas of construction management (establish your own strength scale):
- Communication skills. This is a standard skill, pertinent to any level of management. Rate your ability to effectively apply oral, written, graphic, and listening skills.
- Engineering Design. A construction manager must understand engineering design fundamentals, including basic design elements, processes, and measurements. A construction manager must also be skilled in the use of engineering tools for CAD and product simulations. Skills in technical writing and oral presentation run hand in hand with adequate understanding of the engineering design process.
- Engineering Concepts. This is the process of applying scientific knowledge to the functions of applied mechanics, including the fundamentals of the mechanical sciences. Disciplines such as fluid mechanics, heat mass transfer, and others are major necessities for the successful construction manager.
- Associated Math. The trained construction manager will be able to apply the principles of associated mathematics to the ongoing construction processes.
- Management Concepts and Philosophies. This is a combination of human resource management systems, project planning, ethics, project design, economics, leadership concepts, accounting methods, professional relationships, and much more the depth of which exceeds this brief introduction.
- Construction Methods and Materials. This begins with a knowledge and understanding of the Construction Specifications Institute’s MasterFormat. Originally classed under sixteen unique divisions but now increased to fifty categories, this standard is the most widely applied construction specifications list. This is not merely about knowing of terminologies. We are talking about the processes, the order of application, and the necessary planning stages.
- Estimating, Plan Reading, and Bid Process. We group these as one for they flow hand and hand. Beginning with a clear and complete understanding of the proposed work, the qualified construction management professional will know how to interpret construct plans, evaluate site conditions, plan production schedules, operate takeoff and estimating software, balance material procurement, create stock lists, carry out an accurate labor analysis, apply and document the appropriate codes, and more. Accurate estimating brings the jobs in, and brings them in at a reasonable profit. The professional construction manager will know how to present the investigation results, the specifications, the design criteria, the site observations, and the specific services in a competent and complete manner.
- Budgeting. Understand the projected project time frame, and then calculate the resources necessary to achieve the task. Establish budget control and monitoring processes. Allocate cost estimates to specific construction components.
- Cost Accounting/Cost Control and Cost Closeout. Define the work. Assign job tasks, the cost, and who pays for what. Analyze ongoing cost benefits. Breakdown the project cost structure. Establish a clear-cut cost center. Consolidate and identify specific relationships between exact costs and individual work elements.
- Site Surveying and Layout. Learn the geographical layout. Establish distances and elevations. Keep an eye out for water and sewer complications. Know the tools and how to use them.
- Scheduling and Project Control. This is really a crossover into construction methods and materials, even primarily a task of the project superintendent. Know how to define and record the logical sequence of construction activities. Consider time durations, and put together a functioning material procurement timetable. Monitor project progress. Update schedules and records.
- Administration. Observe the work. Advise the owner and architect concerning the progress and quality of the work. Develop a site plan. Evaluate vendors and subcontractors. Maintain records and process payment applications.
- Safety. Though last on this list, safety is never considered the least important. You need to know and understand OSHA construction standards. You need also the personality skills that will promote employee cooperation with onsite defensive safety and health procedures.
Assessing current online construction management training courses
Having identified your strengths and weakness, you should also incorporate into the plans your current level of education. Include also your personal management goals. Evaluate the following online construction management training options:
Undergraduate Certificate Degree Program
This construction management educational program covers introductory construction management, surveying, and construction estimate. Specific topics include: structural design, mechanical and electrical systems, materials and methods, planning, cost estimating, procuring contracts, labor relations, and others. Find specific information at Must University, http://www.mustuniversity.com/schools-majors/business-and-management/construction-management-undergraduate-certificate.html, phone 1-866-533-6878.
Two-year Associate’s Degree
This is the shortest educational path to earning a degree. This online degree focuses on the technical and managerial skills needed in today’s commercial and residential construction industry. Subjects addressed include advanced construction management, architectural design theory, and methods of field supervision. The training also touches upon applied technology, construction communication and supervision procedures. OSHA regulations, and state and federal building codes. San Joaquin Valley College online, can help you get started.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Construction Management
This course provides students with a basic understanding of Construction Management. Learned skills will include OSHA requirements, training policies, and construction specific regulatory practices. Special attention is given to people interacting, and how to handle the daily contacts with owners: contractors, subs, vendors, and employees. Course studies also include construction accounting and financial management, cost estimating and bidding strategies, along with risk management in construction. Sullivan University provides an outstanding curriculum. This degree must be preceded by an Associate’s degree.
MBA – Construction Management
An MS in construction management will build upon the educational foundation of a bachelor’s degree in that field. The highlight is on project management and safety. Core courses include sales and sales management, advertising, marketing, and more. Specialized courses include advanced construction management, construction and technology, advanced surveying, construction estimating, and assessing project risks. A major focus is on planning and scheduling, materials, and the techniques of high-rise construction. Among others, one dependable online university source is Eastern Kentucky University, accredited by SACS. To enroll in this course, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Construction Management Technician, AAS Degree
Construction Management Technicians are often responsible for acquiring necessary permits and licenses. They work with construction managers, superintendents, and foremen so as to control delivery and use of materials and equipment. They are also heavily involved with matters of construction quality, worker productivity, and safety. For an excellent choice of online construction management technician training, consider Southeastern Technical Institute at 2320 North Career Ave., Sious Falls, SD 57107; phone 1-800-247-0789; web base, http://www.southeasttech.edu/Academics/Degrees/Engineering/Pages/ConstructionManagementTechnician.aspx.
Where to start?
Perhaps you have advanced skills but lack credentials. Remember that most schools offer placement examines. If your math and English skills exceed your education level, it is possible to bypass some of these courses. Look also for those online institutions that have a prosperous and confirmable graduate employment record.
To acquire further information pertaining to a career in construction management, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the following link: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos005.htm. You may also wish to visit the Clemson University Academic Advertisement Center at: http://www.clemson.edu/caah/advisement/major_preview/featured_major/.