Construction managers are in charge of coordinating, planning, and directing construction projects to ensure that they run smoothly and efficiently. Construction managers also handle the design and implementation of projects, and manage the project budget by determining the best way to procure and transport materials.
Construction management is a career that requires close attention to detail, as overlooking aspects of a project can lead to disaster. Construction managers also work on teams and hire construction workers to help complete jobs. As a result, strong interpersonal and communication skills are vital to the position. Finally, construction management majors should expect to be punctual and timely, as construction managers develop timelines and schedules on which projects must run.
Classes and Assignments of a Construction Management Major
The most useful college degrees for construction management require that students enroll in classes that will prepare them for the high-level responsibility that being a construction manager will entail. Specific classes include cost estimation, leadership of construction processes, graphing, soil mechanics, steel construction, and construction law and ethics. At the undergraduate level, these classes will be balanced out with general education classes to encourage a well-rounded education. Online masters construction management degrees, in contrast, will focus entirely on construction management and have the option of specializing within a certain construction field.
Degree Levels for a Construction Management Major
- Associate. Some schools offer online associate construction management degrees, during which students learn about the construction field and the responsibilities involved in project management. However, students are encouraged to seek higher education, as the best job prospects are offered to those who have at least their bachelor’s degree.
- Bachelor’s. A much more common degree path for individuals interested in becoming construction managers is that of the bachelor’s degree. Online bachelors construction management degrees go into greater detail than the associate degree program, and as a result, this degree level is sought by employers more often than the associate degree level. However, the bachelor’s degree also balances out the construction management curriculum with general education courses.
- Master’s. Master’s degree programs do not spend as much time on a well-rounded, general education curriculum as bachelor’s degree programs. Instead, master’s programs focus mostly on delving deeper into construction management. The most useful college degrees at this level prepare students to manage large construction projects.
- Doctoral. The doctoral degree program for construction management prepares students for a high level of responsibility within the field, and also sets the foundation for students to enter the career field of academia. Students who earn their doctoral degrees are considered experts in their majors, due to the fact that this level goes into even more detail than any degree level beneath it. Students should expect to write a dissertation, which is a thorough research project, before graduating.
A Future as a Construction Management Major
The best college degrees in construction management prepare future project leaders to oversee the planning, coordination, and implementation of construction work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction managers average an annual salary of $79,860, and the career boasts faster than average growth. Graduates from construction management programs can also go on to become cost estimators, a position that averages $56,510 annually and has a good employment outlook, according to the BLS. Another option is that of an administrative service manager, which requires candidates to hold a degree related to construction management. Administrative service managers average a salary of $73,520 annually. However, keep in mind that these numbers are not set in stone. Job availability and salary depend on the employer, the location, and the amount of experience you have.