Is a Construction Management Degree Right for You?
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These degree programs teach you how to design, create, implement and manage construction projects. You will cover safety, timing, costs, scope and the quality of the work that is done. If you have strong communicational skills, get along and work well with others, are used to fast-paced environments, and can work under pressure, then a construction management job may be a great fit for you. Construction managers typically work with contracts and act as a consultant between business parties, so they also need to be able to address the needs of people, have good oral and written communication skills, and be able to form working relationships with different types of people.
Advice for Earning Your Construction Management Degree Online
Online construction management programs offer associate, bachelor's and graduate degrees. Regardless of the degree you wish to pursue, you should always ensure that the school in which you enroll is accredited. With so many diploma and degree mills floating around the Internet, it is important to ensure that you receive a high-quality education and earn a degree that will help you achieve your professional and career goals. If you have questions about school accreditation or what type of degree the specific company or business you would like to work for requires, contact your school of choice or a professional organization in your field.
Construction management degree programs provide students with general education courses and specific classes on the fundamentals of construction techniques, legal issues and the management field. During your studies, you will acquire the knowledge and skills you will need to enter the workplace and be a productive leader in the construction industry. Areas of study in construction management degree programs include safety management, construction contracts and documents, sites and measurements, and building codes and procedures. Some of the required courses include commercial construction methods, principles of building construction management, project management, safety management, cost estimating and analysis, mechanical systems, statistics, ethics, and environmental and legal issues in construction.
Common Career Paths
Faster than average job growth is expected in this field, and those with pertinent experience and degrees should have the best employment prospects. Popular careers in the construction management field include (but are not limited to):
A construction manager is responsible for the planning, directing, coordination and budget of a wide scope of construction projects. This can include all types of construction, such as commercial, residential and industrial structures, as well as roads, bridges and expansion projects. Depending on the size of the job and other factors, construction managers may be responsible for overseeing an entire project. Their job responsibilities include scheduling and coordinating the project, which usually includes hiring and overseeing the work of contractors and employees, ensuring the budget is being honored, determining whether employees are taking safety precautions to prevent accidents or risks while working, and making certain the project is being completed on time.
Employment of construction managers is expected to increase 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the BLS reported that the salary of construction managers varies widely depending on several factors, their median annual wages were $83,860 in 2010.
Cost estimators figure out what the price of future projects will be for businesses and organizations so that their personnel can make a decision on whether to go ahead with their plans. Construction cost estimators visit the sites of projects to gather the information they need. Their estimates take into account costs for workers, the length of time the project will take and whether profits should be expected from it. Other factors that must be included are equipment needs, sequence of operations and physical constraints.
Construction cost estimators may be employed by architects, engineering firms and companies within the construction industry. The employment outlook of construction cost estimators is favorable, as 36 percent growth is expected from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than for the average occupation. The best employment prospects will likely be for those who have industry work experience and a bachelor's degree in the field. Although the salary of construction cost estimators varies widely depending on employer, experience and education, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual median salary of construction cost estimators was $57,860 in 2010.
A construction inspector examines buildings, roads, bridges, water systems and other structures to ensure that they meet certain requirements. This can include ensuring that the construction, alterations and repairs are compliant with building codes and ordinances as well as zoning regulations. Inspectors make initial evaluations during the beginning phases of construction and follow up with subsequent visits throughout the project to ensure codes and regulations are still being met. Most employers prefer that inspectors have a college degree in construction management, engineering or a related field. In addition, many states require that construction inspectors have some sort of license or certification to practice in the field.
Faster than average job growth is expected in this field. Employment of construction inspectors is projected to increase 18 percent from 2010 to 2020. Those with training and experience in the field should have the best job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary of a construction inspector was $52,360 in 2010.