Construction managers oversee and coordinate building projects from start to finish. They collaborate with engineers, architects, and other professionals to complete initiatives, as well as estimate and budget costs. They may work on a variety of building types, such as residential and industrial structures, and infrastructure types, such as roads and bridges.
Construction Management: Education and Licensing Requirements
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that construction managers typically must possess a bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, engineering, or architecture. However, a specialized associate degree may be sufficient for individuals managing smaller projects. Examples of recommended coursework for potential construction programs are listed below:
- Cost estimation
- Project control and management
- Building codes and standards
Some schools also offer master's degrees in construction management for students who want to advance their education in the subject. Employers typically hire construction managers as assistants under experienced managers before advancing them.
Professionals may want to earn an optional certification in the discipline to validate their skills. Here are some examples of potential certifications and the organizations that offer them:
- Associate Constructor (American Institute of Constructors)
- Certified Professional Constructor (American Institute of Constructors)
- Certified Construction Manager (Construction Management Association of America)
Career Outlook for Construction Management Majors
According to the BLS, individuals with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field may have a competitive edge in the job market, especially considering the higher number of expected retirements in the field.
The BLS reports 2012-22 employment growth projections for construction managers and related careers:
- Construction managers: 16 percent
- Civil engineers: 20 percent
- Construction and building inspectors: 12 percent
Several contributing factors to expected growth and job creation in construction management are listed below:
- Expansion of overall construction activity.
- Growing focus on making buildings more energy efficient.
- Need to upgrade or replace bridges, roads, and sewer pipe systems.
American Institute of Constructors, http://www.professionalconstructor.org/
Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm
Construction and Building Inspectors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-and-building-inspectors.htm
Construction Management Association of America, http://cmaanet.org/
Construction Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm