Construction management has an estimated growth rate of 8%, with plenty of options to work in the industry. The average salary of those working in construction management is between $56,000 and about $169,000 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Get started by earning your bachelor’s degree!
Types of Online Construction Management Degree Programs
Whether you’re interested in sales, business, engineering, finance, architecture, or manual labor, here are just a few potential career paths for construction majors.
A construction management degree can take you in many different directions, especially if you concentrate your studies on something specific.
Construction management is both a job and a field. You can become a construction manager and be responsible for overseeing construction projects from beginning to end.
You might plan, design, budget, schedule, and perform compliance checks for a wide variety of homes, buildings, bridges, warehouses, and railroads.
You may also study construction management as a general subject. It’s available as a degree on every level, including bachelor’s and master’s, and it can prepare you for work in a variety of fields.
You can learn about everything from cement mixing to business administration, and you can prepare for work as a designer, surveyor, contractor, or engineer.
The perks of this industry can be quite tempting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of construction managers is $97,180 per year, and the field is estimated to grow by 8% in the next decade. That’s much faster than the national average.
Consider a degree in construction management if you’re looking for an in-demand field with diverse, high-paying jobs. The exact requirements for these jobs will vary, but a degree in construction management can help get you started.
There are several types of construction, but one of the most common distinctions is between residential and commercial construction. Residential construction is for homes. Commercial construction is for businesses and cities.
Projects may include schools, offices, malls, and movie theaters.
It can involve real estate, transportation, and big-time infrastructure. You might survey land to determine if it’s a good place for a new department store; you might crunch numbers to figure out how a city council can pay for upgrades to their highway system.
You don’t have to be a literal construction manager to work in this industry. You might get your degree and find a job as an engineer, urban planner, safety inspector, cost estimator, or risk analysis specialist.
There are lots of possibilities in commercial construction. You just have to dive in and find them.
Concrete is such a major material in construction work that it has entire degree programs devoted to it.
You can major in things like concrete science technology and concrete industry management, and you can also get certification from the American Concrete Institute in foundation, finishing, inspection, construction, and quality management.
Another option is to study construction management with a specialization in concrete. With the help of business and leadership courses, you may qualify for high-level jobs like a concrete foreman.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, concrete foremen have an average salary of $67,840 per year as opposed to the average $46,000 per year of regular cement masons and concrete finishers.
Working with concrete is a sticky business, but it can also be a profitable one. If you aren’t afraid of a little mess, it might be the career path for you.
Also known as “heavy civil engineering,” this branch of construction is centered around highways, bridges, dams, sewers, and tunnels. It poses unique challenges to construction professionals because its work is often expensive and time-consuming. There’s also an increased emphasis on safety.
Most people go into this industry with an engineering or construction degree. Construction management is just one possibility; there’s also construction science, architectural design, civil engineering, and equipment operation.
You might need advanced credentials if you’re thinking about a management position in heavy construction. Since there’s a lot of liability involved with such public works, employers tend to look for highly-qualified applicants with good education and many years of experience.
You might need to become a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) or Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) for your resume to have some weight.
Residential construction is centered around living spaces. It’s most commonly associated with houses and apartments, but it could also include mobile homes, condos, duplexes, and anywhere else that people live.
Courses in residential construction typically revolve around everything from estimating costs to framing buildings for weather resistance. Common skills taught include how to install roofs, measure windows, read blueprints, and plan for energy conservation.
Even if you won’t be swinging the hammer yourself, you’ll need to know how these things work to oversee the labor.
Some schools offer special programs in residential construction management. This isn’t usually a requirement for jobs, but it can give you an edge over other applicants.
Consider a career in residential construction if you’d enjoy the building process of homes. Whether you work with luxury condos or low-income trailers, you’ll be creating the spaces where families live.
Specialty construction is a broad, non-specific term that can cover a wide range of projects.
For example, it could refer to mechanical construction for a home’s heating and cooling units, or it could mean electrical construction for power plants and industrial warehouses.
Do you enjoy working with your hands? You could become an engineer who uses your construction management degree to build hotels and hospitals from scratch. Do you prefer to work behind the scenes? Become a sustainability consultant who helps companies go green.
There are plenty of options in the field of specialty construction. It’s such a wide-ranging field that many people make their own definitions for it, so it can encompass all kinds of work. This is a specialization where you can create your own future.
Sustainable and Green Construction
“Green” construction is a rapidly-growing industry. Not only does it benefit the environment, but sustainable practices may also help businesses cut costs, so it’s desirable all around.
Working in green construction, your job could involve any or all of the following:
- Sustainable design
- Energy efficiency
- Water efficiency
- Renewable resources
- Pollution management
- Waste reduction
Depending on your exact job, you might take a hands-on role in designing eco-friendly buildings, or you might work from a desk to broker deals and finance initiatives that result in cleaner, greener companies. A degree in construction management can get you started.
Courses for an Online Degree in Construction Management
Construction management courses are a mix of the practical and the theoretical. You’ll need the day-to-day business acumen to handle budgets, schedules, plans, and materials, but you’ll also need a broader kind of intelligence to solve problems and bring people’s visions to life.
Here are just a few subjects that might be on your course list for a construction management degree:
Calculus: You’ll need math skills as a construction manager. Calculating angles, tracking expenses, converting units of measurement, and performing financial risk assessments for companies and clients are all a part of construction management. Prepare yourself for calculus and maybe even statistics and finance.
Construction Graphics: Can you read a blueprint? Do you understand the numbers, figures, and abbreviations that are common to architectural plans and construction zones? A course in construction graphics can help you learn what you need to know.
Leadership: Depending on your degree program, you might be offered different kinds of leadership courses. This is the “manager” part of construction management. Topics may include conflict resolution, organizational communication, business management, or training and development.
Construction Software and Technology: Gone are the days when builders did everything by hand. Today, computerized systems offer everything from building information modeling (BIM) to construction project management (CPM), and technology courses can teach you how to navigate them.
Economics: Many construction management programs will want you to understand economics. These classes could range from basic introductory ones to complex courses about microeconomics and macroeconomics. They could also intersect with business, finance, accounting, and administration electives.
Contracts and Law: You’ll probably deal with a lot of contracts in construction work, especially if you’re going into something like heavy civil engineering where there can be millions of dollars of liability on the line. These courses can help you understand what you’re drafting and signing.
What’s the Difference Between an Online Construction Management Certificate and a Degree in Construction Management?
There are dozens of online certification courses for construction work. The basic ones might only take-30 hours and cost anywhere from $100-$500.
The more advanced ones might require months of study as part of a certification program at university, and they may take 6-12 months and cost upwards of $8,000.
All of them will be quicker than getting an actual degree in construction management, which can take anywhere from two years for an associate’s degree to six years for a master’s degree. They’ll cost a lot less as well.
The downside is that a certificate won’t teach you as much as a degree program. It might not carry the same weight with future employers, either.
If you only have a six-week certificate and you’re up against another job candidate with a four-year degree, the hiring manager will probably go with the other guy.
Certifications aren’t a bad idea if you’re looking to build your skills or broaden your knowledge in a particular area. If you have larger career aspirations, however, you probably want to invest in a real degree.
Construction Management Degree Job Outlook and Salary
How much money can you make with a construction management degree? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the construction management field include:
- Facilities Manager ($98,890)
- Construction Manager ($97,180)
- Construction Engineer ($87,060)
- Project Manager ($77,420)
- Urban Designer ($75,950)
- Sustainability Consultant ($73,230)
- Construction Estimator ($66,610)
- Arbitrator ($66,130)
- Quantity Surveyor ($65,590)
- Building Control Surveyor ($63,780)
- Fire Risk Assessor ($63,270)
- Building Inspector ($60,710)
Before you start counting bills, however, you should know that these are median salaries. There can be a big gap between the highest- and lowest-earning workers in any given career.
For example, construction managers make between $56,880-$169,070 per year. The $97,180 is just a median figure.
Certification and Licensure Following a Construction Management Degree
Once you complete a construction management degree, you might want to take things a step further with a professional certification.
It isn’t required by law, but it can give you an edge over other job applicants, and it can also help you build your skills if you’re seeking further education or career advancement.
Here are the most common certifications that you may complete as a construction manager:
Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
Offered by the Construction Management Association of America, the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) is officially recognized by national accrediting boards. It’s sometimes called the “gold standard” of construction management credentials. There are two ways to qualify for it:
- Four years of construction management experience and a bachelor’s degree
- Eight years of construction management experience with no degree
You’ll also need to complete a technical exam. Once you’ve gotten your CCM, you’ll need to renew it every three years by passing another exam.
Construction Manager-in-Training (CMIT)
Another title offered by the Construction Management Association of America, the Construction Manager-in-Training (CMIT) is for construction professionals who are still building their skills. It has three stages:
- Completing a capstone assessment
- Enrolling in a mentorship program
- Earning “stackable credentials”
You’ll become a CMIT as soon as you complete the first stage, but it’s assumed that you’ll want to keep going and earn your CCM certification, so the other stages are important as well. They can provide guidance as you work towards becoming a full-fledged manager and not just one in training.
Associate Constructor (AC)
The Associate Constructor (AC) certification is offered by the American Institute of Constructors. It’s the first step to complete in their Constructor Certification Program, but you can also earn it as a standalone qualification.
To qualify, you’ll need to sit for an exam. To sit for the exam, you’ll need to meet one of the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in construction management
- Four years of relevant education or field experience
There are detailed guidelines about what counts as “relevant” experience.
Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)
The Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) is the highest certification offered by the American Institute of Constructors. It requires an application before you can even sit for the exam, and you’ll need one of the following:
- An AC certification and four years of experience, two of which must be construction management experience
- Eight years of experience without the AC certification, two of which must be construction management experience
You’ll also need to renew your CPC every two years.
Accreditation for Construction Management Programs Online
Going to an accredited school is an absolute must. Not only can it impact things like financial aid, but if you plan on getting any professional certifications like the CCM or CPC, you’ll need a degree from an accredited college before you can sit for those exams.
There are six boards that oversee college accreditation. These are regional organizations that divide the U.S. into different groups of states, so depending on where you enroll, your school might be accredited by various boards.
For example, if you’re in Florida, your school should be covered by the Southern Association of Colleges. If you’re in Oregon, it’ll be through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
There are also two organizations that are devoted specifically to construction:
- The American Council for Construction Education
- The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering
You can check their websites to see which schools and degree programs they choose to accredit for construction science and construction management.
Financial Aid for Construction Management Students
If you can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars in tuition, there are different kinds of financial aid to choose from that can ease some of your burdens.
The first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It won’t cost you a dime to complete, and depending on your family’s income, you could qualify for several types of aid that can lower your college costs:
Grants are essentially free money that doesn’t have to be paid back. The most common is the Pell Grant, but there’s also the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
Loans have to be paid back, but if you’re under a certain income threshold, you could qualify for a subsidized loan where the government pays your interest until you graduate. There are also unsubsidized loans where you’re responsible for the interest.
Work-study programs let you work on campus to offset some of your academic costs.
You can earn money for college outside of FAFSA as well. For example, you may apply for different scholarships, or you may choose to check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement.
You can also do some research on the special programs offered by your college that will accelerate your credits and have you complete your bachelor’s faster. Similarly, accelerated construction management degree programs could be another option as they condense the courses into shorter periods which allows students to graduate sooner.
Don’t be afraid to explore every avenue when it comes to lowering the cost of your education.
Questions Related to Earning a Construction Management Degree Online
Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have in regard to earning an online construction management degree.
Is There a Degree in Construction Management?
Many schools offer a degree in construction management. These programs usually require around 120 credits to complete, and the courses can teach you the academic basics of business, finance, and administration while also educating you in industry-specific topics such as bricklaying, concrete finishing, and construction codes.
Some schools don’t have a construction management major. They might offer construction science instead, or they might have construction management as a concentration for an engineering degree. In these cases, you’ll need to take supplementary courses on your own.
Can You Get a Construction Management Degree Online?
There are many online construction management degree programs. Most of them are meant for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, but there are a few options for master’s degrees as well.
Something to note about construction management degrees is that they often have a practical element. It’s required for some programs to complete internships or capstone projects with fieldwork.
There are different ways to handle this with an online degree, including the acceptance of a local placement with a construction company, but you better look into the details before you choose to enroll in the program.
How Much Does a Construction Management Degree Cost?
The price to complete your online construction management degree will depend on many different things, including:
- How much does each credit cost? Are you getting in-state or out-of-state prices? Is there a discount for online students?
- Degree level. Are you aiming for a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree?
- Are extra courses required for your specialty? Is it a major, minor, or course load concentration? Will you need an internship?
- Are you in an accelerated program?
The breakdown of costs can be quite detailed, and it’s difficult to ensure an average cost since there are so many different factors involved.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Construction Management Degree?
You can choose to earn a construction management degree at any level, so your schedule will depend on what you’re trying to get.
An associate degree usually takes two years. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four. A master’s degree usually takes 1-2 years unless you’re in a special dual degree program, and a doctorate can take anywhere from 4-8 years.
In addition, you may be able to test out of some basic courses if high scores are achieved, which will ultimately reduce the number of credits required, and allow you to complete your degree quicker.
How Hard is a Master’s Degree in Construction Management?
In general, master’s degree programs are more difficult than bachelor’s due to the fact that they extend on previously learned knowledge and skills.
Through a master’s construction management program, you may complete more research-based projects and assignments. Some programs even may require a thesis to be developed as the capstone project.
Sure, graduate school has its issues and challenges, however, many students ultimately find it exhilarating and very rewarding as it may open a large number of new, lucrative career opportunities.
List of Schools Offering Online Construction Management Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The BS in Construction Science and Management program was established at Clemson University in 1962. The public program currently has a student-teacher ratio of 25:1.
The program is unique in the way it is designed. Students enrolled in this program are allowed to earn certifications from organizations like the AIC Constructor Certification Commission while enrolled in the course.
- BS Construction Science and Management
Clemson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
At Colorado State University, there are five specializations offered for undergraduate courses in construction management. Attaining 15-course credits can complete the specialization in this degree.
The program is delivered entirely online and allows for customization to meet your needs and goals. Find programs in Business Management and Project management, to name a few.
Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
The BSc degree in Construction Management from East Carolina University has been a stable foundation for over 25 years. Through industry experience and a high level of education, this program is designed to help provide students with the fundamentals required for working in the field of construction in the 21st century.
The university boasts one of the largest programs of its kind to be found in the Southeastern United States.
ECU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Everglades University offers a BSc with a major in Construction Management with courses provided both online as well as on campus. Students that complete this degree are better equipped to take on entry-level positions in Construction Management.
This bachelor’s degree in construction management can help equip prospective students with the knowledge of business and management for the dynamic construction industry.
Everglades University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
FIU offers a BSc in Construction Management through its distance academic portal. The program is offered via online and distance courses.
They have a unique learning management system, which is where students go to access all relevant coursework for their selected degrees. The coursework is delivered via streaming video content.
FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The BS in construction management from Indiana State University is a 120-credit-hour program that is offered online. The bachelor’s degree features both technical education and teaches students management skills.
It is focused on management so that students can understand how construction impacts the environment. Students may transfer applicable previous college credits.
Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
LSU offers an online BSc in Construction Management. Their online program focuses on educating students with core construction knowledge. This helps equip them for a rewarding career in construction management, whether in both public or private-sector jobs.
Graduates profit in careers as field engineers, estate managers, cost estimators, project managers, business owners, and consultants.
Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Michigan State University Construction Management program was established in 1948. The University offers online degrees in Construction Management at three levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D.
Graduates from these programs have the benefit of the program having one of the highest placement rates and average starting salaries within the college and the University.
MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Mississippi State University Construction Science program is a studio-based program, one of two across the US. The University confers a BSc degree, enabling students to work in business construction and to manage construction projects.
The online program has a 99% employment rate, with the remaining 1% of students seeking further graduate studies in Construction Science or Management.
Mississippi State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National American University offers a fully online Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management. It helps to guide students with knowledge in various types of construction management projects, including those that are commercial and residential in nature.
Coursework includes the different phases and methods of construction, such as planning, scheduling, controlling, and monitoring. Upon completion of this program, students should be ready for entry-level employment.
National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
National University offers a BSc degree in Construction Management that is offered both online and on campus. This program helps prepare students for careers as Scheduling Engineers, Project Managers, Construction Executives, and more.
While enrolled in this program, prospective students can learn a number of modern methods and technical tools used to solve engineering problems during construction management.
National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
North Dakota State University offers a Construction Management program that can equip students with the skills to thrive in a construction industry that is rapidly growing. The online program focuses on construction techniques, technology, materials, and management.
Coursework includes engineering, management, and business, as well as construction, providing students with the right background to move into various sub-industries of construction.
NDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northern Kentucky University offers students a Construction Management Program with a focus on theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills training. The curriculum features 120 credits to complete, along with two different internships with a requirement of 300 hours each.
Through this construction management program, students can learn the administration and management aspects as well as project design and execution for delivering a successful project on time and within budget.
NKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Park University offers a BSC in Construction Management out of its School of Business. The program is offered on campus, and courses can be taken at any of their 41 + campuses.
This bachelor’s degree provides training for how to completely manage a construction project from planning and scheduling to budgeting and estimating and much more.
Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Purdue University and its School of Construction Management Technology equip students to function in a modern construction work sphere.
Its programs are theoretical in nature while involving many Jobsite visits so students can have first-hand experience with some of the information they are learning. The online program is designed to help students get ready for internships and entry-level career positions in the construction industry.
Purdue is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Rowan University offers a BA in Construction Management that is offered online. This degree is ideal for those with an Associate’s degree or those who need a minimum of 60 more credits to complete their Bachelor’s degree.
If you don’t fit the above criteria, you may still reach out to an enrollment counselor who can help you to explore viable options.
Rowan University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education.
The SUNY College in Alfred offers a BTech in Construction Supervision. This degree is a completion degree that is suitable for students who have a technical background and are wishing to have that construction business skills background added.
With a construction degree, complete with a technical background, students are prepared for the mechanical, electrical, carpentry, and heavy equipment sectors of construction. This bachelor’s program is offered 100% online.
Alfred State is accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education (MSCHE).
Tarleton State University offers a B.A.A.S. in Manufacturing and Industrial Management. To be accepted into this program, you must have 33-course credits already completed through training courses or technology courses.
This is a 120-credit-hour program with the ability to transfer up to 84 hours. The program is a flexible online program offering students the ability to enroll part-time so that they can fulfill other life duties.
Tarleton is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, offers a 120-credit Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management. Prospective students complete between 86 to 89-course credits, then select from four different areas of specialization.
The curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill a variety of leadership roles in the construction industry or the facility management industry.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management
UMinn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas offers a BSc in Construction Management. This program provides graduates with the skills necessary to pursue work as a Construction Manager.
The construction management program is structured so as to provide students with an academic background that is well-rounded. There are general courses as well as courses that provide emphasis on construction science.
UNLV is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus offers a large number of programs in Construction Sciences, Construction Management, Planning, Design, and Construction.
These programs are offered through the Haskell and Irene Lemon Division for Construction Science. Their online program features a collaborative approach with innovative research and teaching practices and has international reach.
The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Construction Management Degree completely online. The coursework guides students through the development and conceptual stages to the final construction.
The faculty that impart the construction management program courses are professional engineers, constructors, architects, and pedagogical experts. Students may complete a number of available scholarship opportunities offered by this university.
The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offer a BSc degree in Construction Engineering and Management. The degree is ideal for students who are looking to pursue a career in engineering or management within the construction industry.
A bachelor’s degree in construction management can equip graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level careers.
Virginia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Wentworth Institute of Technology offers a BSc in Building Construction Management, which provides students with the core principles necessary for careers in construction management.
They are known for being one of the top institutions with the most Construction Management degrees awarded in the United States, according to Data USA. Students may transfer a maximum of 80 credits from previous prerequisites and have access to all Wentworth resources upon acceptance to the construction management program.
Wentworth Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Western Carolina University offers a Construction Management Program. The program combines education in both management as well as technical subjects.
Students enrolled in the construction management program have the opportunity to work with advanced software and technologies to be best equipped for the very dynamic construction industry.
The program trains students for all types of construction management projects, including buildings, industrial structures, commercial, residential, bridges, and roads.
Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Is a Construction Management Degree Worth It?
Yes, a construction management degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in management occupations over the next 10 years. Common careers in this field include building inspector, sustainability consultant, urban designer, project manager, and construction manager.
Construction management is a fast-growing field with a lot of career opportunities, but before you can get started, you’ll need an education. Think about enrolling in an online construction management degree program.
I hope you find this article helpful as well as interesting.