With the world population undergoing an unprecedented increase, the demand for commercial buildings and residential homes is also increasing. This large-scale growth has created opportunities within the field, growth that won’t change for some time. A career in construction management is an excellent degree choice to start in the field. To begin with, you can kickstart a career with just an online construction management associate’s degree!
A construction management degree online prepares aspirants for leadership positions in construction. It is s suitable fit for those interested in construction management, of course. But graduates can also find employment in construction technology, civil engineering, and other related domains. There are dozens of careers construction management graduates can choose from, depending on their personal and professional interests. The average return on investment for an online construction management associate’s degree is incredible, which points to this degree’s increasing popularity.
Let us delve deeper into this domain and find out about the top construction management programs, construction management salaries, jobs, and much more.
Read on to learn more!
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What Is Construction Management?
Construction management is a professional and specialized service that effectively manages a project’s scope, quality, schedule, function, cost, and safety. Highly compatible with all project delivery methods, a construction manager’s primary responsibility is to a successful project and the owner of the project.
A capital project typically entails three parties and a construction manager. They are:
- The owner – commissions a project by either funding it directly or indirectly through various methods
- The engineer/architect – designs the project
- The general contractor – supervises the day-to-day operations and oversees subcontractors
A construction manager offers professional insight into and supervises entire projects until they’re complete. These professionals also collaborate with other parties that fall under the project’s scope. This way, projects are completed under budget, on time, and according to the owner’s standards. Construction managers attain their education through specialized education and practical experience. For example, they work with architects, owners, general contractors, and other stakeholders. Construction management jobs require complex planning techniques, such as:
- Intricate knowledge of construction
- Critical path methods
- Project management information systems (PMISs) for effective performance
Certificate vs. Degree
It’s okay not to know the difference between an online construction management certificate vs. a degree. Both programs are generally misconstrued as the same! However, they offer different benefits to students at certain levels of their careers and education.
An associate’s degree in construction management entails four years of coursework. Topics covered may include business law, construction materials, surveying, and management techniques. Students must complete these courses and others in science, leadership, and mathematics. Associate’s degrees generally have a comprehensive curriculum and practical application to boost critical thinking skills, confidence, creativity, and communication.
On the other hand, post-baccalaureate certification in construction management is for students who complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant field or possess related practical experience. A certificate is completable in about two years. It offers flexible coursework focusing on primary construction management components such as project delivery, sustainability, leadership, modeling, and more. The curriculum provides rapid professional advancement.
How To Choose
Choosing between a construction management degree or certification includes timeframe, present career status, and flexibility. Therefore, the answer to online construction management certificate vs. degree depends upon you.
The primary difference between a construction management degree and a certificate is the time it takes to complete the program. For example, an associate’s degree in construction management typically requires two years. Students undertake construction management courses and supplementary disciplines, including language arts, science, and mathematics.
In contrast, certificate programs function in a more streamlined manner, with the primary focus on technical and leadership skills for effective construction site management, continuing education, and future certifications.
Although there are specific differences between a construction management degree and certification, both offer the groundwork for success in the field and prepare aspirants for glittering construction management careers.
Overview – Online Construction Management Associate’s Degree
What To Expect
An online construction management associate’s degree develops the primary skills for managing complicated projects. Applicants do not need prior experience in construction. Depending upon the institute, online associate degree programs may require high school diplomas, GED test scores, or SATs. About half of a construction management course load entails general education prerequisites and courses. However, some schools may offer a complimentary education in arts, sciences, foreign languages, etc. Students may have to study business, mathematics, economics, finance, communications, and English composition before enrolling in a construction management program. Some institutes may require aspirants to study contracting and architecture.
Construction management courses train students to develop a project budget, manage employees at a construction site, and ensure that work teams follow schedules without any slip-ups. This program explores the theoretical and practical aspects of construction management. Some standard courses in an online construction management associate’s degree include construction safety management, project control and management, mechanical systems, and site construction and management. Graduates of construction management associate’s degrees are eligible for entry-level positions such as field engineer, scheduler, cost estimator, or project manager assistant. However, since practical experience matters significantly in this field, graduates can have better employment chances once they complete one or more years of hands-on work.
Online Construction Management Associate’s Degree Courses
An online associate’s degree in construction management primarily focuses on using business technologies, applying leadership skills, and communicating with stakeholders. Some advanced classes include the latest green building trends and construction graphics.
Let us delve into the three most common courses for an online associate’s degree in construction management. It is important to note that offerings can vary depending upon different institutions, affecting potential salaries and careers.
Construction Project Management
This course includes the tools, theories, and best practices in construction management. Project supervision and effective management of plans are essential foundations of coursework. Students will learn about a project’s steps, including monitoring, execution, and control.
Materials Used In Construction
Construction managers must know various building materials’ physical properties, interactions, and purposes. Therefore, this course focuses their attention on analyzing wood, cement, and other construction materials. The coursework also covers government regulations, standards, and laws.
Sustainable development focuses on sustainability challenges, fundamentals, and long-term goals. It allows students to examine the real-life environmental impacts of projects. Coursework also includes how construction managers can apply sustainable working practices to reduce climate change effects. Some online associate programs with a sustainability concentration may offer advanced sustainability classes. Students generally opt for this class as an upper-division elective.
Although the admission requirements for an online associate degree in construction management vary from one institution to the other, the most common conditions include the following:
- A 3.0 core GPA with college-preparatory high school courses
- 1030 Old SAT (Critical Reading and Math) or 23 Composite ACT or 1100 New SAT (Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math)
- Eligible to enroll in university-level mathematics and English courses, shown through a minimum ACT English subscore of 18 (Old SAT Critical Reading score of 450 or a New SAT Writing and Language score of 25) along with a minimum ACT Math subscore of 19 (Old SAT Critical Reading score of 460 or a New SAT score of 500)
General Admission Requirements for Transfer Students
Transfer students must satisfy the following requirements to attain admission in an online construction management associate’s degree:
- 30 or more transferable credit hours (non-remedial, academic) from a regionally accredited university or college
- A minimum GPA on all transferrable attempted college work
- C grade in a college-level English course satisfying a general education requirement at its host institute
- C in a college-level mathematics course meeting a general education requirement at its host institute
A construction management degree online can help aspirants attain the following skills:
- Team management by aligning resources, effective leadership, and setting directions and deadlines
- Effective communication with multiple stakeholders in a socially and culturally respectful manner
- Cultivation of cultural and environmental awareness at the global, local, and community level
- Utilization of software and technology to devise and interpret designs, reports, and their elements
- Utilization of technical skills and knowledge to achieve design specifications
- Collaboration with diverse stakeholders to attain common objectives
- Application of ethical and professional practices
- The practice of adequate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards in daily professional activities
- Use of relevant skills, habits, and knowledge to seek lucrative career opportunities in construction management
An online associate’s degree in construction management takes approximately two years. Still, the duration may change depending upon the program format and class delivery options a student chooses.
Paying for Your Online Construction Management Associate’s Degree
To begin with, the recent inflation tendencies have led to a substantial increase in college tuition, making financing college quite tricky. These social trends make it crucial for students to consider more than one financing option before committing to an online construction management associate’s degree program. Some institutes offer flexible payment plans with the option of installment payments, making it easier for students to navigate through their college life.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 83.8% of undergraduate students receive academic funding from financial aid programs in the US. Therefore, college aspirants can also pursue this payment option and complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA allows students to position themselves for student loans, scholarships, grants, and school-based aid.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Program?
Entry-Level Job Seekers
A construction management associate’s degree is suitable for those who wish to land an entry-level position in construction management or move to a management position. This degree offers the necessary training, skills, and education requirements potential employers generally look for when hiring for these jobs.
Professionals who already work in construction can opt for an associate’s degree in construction management to advance their careers. They may also be able to shift their previous education credits and work if they wish to pursue a bachelor’s in construction management.
How To Choose The Right Program
In-person programs cost considerably more than online degree programs. Students can further reduce their program expenditure by opting for online programs that offer reduced in-state tuition rates and saving money on boarding and lodging.
Students opting for an online construction management associate’s degree can choose between an asynchronous and synchronous program format. Synchronous programs entail live and scheduled online sessions, whereas asynchronous programs do not, offering more flexibility. Students who wish to reduce their degree duration can also opt for accelerated programs.
The location of an educational institute is as essential for an online program as an in-person degree. Online construction management degrees may require students to come in for some in-person sessions, internships, projects, or other program requirements. Living in-state can also allow students to benefit from the program’s networking opportunities.
Accreditation is a crucial consideration when choosing an online associate’s degree program. Students enrolled in educational institutions that do not hold regional accreditation may not be able to receive financial work. They also face difficulties finding employment after graduation.
Flexible transfer policies enable students to retain their previously completed coursework by transferring them into a program. It is vital to look into the transfer policies of schools to ensure that your online credits are transferable to other schools if you decide to pursue continuing education.
Construction management programs can be nerve-wracking and demanding, making adequate student support services essential. It is, therefore, imperative to opt for a program that offers mentorship or advising, internship opportunities, and support for virtual learners.
Although there is a consensus on the admission requirements for an online associate’s degree program in construction management, some colleges may have additional requirements, such as letters of recommendation. Students must check with an institute to ensure they can comply with the admission requirements before choosing a degree program.
Top Associate’s Degree in Construction Management Programs Online
1. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Program: Associate’s Degree in Construction Management
UMN Twin Cities offers a hybrid associate’s degree in Construction Management, with specific assignments requiring in-person attendance. Students can choose from the following degree tracks:
- Commercial Construction
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Highway Heavy and Civil Works
- Facility Management
- Residential Construction
Students in this program must complete 60 semester credit hours and can work with advisors to formulate a suitable academic plan. With a graduation rate of 78% and a freshman retention rate of 93%, students in this institute can complete their associate’s degree program in about two years.
2. Dakota County Technical College
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Program: Associate of Science in Construction Management
This program provides students with comprehensive introductory courses focusing on engineering, design, and management. All these courses make students adequate managers of construction projects and eligible for management positions within the construction industry. With a proven reputation for diverse employment options, this online construction management associate’s degree takes students through all the phases of project management.
Dakota County Technical College’s Blue Knights can easily collaborate with professionals and industry leaders through an elaborate network of professional clubs and organizations. The institute also has formal articulation agreements with various colleges and universities. These agreements allow seamless credit transfers from Dakota County. Close to the Twin Cities, this college offers students a small-town feel while sitting on the edge of a large city.
3. Park University
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Program: Associate of Science degree in Construction Management
Students in this program study business management fundamentals that help construction managers. The curriculum also includes planning, scheduling, budgeting, worksite safety, the law, supervising, and materials. It prepares professionals for a lucrative career in construction management, building inspection, and project management.
This online construction management associate’s degree program strives to develop a strong and well-connected foundation for its students. Located in Parkville, Missouri, the institute’s motto is “fides et labor,” which translates to faith and work. The university administration and teaching faculty take their motto seriously and offer students reliable opportunities to discover their potential and work towards it. Park University is renowned for its belief in inclusivity and diversity, starting with its first graduating class of four women. Today, the institute welcomes international students from over 60 countries.
4. Washtenaw Community College
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Program: Associate of Science in Construction Supervision
Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Washtenaw Community College offers online students an Associate of Science in Construction Supervision. This online program is highly suitable for individuals who are a part of the building trade union and is accessible through both online and in-person classes. Journey-level members and apprentices can use their experience and training in their associate degrees. All the courses are 100% online in the distance-learning format, offering ultimate flexibility and convenience to students. Students must have completed an apprenticeship in pipefitting, ironworking, plumbing, bricklaying, or HVAC for admission to this program.
This online construction management associate’s degree is a specialized, highly in-demand, high-skill program that can lead to lucrative employment. Washtenaw Community College offers one of the top construction management programs online. It boasts deep-knitted associations with experts in the construction management industry. These partnerships include the International Union of Bricklayers, Allied Craftworkers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The institute also has a diverse student body, with over 1,000 students from over 100 countries across the globe.
Certifications and Licensure
Certifications And Organizations
Construction management certifications are highly beneficial as they depict a professional’s ability to efficiently operate and safely supervise standard construction machinery. Let us look at a list of the most common construction management and equipment certifications that you can consider:
- Sit-down forklift operator
- Crane operation
- Off-road dump truck
- Grading and paving equipment
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
Check out a few standard construction certifications and organizations that offer construction management certifications:
Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
Certified Construction Managers have proven experience in planning, design, safety, and management. A bachelor’s degree and approximately four years of construction management expertise are the prerequisites for this certification program, along with passing a written test. Certificate holders need to renew their credentials every three years.
Associate Constructor (AC)
An Associate Constructor certification is the first level of the American Institution of Constructors (AIC) certification program. It is highly suitable for landing construction management jobs. Associate Constructors boast a specialized skill set and familiarity with construction management. They also religiously abide by the AIC code of ethics. This certificate is highly suitable for recent construction management graduates or those who intend on transferring from another industry. That is because it offers a detailed account of the basic construction management requirements. AC is the first step to attaining higher-level certificates in this association. Certificate holders need to renew their credentials every three years.
Certified Professional Contractor (CPC)
Certified Professional Contractor is the highest level and second certification by the AIC. These professionals have the knowledge and practical experience to manage project performance and efficiency. They also religiously abide by the AIC code of ethics. Construction management professionals with extensive practical work experience in the field or a goal to advance their careers can pursue this certificate. Candidates who pass a computer-based final examination attain this certification but have to renew it every three years.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry
OSHA training programs entail 30-hour and 10-hour classes that teach students about workplace hazards, employer responsibilities, workers’ rights, and accident avoidance techniques. Most construction managers find the 30-hour class more effective as it ensures their employees’ safety on the worksite. Although these programs are not explicitly known as certifications, they offer credible safety credentials to clients and employers.
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) offers specialized certifications for surveying and engineering. Although the program completion requirements differ in various states, aspirants must pass a final exam in any of the following domains:
- Structural Engineering (SE)
- Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)
- Professional Surveying (PS)
- Professional Engineering (PE)
- Structural Engineering (SE)
Certified Safety Manager Construction (CSMC)
The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) offers this highly sought-after certification program. A CSMC certificate corroborates a professional’s supervision skills on a worksite or project without external assistance. The program primarily focuses on leadership skills related to safety as they help professionals develop procedures and plans within the construction management industry. Aspirants must pass a written final exam to attain this credential and renew it every three years.
National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER)
The National Center for Construction Education & Research offers certifications ranging from entry-level to senior-level accreditation for more than 70 construction areas. For instance, electrical fundamentals, construction technology, maritime fundamentals, and alternate energy certificates are available. The recertification and program completion requirements are different for different programs.
American Concrete Institute (ACI)
The American Concrete Institute offers various certification opportunities for inspecting, testing, using, and assuring concrete quality. Construction workers in the domain of concrete work can benefit from such certifications. The program completion and recertification requirements vary between certifications.
National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)
The National Association of Corrosion Engineers offers more than 23 certifications for managing, inspecting, and preventing corrosion. Construction workers in domains where structural health and corrosion are primary concerns can benefit significantly from this certification. Although the program completion requirements generally require passing a final examination, the recertification requirements vary for different certificates.
U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
The U.S. Green Building Council offers various construction sustainable practices-related programs, such as Green Rater, Green Classroom Professional, and LEED Fellow. Some other LEED certifications include Green Associate and AP with Specialty, such as:
- Interior Design and Construction
- Operations and Maintenance
- Building Design and Construction
- Neighborhood Development and Homes
This certification is significant as LEED-certified buildings produce less waste, use fewer resources, and thus decrease the overall environmental impact. Professionals who wish to pursue environmentally friendly projects or work in sustainability can benefit from these certifications. The certificate completion requirements are different for different programs.
Construction Management Career Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction managers made about $98,890 per year, or $47.55 per hour, on average in 2021. A bachelor’s degree is a typical entry-level academic requirement for this career path. Prior work experience in a relevant field is not required. However, candidates may have to undergo moderate on-the-job training.
With about 478,500 construction management jobs available in 2021, BLS expects an 8% increase in the job outlook between 2021 and 2031, faster than the average across all professions.
Are Construction Management Associate Degree Graduates in demand?
The ever-augmenting world population is increasing the demands of construction workers substantially. This trend has made construction management associate degrees high in demand, which is the first step to a lucrative career in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to increase by 36,400 between 2021 and 2031, the average across all occupations.
Construction Management Companies
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an 8% career outlook and an 11% increase in Construction Management jobs by 2026. The immediate need to house the increasing population justifies this inflation and the world’s increasing demand for civil engineers, construction managers, and architects. Most construction management salaries are highly rewarding, but you may need to pursue continuing education to land better-paying jobs.
All companies that involve construction employ graduates with an online construction management associate’s degree. Still, you may require a Construction Manager Certificate that attests to your experience and academic abilities. According to Glassdoor, the following are the most popular and well-paying employment positions in the construction management industry:
- Facilities Manager – $71,000 per year
- Sustainability Consultant – $65,000 per year
- Site Engineer – $86,000 per year
- CAD Technician – $49,000 per year
- Construction Manager – $77,000 per year
An online construction management associate’s degree offers you the education, practical experience, and business skills necessary to qualify for entry-level positions with construction companies, builders, engineering firms, and general contractors in the construction management industry. Some typical construction management jobs include the following:
- Project manager
- Land Developer
- Construction contractor
- Land-use Planner
- Construction cost estimator
- Engineering supervisor
- On-site field superintendent
Construction Management Salary
salaries depend upon various factors, such as practical field experience, academic standing, geographical location, employment positions, and employer. According to Indeed.com, the average base salary for construction managers is about $77,253 annually. The highest-paying cities for construction managers are:
- Sacramento, CA – Average annual salary: $82,696 per year
- Tampa, FL – Average annual salary: $76,821 per year
Construction management continuing education allows professionals to enhance their academic skills while working on their practical skills. It also allows you to stay compliant, up-to-date, and eligible for various high-paying employment positions. Aspirants can choose from multiple specialized construction management courses, no matter their continuing education needs.
The course content ranges from project cost estimation and project scheduling to blueprint reading and construction law. Most advanced courses lead to certification and well-paying leadership positions.
Construction management possesses an interlinked professional organization network that allows professional and academic enhancement opportunities through networking. Some commonly renowned organizations in this domain include the following:
Is a degree in construction worth it?
Yes! A degree in construction offers the specialized benefits of an advanced program. This diploma opens the doors to various employment opportunities with lucrative wages.
Is construction management a good degree?
Yes! Construction management is unequivocally a good degree with exceptional job growth, career prospects, and industrial demand.
What is the best degree for construction?
Ais the best in this field as it satisfies several entry-level educational requirements for many lucrative positions.
Do construction managers make more than engineers?
A construction manager’s average annual wage is $80,139 per year in the United States, whereas a civil engineer makes about $87,277 per year on average. These statistics show that construction managers do not generally earn more than engineers.
Can I get a job with an associate’s degree?
Although the minimum entry-level academic requirement for a career in construction management is a bachelor’s degree, you can also land a job with an online associate’s degree. It can also be the first step to continuing education in construction management.
A career in construction management is a wise choice if you are interested in building sustainability and making a change in people’s lives by constructing adequate commercial and residential buildings. An online construction management associate’s degree is the most accessible and convenient path to pursuing this career and can lead to lucrative positions when followed by continuing education.
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