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Degree Courses in Construction Management

Construction colleges allow students the opportunity to develop essential skills in construction design, project management, engineering and managing projects pertaining to the trade and building industry. Construction managers are adept at analyzing and assessing architectural blueprints, working with teams of contractors and overseeing projects for real estate and commercial developers, government agencies and educational institutions.

Construction management training courses typically cover several areas of construction science, construction management and basic business practices. This allows students to gain a well-rounded education and focus on increasing their knowledge and skills in a very specialized industry.

Attending Construction Colleges

Construction colleges offer students the opportunity to receive comprehensive training in the field of construction management, construction science and conducting business in the trades industry.

These colleges offer a specialized learning environment for students who want to learn how to draft residential and commercial drawings, analyze site construction plans, apply supervisory practices in a construction setting, and understand basic concepts about building codes and inspections.

Career Opportunities with a Construction Education

Colleges prepare students with specialized knowledge and skills in the building, trade and construction field. Career options and opportunities with a construction education include:

  • Construction Team Supervisor

  • Buildings Manager

  • Construction Manager

  • Construction Project Analysts

  • Inspection Consultant

  • Engineering Manager

  • Site Planning Manager

Construction managers may be involved with a variety of projects including:

  • Land clearing

  • Excavation

  • Building construction

  • Site preparation

  • Foundation laying

  • Structural framework building

An education provides the solid foundation of knowledge and skills to be successful in this specialized career.

Construction colleges may be an extension of a business management school or agribusiness school at a college or university. However, some trade schools may also offer a two-year construction management degree, diploma or certification program.

Obtaining a Construction Management Degree

Degree programs are available as an undergraduate degree, providing a basic overview of current construction techniques, construction project management, legal issues pertaining to the construction industry, and contract administration principles. Students may take a course towards this degree program as early as their first year of college. Individuals who already hold an undergraduate degree in the construction, trade or business industries may choose to attend graduate school to complete a construction management degree program.

Students can gain both hands-on experience in the field and in-classroom training as part of the degree program, since many programs allow students to complete a work-study component or internship in order to fulfill their educational requirements. Completing all course requirements successfully gives students the skills needed to:

  • Analyze data from a construction site
  • Apply project management skills in team setting
  • Coordinate recordkeeping initiatives and conduct a cost analysis for a project
  • Manage changes to project plans within tight deadlines
  • Draft plans by hand or using a computer drafting program
  • Ensure plans follow building code and inspection requirements
  • Lead a team of construction workers, architects and building planners

Construction Training Program Courses

Construction management degree programs offer a number of specialized courses and classes, in addition to basic business management and finance courses. Courses typically include:

  • Cost Estimating for Construction Projects
  • Construction Materials and Supplies
  • Modern Construction Methods
  • Project Control and Development
  • Site Planning
  • Contract Administration
  • Building Codes and Standards
  • Architectural Sciences

Individuals with a strong background in mathematics, engineering, architecture and residential design are good candidates.

Career and Employment Opportunities

Career and employment prospects in the field of construction management, building and trades are expected to grow faster than average through 2016 as more job opportunities open up in the field. Employment of construction managers is expected to increase by as much as 16 percent through 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook. This is the direct result of increasing demand for new commercial and residential developments across the country, and more complex buildings and structures require the skills and experience of well-trained construction managers.

Advances in building and construction methods and new technologies are also factors involved in the increased demand for professional and skilled construction managers. Managers who specialize in areas such as 'green' building to create energy-efficient structures, or luxury home building to work from unique plans and designs may have more attractive job opportunities in the oncoming years. Practical work experience also plays an important role in career opportunities and salary increases.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Handbook reports that the median annual earnings of salaried construction managers were $73,700 in 2006; the majority worked as building equipment contractors, electrical contractors and nonresidential building construction. Other attractive fields include work as foundation, structure and building exterior contractors, and overseeing residential building construction.

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