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Construction Management, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Construction Management, General. A program that prepares individuals to manage, coordinate, and supervise the construction process. Includes instruction in commercial, residential, mechanical, highway/heavy civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, and specialty construction; facilities management; budgeting and cost control; logistics and materials management; organization and scheduling; personnel management and labor relations; site safety; construction contracting; construction processes and techniques; and applicable codes and regulations.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Construction management trains people to plan and direct building projects. Sometimes called construction engineering, it is usually taken under a civil engineering program. That means grads will be professional engineers as well.

If you don't want to go for an engineering degree, you may also consider some of the shorter programs available at two-year colleges. Programs in civil or construction engineering technology will prepare you for jobs assisting construction managers. Some of these programs even offer a management specialization.

Programs leading to a bachelor's degree are typically designed to last four years, but many students find that it takes them up to five years.

If you enroll in a program that leads to a civil engineering degree, make sure it's accredited -- otherwise, you may not be able to register as a professional engineer. Registration requires a degree from a school whose program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Four years of work experience and passing a state exam are also requirements.

Some states will not register people with two-year degrees in engineering technology, so when you're deciding whether to do a four-year engineering degree or a two-year technology program, you should check the rules in your state.

Construction management students need to be able to communicate. "The number one requirement is written and oral communication skills," says construction management professor Thomas Rogers of Northern Arizona University.

He adds that students will also need to study math, chemistry and physics.

"You don't need to be a genius to succeed in construction. However, you must be willing to work beyond the bounds of lectures and homework. You must be willing to work in teams with other students. This is true in the construction industry, both in management and trade."

Choose extracurricular activities that emphasize teamwork. "You can learn that getting things done requires planning and diplomacy," says Rogers.

It's important to be computer-literate.

"We assume that students are computer-literate to some degree and then add more knowledge and skills," Rogers says. "I require all my students to submit most homework electronically, including written papers and technical work."


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Construction Managers

Construction Management Association of America
For more information on certification

National Center for Construction Education and Research
Develops training programs for the construction industry