What You Should Know About This Degree
The programs on our list are suited both for the individual who has just completed their baccalaureate education as well as for those who are already working in the field, but want to assume greater responsibilities and the increased paychecks that come with them.
Most of the programs on our list can be completed at least partly online, although some require students to be on campus occasionally. Many of the programs can be completed in as little as one year if you attend full-time, although many students take several years, maintaining their day job while attending classes in their free time.
Although not required by most employers, certification is available through the Construction Management Association of America, an industry association that represents more than 16,000 managers in the U.S. Other, more specific, certifications are available from organizations such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) and the American Institute of Constructors.
Here are some questions to ask when researching construction management programs:
- What are similar degrees and how do they differ? Construction management professionals share many skills with architects, who also play a leadership role in any building project. Like architects, construction managers need to understand both the big picture view of the overall project as well as the details, such as how electrical systems work and where load-bearing supports should be placed. Architects, however, may do most of their work in an office, with advanced software programs that allow them to design the structures. A construction manager is more of a feet-on-the-ground supervisor, interacting with all the players in the project to ensure that work progresses smoothly.
- How long does it take to complete the online program? Master’s programs in construction management range from 30 to 48 credits, depending on the institution. The time it takes you to complete it will be determined by how many courses you take at one time. If you go full-time, you may be able to earn your master’s degree in a single year. If, like many, you take courses part-time in addition to working, you could still have your degree in two to four years.
Don’t hesitate to contact an admissions counselor if you are interested in a program. They are often available via phone call, email, or live chat and can answer questions and get you started on your application.
Merit- and need-based financial aid is available from most colleges and universities. Don’t stop there, though: You may find scholarships, grants, or loans through your place of employment or professional organizations to which you belong.