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For analytical thinkers with a knack for organization and a passion for construction, pursuing an online accelerated construction management degree offers a fast-track route to exciting career opportunities. These programs are designed to cultivate skills like project planning, cost estimation, and effective communication, setting the foundation for positions primarily as construction managers. This role is not only in demand — with an expected growth of 5% over the next decade, resulting in approximately 38,700 new job openings each year — but also lucrative, with median salaries reaching $104,900 as of 2023.

Most accelerated programs can propel you from enrollment to career-ready in 18 months to two years, although this can vary depending on the program and student commitment.

How to Choose an Online Accelerated Construction Management Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing an area of study — frequently called a specialization — will help you align your education with your career goals and interests, ultimately improving job prospects in specific industry sectors. While options may vary by institution, it’s essential to carefully evaluate curriculums to ensure that the schools you’re considering have sufficient coursework to support your interests.

For example, students interested in eco-friendly practices may enjoy specializing in sustainable construction, leading to roles like sustainability consultants. Those who excel in leadership and organization will thrive in project management, preparing for positions like construction manager. Furthermore, students who are enthusiastic about workplace safety will excel in safety management, leading to opportunities as safety officers.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve chosen a specialization, you can research prospective schools and programs. You may come into this process with questions of your own, but consider the following questions to guide your research further:

  • Are there flexible scheduling options that accommodate my current commitments?
  • What are the tech requirements for online learning?
  • Does the program include practical experiences like internships?
  • What support services are available to online students?

Information on these programs is typically available on university websites, through virtual open houses, and by reaching out to admissions counselors.

Prepare for tests and applications

It’s important to note that specific requirements will vary depending on the program. However, highlighting a few common aspects in your preparation process will demonstrate your readiness and commitment to succeed in a fast-paced academic environment.

First, write a personal statement focusing on your enthusiasm for construction, leadership skills, and how the program aligns with your career goals. Early enrollment in a test prep program is crucial for programs requiring ACT or SAT scores. Additionally, secure your academic transcripts and reach out to potential recommenders for letters of recommendation well in advance to ensure you meet all application deadlines.

Select your program

When acceptance letters arrive, you may have a big decision to make. Review your initial research criteria, prioritizing the most important factors — specialization options, program flexibility, and faculty you’re excited to learn from. Additionally, reassess the total cost of attendance alongside any available financial aid to ensure the program is financially feasible.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Financing your degree may seem daunting, but several financial aid resources are available to help. By strategically utilizing these, you can pay for your education without a significant debt burden.

Prioritize scholarships and grants first, as these do not require repayment and can help reduce education costs. For students seeking part-time work, explore work-study options, which often offer steady income while you complete your degree. If you’re currently employed, ask about employer tuition reimbursement programs, especially if your degree improves your job skills. Use federal loans as a last resort — they offer better interest rates and repayment terms than private loans, making them a safer option for bridging any remaining financial gaps.

Best 50 Accredited Online Accelerated Construction Management Programs

Best Online Accelerated Construction Management Degree Programs_2024 badge

Arkansas State University

University of Oklahoma

Boise State University

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How we rank schools

This list features some of the best online accelerated construction management programs in the U.S. All are offered at nonprofit, accredited institutions, either public or private, with a high standard of academic quality for postsecondary education.

We evaluated each degree program on admission, retention, and graduation rates as well as tuition costs, faculty, reputation, and student resources. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared our picks to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like U.S. News & World Report, among others, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Expect From an Online Accelerated Construction Management Program?

By pursuing an accelerated online construction management program, you’ll enter an intensive educational path designed for quick entry into the construction industry. Typically, these programs can be completed in 18 months to two years, depending on your commitment and prior qualifications. This is significantly shorter than traditional programs due to a condensed curriculum, facilitating quicker graduation.

As a student, you’ll study project management, cost estimation, construction ethics, safety management, and sustainable business practices. You may also encounter upper-level courses focusing on construction law, risk management, and the technological tools used in modern construction projects like Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Practical application is a cornerstone of these programs, often requiring students to complete an internship or capstone project. This real-world experience is vital, enabling students to apply classroom knowledge to actual construction management scenarios.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online accelerated construction management program

  • Construction Project Management: In this foundational course, students learn the essentials of managing construction projects from start to finish. Topics include project planning, scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation. Participants also explore effective communication and problem-solving techniques critical for leading project teams and ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Building Codes and Inspection: This course provides an overview of building codes, standards, and inspection processes crucial in the construction industry. Students learn to interpret and apply local, state, and federal regulations to ensure construction projects meet all legal requirements.
  • Cost Estimation and Analysis: Students in this course learn techniques for estimating the cost of construction projects, including materials, labor, and machinery. Classes cover various estimation methods, such as unity costing, computer-aided estimation software, and handling bid documents.

What Can I Do With a Construction Management Degree?

Career outlook

  • Construction Manager — Many graduates with this degree pursue careers as construction managers. They oversee construction projects from conception to completion, ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. They coordinate and supervise construction workers, select subcontractors, and communicate with all stakeholders.
    • Median annual salary: $104,900
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New jobs projected: 38,700
  • Construction and Building Inspector — Individuals in this role ensure that construction projects comply with local, state, and national building codes, regulations, and contract specifications. Even with a downward trend in employment, it’s estimated that there will be thousands of job openings in this field within the next decade.
    • Median annual salary: $67,700
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): -2%
    • New jobs projected: 15,700
  • Construction Equipment Operator — A degree isn’t necessary to obtain this job, but it can make you a more competitive hire. People with this career handle machinery for constructing roads, buildings, and other infrastructure projects.
    • Median annual salary: $55,270
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 3%
    • New jobs projected: 42,300

Online Accelerated Construction Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do accelerated degree programs work?

Designed for quick completion, accelerated construction management degree programs compress traditional coursework into shorter, more intensive study periods. These programs allow students to master project management, cost estimation, and safety regulation skills much faster, usually within 18 months to two years. This is typically achieved through online, asynchronous coursework and in-person components, generally scheduled for evenings and weekends. If you’re considering this fast-paced education route, visit this page to learn more about whether an accelerated degree program is the right fit for you.

How long does it take to earn an online accelerated construction management degree?

Earning this degree takes about 18 months to two years, a noticeable contrast to the four to five years required for traditional programs. These accelerated programs often require the same total number of credits, around 120, but are structured to complete these faster through intensive courses. Even slight increases in credit requirements can extend the duration, as each additional course will prolong the overall timeline.

How much does an online accelerated construction management degree cost?

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the average tuition for bachelor’s programs was $26,903. Although accelerated construction management degrees offer quicker completion, they don’t always equate to lower tuition due to the condensed and intensive nature of the coursework. It’s important to also budget for additional costs specific to online programs, such as technology fees, software subscriptions, and potential expenses for on-site requirements.

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