It is the construction manager’s job to see a project through from start to finish. They navigate their construction team on a work site, often working alongside architects and engineers to create commercial and residential structures. Students pursuing careers in the construction field beyond general contracted work are perfect candidates for an online bachelor’s degree program in construction management. Through their studies they will obtain a blend of general education requirements, knowledge of construction methods and practices, and the leadership skills necessary to command a project throughout its duration.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for construction managers with a bachelor’s degree in the field is steadily increasing as the need for more complex, energy-efficient structures grows. While some may be able to get by with just an associate degree or experience in the field, employers are more likely to hire someone with a legitimate, four-year education in construction science, architecture, or engineering. That said, the online route toward a construction management bachelors degree is a great way to bolster your education while balancing other responsibilities that might prevent you from being able to take classes at a brick and mortar institution. Online classes give the student the freedom to do their coursework anywhere with a stable internet connection.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Students applying for construction management degrees will likely need to meet a set of basic requirements to show that they are prepared for the rigorous curriculum of college-level courses. Such prerequisites include:
- High school diploma, GED, or its equivalent
- Desired ACT or SAT score
- Those transferring from an associate program may need a minimum specified GPA
Inside a Construction Management Bachelor’s Degree Program
A college freshman entering into a bachelor’s degree program in construction management will complete the program in three to four years depending on the school. Some online programs have fast tracks for earning a degree in less time, but completing an accelerated program is highly dependent on the student and their personal drive. Students will also complete the program faster if they have already finished an associate degree in the field. Utilizing the online format allows the student to participate in web forums, turn in coursework on Blackboard and other online platforms, and watch video lectures to get just as complete an education as students studying construction management in the classroom.
Through the assimilation of relevant software such as CAD and core classes covering structural topics, the student should walk away from the program with an even competency for construction and managerial skills. While the program starts with general liberal arts courses, it quickly delves into topics such as construction safety, building code compliance, cost estimating, scheduling, and the methods, materials, and equipment used in construction. They will also learn effective team leadership skills and how to supervise a work site.
What’s Next for Construction Management Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Job prospects for those holding a bachelor’s degree in construction management are promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that construction will continue to be on the rise as the population grows and environmental awareness leads to the desire for structures that use energy more resourcefully. Likewise, because companies want to remain within budget on building projects, they are more likely to hire the most qualified construction team possible to get the job done with minimal setbacks that could affect cost. Those holding bachelor’s degrees in construction have a clear advantage over workers without formal education or simply an associate degree. The highest earners in the field make a salary upwards of $150,250 per year.
To boost job prospects even further, students may consider getting their certification in construction-relevant programs, assuring their employer of their experience and aptitude. Some notable certification programs include The Construction Management Association of America and The American Institute of Constructors. Both require the student to prove they have experience in the field and pass a technical exam. With both a bachelor’s degree in the field and topical certifications, the student would show clear initiative, a valuable asset to prospective employers.