Exploring Your Options
For entrepreneurial spirits with a proclivity towards job opportunities in engineering and construction, a career in construction management may be a viable option worth exploring. Pursuing your degree in construction management will not only expand your technical knowledge and proficiency, but allow you to gain professional skills that are highly sought after by employers within the construction industry. In addition, it will enable you to seek a wide range of career opportunities and career options, further increasing your desirability in the workforce.
Becoming A Construction Manager: What To Expect
As defined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction managers plan, coordinate, budget and supervise construction projects from inception to completion. In addition, a construction management career requires a combination of organizational, leadership and management skills, specialized knowledge, a keen sense for business, an aptitude for communication, and the ability to shift gears at a moment’s notice in order to be successful. For students planning to pursue an undergraduate construction management degree, learning how to schedule, supervise, and budget various projects will be a major part of your coursework, and eventually, your construction management career.
From reading blueprints, meeting aggressive deadlines and managing the crew workers and subcontractors, the job of the construction manager is multidimensional and also contains the role of project manager. As a result of unforeseen complications that occur on a daily basis at construction sites, the role of the construction manager is crucial to keep projects running smoothly, on-time and within budget.
While many construction managers have a main office, they spend the majority of their time working out on the field at a construction site in order to monitor the project and oversee decisions concerning its execution. Due to the nature of the work, which entails meeting deadlines, responding to emergencies and other high-pressure professional demands, construction managers often keep long hours.
Typically, most construction managers have earned a bachelor’s construction degree as well as on-the-job training experience, the latter essential to developing managerial skills. In recent years, studies show that mid to larger-sized construction firms show preference to candidates who offer both real-world construction experience and a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a construction-related field.
Pursuing Your Education In Construction Management
Once you’ve developed an interest in how to become a construction manager and decided upon a bachelor’s degree in construction management, it’s essential to know what areas your coursework will be covering. Although the major is available as either an Associates or a Bachelor’s degree, it depends on how far you want to go with your career, with a particular focus on your earning potential. While some individuals may find they’re hired with an Associate’s degree because they already have prior work experience, those with a bachelor’s degree in construction management are more apt to find higher-tiered positions, including more responsibility (and a higher salary). Especially if you go on to earn a master’s in construction management.
Here are some of the courses you can expect as a construction management major:
- Civil Engineering
- Blueprint Reading
- Real Estate
- Engineering Technology
Core concepts that are frequently covered in construction management program and courses include:
- Building codes
- Construction project software
- Materials and equipment
- Project cost estimation and control
- Project planning and scheduling processes
- Residential and commercial building
- Safety procedures
In addition, students enrolled in a construction management major often participate in some type of hands-on experience during their coursework. They may also take part in a field experience where they are either working on a construction project, shadowing a professional construction manager on the job site, or working within a group setting on a final project.
Why Study Construction Management?
One of the many benefits of a career in construction management is the limitless job opportunities it presents – because it’s such a diverse major with coursework covering a wide range of topics and specialized areas of interest, it will enable you to think outside of the box when it comes to your post-grad career path. If you’re considering majoring in construction management coursework, here are a few examples of career options that you’ll be qualified to pursue upon graduation:
- Building Surveyor
- Building Services Engineer
- Construction Manager
- Facilities Manager
- Quantity Surveyor
- Site Engineer
- Sustainability Consultant
In addition, you may consider other relevant fields where your construction management expertise is necessary, such as:
- Architectural Technologist
- Continuing Education
- Financial Manager
- Logistics & Distribution Manager
- Management Consultant
- Planning & Development Surveyor
- Urban Planner
These are just a few of the exciting job prospects that await you once you complete your coursework. In fact, according to the BLS, the job outlook for construction managers was projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, which is considerably faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, statistics anticipate that construction managers will be required to oversee the increased construction activity over the course of the next eight years. For individuals considering this degree program, those with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction science or civil engineering (combined with hands-on construction experience) will have the best job prospects.
For more information on Construction Management at NewSchool of Architecture & Design, contact our Enrollment Team.