Construction Project Management Education and Training Programs
Take a look at the curriculum for bachelor's and master's degree programs in construction project management. Find out what skills you can develop, common career paths with a degree in the field and possible salary.
Construction project management is a specialty field that focuses on the management, planning and organization of resources used to complete projects in the construction industry. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in this area cover technical skills, as well as the operational, financial and logistical ramifications of decision-making commonly used by construction project managers. Students learn about the field through classroom and practical methods. To get started in either of these programs, a high school diploma is needed; a bachelor's is required for the master's program. Aside from a career as an assistant or lead construction manager, graduates of these programs may also consider a role as estimator.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Construction Project Management
The B.S. in Construction Management program offers students a comprehensive overview of construction project management theories and principles, as well as a practical application in a real or simulated work environment. Students can develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, including technical proficiency with contemporary technologies and operating systems used in the industry.
The bachelor's degree program looks at the architectural, operational, logistical and financial standpoints of construction project management in order to prepare students for professional employment in the industry or further education. The minimum educational requirement for most B.S. programs is a high school diploma or the equivalent.
A bachelor's degree combines general educational courses in the natural and social sciences, arts and humanities with courses specifically designed for the construction project manager. Programs stress practical, hands-on application and topics similar to the following:
- Deciphering architecture drafts
- Basic project management
- Construction methods and materials
- Principles of estimating construction costs
- Construction equipment
Popular Career Options
Graduates are prepared for a variety of construction management positions in a range of areas, including infrastructure and environmental construction. Common job titles include:
- Assistant project manager
- Cost estimator
- Bid project manager
Master's Degree in Construction Project Management
Master's degree programs in construction project management, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Project Management, M.S. in Building Construction Management or Master of Construction Management, continue to stress practical experience, while introducing advanced concepts in construction management, such as financial, legal, ethical issues and leadership theories. Students study construction management from a business perspective and develop critical decision-making skills and operational analysis. Many programs in this field are offered online and most include a thesis option. Students typically need a bachelor's degree from a related field and some programs also require professional construction experience.
Master's programs allow students to focus studies exclusively in the field of construction project management. Students divide their time between attending informative lectures and hands-on experience. Some course topics include:
- Construction managing and operational strategies
- Legal issues in construction management
- Output maximization and quality control
- Accounting, financial and marketing issues in construction management
- Leadership principles in construction management
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 17% growth in employment for construction managers from 2010-2020, which is due to the expansion of construction activity across the country (www.bls.gov). In 2012, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for construction managers was $82,790; those working in computer systems design earned the largest average salary in the same year at $139,520.
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