Online Bachelors Degrees in Construction Management
An online bachelor's degree program in construction management emphasizes the management skills and business knowledge needed to excel in the construction industry. Graduates are prepared to work in construction management, construction estimating and building code compliance.
Online bachelor's degree programs in construction management are available in both fully online formats and hybrid formats, and some online programs may even require an internship. Construction managers may enter the field with a high school diploma and a significant number of years in the construction trade, but bachelor's degrees are becoming increasingly important for this occupation. Professional certification is not legally required for construction managers, but it may be helpful.
Overview of an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Construction Management
Combining engineering and design concepts with business management skills, an online bachelor's degree program in construction management prepares graduates to plan and coordinate commercial and residential construction projects. Emphasis is placed on technical construction fundamentals, legal issues within construction management, communications skills and administrative skills. A bachelor's degree program covers electrical and mechanical systems, construction safety management and building codes. Graduates should be able to analyze structural systems, use computer applications for engineering issues and apply field inspection techniques.
Program Information and Requirements
An online bachelor's degree program in construction management can range anywhere from approximately 120-180 credit hours. While there are programs that can be completed entirely online, some programs blend in campus-based instruction as well. In fact, some hybrid programs may also require that students complete a construction management internship.
Prior to beginning core construction management courses, students are often required to complete courses in areas such as microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting and algebra. Students can access coursework at any time and are able to take part in discussion with classmates and professors via e-mail and discussion boards. Lecture materials are often PowerPoint- or text-based.
Technical requirements may include a computer with ample hard drive space, software such as Microsoft Office and cable or DSL Internet access. Students may also be required to have access to a computer with a DVD drive, video card, sound card and speakers.
Sample Bachelor's-Level Construction Management Courses
An online construction management bachelor's degree curriculum emphasizes technical construction skills, management skills and business knowledge.
Construction Contracts and Documents Course
This course prepares students to work with various types of construction documents, including contracts, subcontracts, bidding forms and bonds. The course covers dispute resolution, wage rates, the legal aspects of bidding, liability, tax exempt status and warranties.
Construction Project Planning Course
This course looks at the scheduling and planning of the entire construction process. Emphasis is placed on material time schedules, critical path methods, computer scheduling packages, communication tools, periodic updating and budgeting.
Project Management Course
An online project management course covers project techniques and tools, project cost control, risk management and project management software. Additional topics covered include the evolution of project management, strategic planning and project staffing.
Construction Estimating Course
This course focuses on bidding and estimating costs for construction projects. Construction estimating concepts such as overhead, takeoff estimates, unit costs and cost control systems are covered.
Career Information for Construction Management Graduates
Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program in construction management have varied employers, including specialty trade contractors, architectural firms, building contractors and engineering firms. Many construction management graduates are self-employed as well. Potential job titles include general contractor, facilities engineer, project manager, building inspector, CAD drafter, construction supervisor and construction superintendant.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for construction managers was expected to grow by 17% between 2010-2020. The BLS also reports that construction managers had median annual earnings of over $82,700 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). For individuals interested in further career advancement, it is also possible to pursue a master's degree in construction management.
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