Construction managers help keep projects on track, organizing permits, scheduling supply shipments, hiring subcontractors, and inspecting work. While individuals with many years of construction experience may work their way into this position, a master's in construction management online degree provides quick entry to the field and ensures that individuals possess a comprehensive understanding of the construction process, laws, and finances.
The advanced degree also prepares construction managers to integrate new building methods and technology into construction projects, like energy-efficient building materials and sustainable site preparation. The expertise of the construction professionals remains invaluable in building renovations and retrofits. While employment in the construction industry may fluctuate with the economy, individuals with specialized education can expect continued job growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects an 11% increase in employment through 2026 for construction managers. Below, you can learn more about the careers available to construction managers and what students study in an accredited master's in construction management program.
A knowledgeable and skilled construction manager can save companies millions of dollars on complex construction projects just by providing proper scheduling; ensuring quality control processes; and maintaining a safe, productive work environment. In return, companies compensate their construction managers well, with a national mean salary of $101,000. Construction managers may see much higher compensation in areas with a higher cost of living, more construction activity, or more heavily regulated construction projects. Since online students can continue to work full time, an online master's degree in construction management may help individuals command a higher salary, combining the advanced degree with continuing on-the-job experience.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Construction management encompasses many specialization areas, each with unique career opportunities. The critical thinking and data analysis skills gained through a construction management master's degree combine with practical working knowledge of engineering and construction to create well-rounded employees who are proficient in the business office, at the work site, and with interacting with clients. The job descriptions below offer a sampling of available careers.
Annual Median Salary: $91,370
Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Construction managers oversee the construction process. They work on public, commercial, and industrial projects as well as infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges. They work closely with engineers and architects. While individuals complete some work in an office, this role requires frequent site visits in various weather conditions.
Annual Median Salary: $63,110
Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Cost estimators evaluate project plans to provide projections on material costs, necessary labor, and time requirements. This information helps prepare competitive bids for projects, ensuring the company can meet its construction obligations. They often draw on their construction expertise, records of prior similar projects, and material pricing forecasts.
Annual Median Salary: $137,720
Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Engineering managers use their knowledge of technical fields to develop overall concepts for a new project or overcome technical difficulties that may threaten project completion. Most of their work takes place in an office, but frequent site visits may help them to develop solutions to projects.
A master's in construction management online program requires applicants to possess an undergraduate degree, ideally in a related field, such as construction, business, engineering, or architecture. Students may choose concentrations in areas of sustainability, workforce development, or policy and planning. While some programs require the completion of a thesis, most rely on a practical capstone project that demonstrates a student's ability to manage all aspects of a construction project.
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