Best Online Master’s in Construction Management Programs
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Master's in construction management programs prepare graduates for careers in a diverse, lucrative, and growing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% employment growth for construction managers between 2019 and 2029. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $95,260.
Construction management students aren't limited to a single field. Thanks to their diverse skill sets, graduates can qualify for management occupations across various business occupations.
This page delves into construction management programs, offering information about courses, careers, and requirements. For additional information, check out our master's in construction management program guide .
What Are the Best Online Master's in Construction Management Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA|
|#2||University of Washington Seattle, WA|
|#3||Clemson University Clemson, SC|
|#4||Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA|
|#5||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL|
|#6||Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ|
|#7||Florida International University Miami, FL|
|#8||Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ|
|#9||Louisiana State University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA|
|#10||Purdue University West Lafayette, IN|
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Best Accredited Online Master's in Construction Management Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Construction Management Program?
Successful construction management professionals need time management, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership skills.
Successful construction management professionals need time management, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership skills. They also need knowledge of business and construction methods. Most of these programs require 30-45 credits, and students typically graduate in 18-24 months.
These programs often award either an MS or master of construction management (MCM) degree, with few differences between the degree types. Some schools offer construction management specializations within MBA programs, which focus more on general leadership and project management skills.
Core courses in construction management focus on topics like facilities, finance, and project management. Some programs offer concentrations in areas like real estate development, sustainability, and design. Many programs also allow students to complete an internship to gain experience in the field.
Master in Construction Management Program Admissions
Applications to a master's in construction management program involve degree, GPA, and standardized testing prerequisites. Additional admission requirements for master's degrees in construction management vary by school and location. Students should complete their applications well in advance of their school's next admission cycle. Experts recommend applying to a maximum of six schools.
Most master's in construction management programs require a bachelor's degree from an accredited university in construction management, civil engineering, or a closely related major.
While most master's degrees in this field do not require professional experience, students should expect to submit an up-to-date resume or CV with their application, outlining relevant work experience and skills.
Though GPA requirements vary, master's in construction management programs typically require at least a 3.0 GPA for admission. Some schools specify alternative requirements for students who do not meet the minimum GPA.
Students must submit an online application detailing their professional and academic background.
Applicants must submit transcripts from all postsecondary learning. Colleges typically charge a fee to release official transcripts.
Letters of Recommendation:
Most master's in construction management programs require three letters of recommendation from mentors, instructors, or advisers. Students should give writers at least two months to complete the letters.
Some graduate construction management programs require GRE scores.
Application fees for master's degrees in construction management programs typically fall between $75-$90. Applicants that qualify as low income can often request to waive the application fee.
What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Construction Management?
A master's in construction management builds skills in management, business, and technology. The field offers students diverse options for specialization, with some schools providing a construction management master's degree as a concentration of management, and others hosting unique programs in emerging fields, such as sustainable construction and construction technology. Some of the field's most common concentrations are outlined below.
|Construction Project Management||Students concentrating on construction project management learn to increase efficiency and maximize performance in a construction business setting. Coursework explores maintaining delivery schedules, meeting building regulations, and meeting investor demands.||Construction project manager, commercial project manager, subcontractor manager|
|Real Estate||This concentration provides students with the combination of real estate development and construction management skills needed to become managers and entrepreneurs. Coursework explores methods of acquiring, creating, and managing various types of real estate.||Real estate construction manager, district property manager, real estate developer|
|Sustainability and Green Construction||An emerging concentration in increasingly high demand, sustainability and green construction teaches students to meet the latest regulatory standards in environmentally responsible construction. The curriculum focuses on the LEED green building rating scale.||Green building construction manager, sustainability associate, green building/sustainability consultant|
|Supply Chain and Logistics Technology||This concentration provides students with the management and technical skills needed to maintain inventory, sales, procurement, and logistics functions within an industrial or manufacturing environment. Coursework emphasizes apps and software specific to the field of construction management.||IT construction manager, technical project manager, engineering technology manager|
|Facility Management||Facility management students learn to manage and oversee operations for existing buildings and facilities. Coursework covers civic regulations, safety standards, and project management.||Facilities manager, buildings and grounds manager, operations manager|
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Construction Management Program?
Each online master's in construction management program is unique, although most programs cover similar core topics. The following section highlights five common courses at this level.
Facilities operations courses examine various management methods and the responsibilities of facilities managers. Covered topics include contract management, building codes, and design and building techniques. Students also consider security, health and safety, and sustainability.
In construction methods courses, students learn how to identify necessary equipment, budget materials, and understand specifications. Degree-seekers also learn how to ascertain building codes and evaluate how regulations impact jobs and material requests.
In this course, learners study energy- and cost-saving strategies for buildings, including new designs and retrofitted systems. Students explore air and water systems, security, and lighting. Learners also examine different energy codes and certifications.
Quality management courses teach students notable strategies for quality control and leadership techniques for construction managers. Coursework explores the planning process, as well as the impacts of tests and inspections. Students also learn risk-based quality management, which incorporates quality controls into the design process.
Budgeting and Bidding
This course covers job budgeting and bidding processes in the construction industry. Students learn how to estimate job costs, create an accurate budget, and issue a formal bid. Learners observe the tendering process and examine related documents. Students also learn how to conduct surveys and oversee planning processes that precede the building phase.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Construction Management Degree?
As the population grows and energy efficiency increases in importance, the need for skilled and educated construction managers is likely to rise. Consequently, the BLS projects 8% employment growth for construction managers between 2019 and 2029.
Despite strong competition for positions in this field, a master's in construction management can provide graduates with access to some of the best careers in the industry.
Construction managers oversee building projects, including planning and budgeting for jobs, ensuring the design and build meet all codes and regulations, and supervising and auditing for quality control. According to the BLS, 38% of construction managers are self-employed, 17% are specialty trade contractors, and 16% work in nonresidential building construction.
Civil engineers design and plan infrastructure builds, including public and private projects of various sizes. Many civil engineers work in construction, creating build plans that satisfy time and money budgets, as well as safety rules and regulations. According to the BLS, 49% of these engineers work in engineering services, 12% work for state governments, and 10% work for local governments.
Cost estimators create time and cost budgets for projects. They identify what materials, personnel, and accommodations a project needs and find ways to save money and improve performance. According to the BLS, 36% of cost estimators work in the specialty trade contractor industry, 17% work in building construction, and 13% work in manufacturing.
Engineering managers oversee the design, planning, and building of engineering projects for organizations. They manage staffing, budgeting, materials requests, and regulation compliance on most jobs. According to the BLS, 35% of these managers work in manufacturing, 26% work in engineering services, and 9% work for the government.
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers supervise industrial plants, planning and organizing production activities. They also set performance and quality goals and evaluate and monitor safety, quality, and performance progress. According to the BLS, 10% of these managers work in fabricated metal products manufacturing, 9% work in transportation equipment manufacturing, and 8% work in chemical manufacturing.
Construction Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Construction Management Programs
Is a master's in construction management worth it?
Depending on your career goals, a master's in construction management can be very worthwhile. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 8% job growth for construction managers. These professionals make a median annual salary of $95,260.
What can I do with a master's in construction management?
Graduates can begin careers as construction managers. They can also pursue various construction-related careers, such as cost estimator or civil engineer.
Can you become a construction manager without a degree?
Talented construction professionals can become managers without a degree, permitted they have sufficient experience. In most cases, however, construction managers hold a bachelor's degree at minimum, according to the BLS. Supervisors of smaller jobs and within smaller organizations may qualify with an associate degree or industry certification.
How much money can I make with a master's in construction management?
Salary potential varies considerably by location, position, and employer. However, according to the BLS, construction managers earn a median annual salary of $95,260, with the top 10% bringing in over $164,790 per year.
What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in construction management?
Engineering management is likely the most lucrative job available to professionals with a master's in construction management. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for this field is $144,830. The top 10% of engineering managers make over $208,000 per year.
Resources for Graduate Construction Management Students
CFMA's Education Online
The Construction Financial Management Association offers an online portal for students in training to enter the construction management industry. Resources include OpenCourseWare, webinars, and online training for aspiring certified construction industry financial professionals.
ASCE Student Member Resources
The American Society of Civil Engineers offers free membership to members of local ASCE chapters and to recent graduates from a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or related field. Members benefit from scholarships and fellowships, a career services center, and continuing education opportunities.
Among the leading libraries of scholarly publications on the internet, ResearchGate includes a sub-database of documents specific to construction management, searchable by author, publication name, and type of data set.
International Journal of Construction Management
This publication encompasses 18 volumes, each with dozens of articles on topics of interest to construction management professionals, engineers, and architects. Topics include improving work efficiency, exploring new building materials, and assessing the value of public infrastructures.
Professional Organizations in Construction Management
Professional organizations provide students with valuable resources and industry knowledge. Membership typically emphasizes networking opportunities through access to annual conventions and industry conferences, continuing education, and career services. Some organizations offer discounted insurance and/or preferred rates for field training leading to certification or licensure.
Construction Manager Association of America
As the field's credentialing agency for the certified construction manager and construction manager-in-training designations, CMAA set and maintains industry standards for aspiring construction and project managers in the field. Members enjoy free webinars, online advising, access to the CMAA library, discounted study kits, and on-demand learning modules online.
Associated General Contractors of America
AGC offers an exclusive marketplace for business services and a job board for construction management careers. The organization offers subcategories in specialties including federal, civil, and utility construction management.
Construction Financial Management Association
CFMA offers the certified construction industry financial professional credential, which is the first of its kind in the construction industry. Members enjoy mentorship and networking opportunities with professionals across CFMA's 98 chapters.
Design Build Institute of America
With more than 5,000 members, DBIA caters to professionals across all fields of construction and design. Members enjoy discounts on training courses and certification preparation, access to DBIA's Manual of Practice and IQ Magazine, and networking opportunities.
Associated Builders and Contractors
A leader in promoting the merit-shop philosophy among national trade industries, ABC represents more than 21,000 members and 70 chapters across the U.S. ABC members can access exclusive publications and business development resources, receive discounts on insurance and services from ABC partners, and take part in ABC-approved industry safety courses.