A construction management degree places graduates into one of the most important positions in the construction industry. The ultimate responsibility for the success of all construction projects falls to the construction manager, who oversees the many complicated processes required in a large project.
Construction managers share many of the skills of project managers in all industries. They oversee a project’s schedule, scope, cost, quality and ensure that the result meets the project goals. Construction managers shoulder the responsibility of completing a project and meeting the requirements set out by the people who commission the work.
Launching a construction management career requires earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management and gaining experience in the field. Northern Michigan University offers the only program of its kind for working professionals in the construction industry.
Construction Management Job Growth
An increasing population, business growth, and a new effort to address infrastructure needs have increased demand for qualified construction managers. Employers need them to oversee many projects, including new homes, office buildings, schools, hospitals, restaurants, warehouses, and retail outlets.
In terms of infrastructure projects include building roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, and renovating older buildings. The drive to retrofit older buildings and make them more energy efficient also drives demand for construction managers.
All these market elements will result in an 11 percent increase in the number of construction managers by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The national average construction management salary also continues to increase, reaching $115,447 in May 2020.
Construction Management Degree Job Options
Most construction managers typically combine a bachelor’s degree with on-the-job experience, learning all the details involved in managing a project and applying what they have learned in the classroom.
Construction managers spend most of their days in the field, although many maintain an office. The largest percentage of construction managers – 36 percent – are self-employed contractors, according to the BLS. Other areas where contractors work include:
- Specialty trade contractors (17 percent)
- Nonresidential building construction (17 percent)
- Residential building construction (11 percent)
- Heavy and civil engineering construction (8 percent)
The NMU construction management program provides students with an insight into the various construction management career paths available. Graduates work on various projects, including airports, bridges, educational buildings, high voltage transmission systems, churches, motels, hospitals, and offices–the entire scope of the built environment.
They also hold many different titles. They include project manager, field engineer, estimator, safety coordinator, scheduler, and superintendent. But the skills needed remain the same. Employers who recruit at NMU report that they seek people with “ambition and the ability to adapt to challenging situations.”
The NMU Construction Management Program
Students are evaluated during the onboarding process for the NMU Construction Management program to ensure they get credit for already learned skills. NMU offers the degree 100% online through NMU’s Global Campus. Entry into the program also requires seven years of documented construction industry experience, three professional letters of recommendation, and completion of a prior learning assessment.
NMU also applies credits toward a student’s degree based on their experience and students can transfer up to 90 previously earned credits.
With the flexibility of completing a degree online, students can continue to earn a living while also learning the skills and knowledge that will set them on a construction management career path. The program is designed for those ready to take the next step and boost their construction career to the next level.