Is Construction Management a Good Career to Go Into?

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The construction industry shows strong potential growth through 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website. While construction management offers diverse academic paths, career options and promising salary potential, the work is demanding and requires some time and personal investment. Considering the benefits and expectations will assist interested individuals in determining the value and promise of a management career in construction.

Function

  • Construction managers plan, oversee and coordinate construction projects. These projects include residential and commercial building, industrial structures, roads, bridges, waste water treatment plants, schools and hospitals. Overseeing a construction project includes overseeing supervisors and workers, vendors affiliated with a project and any contractual labor used for project completion. Construction management encompasses job titles including project manager, constructor, superintendent, project engineer, manager or supervisor.

Education

  • Two- and four-year construction-management degree programs and certification options provide several paths in pursuit of a construction management career. More than 100 colleges offer bachelor's degree programs in construction science, building science and engineering, and about 60 academic institutions offer master's degree programs in construction science for people interested in pursuing a career with large construction-management firms. While certification is not a requirement for a construction-management career, professionals can opt to acquire construction-management certification (CCM).

Salary Outlook

  • Construction managers are often expected to be available during non-traditional work hours to accommodate for delays, inclement weather or job-site emergencies. But construction management offers good earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary construction for construction managers in May 2006 was more than $73,000. While the highest-paid construction managers earn more than $130,000 annually, 50 percent of construction managers in 2006 earned between $56,000 and $98,300 annually.

Considerations

  • While there are degree and certification opportunities, the construction management career will require work experience. Construction managers must gather field experience either as an intern for a construction firm, contractor or laborer, in addition to the pursuit of a degree. Certification through the Construction Management Association requires field experience.

Career Outlook

  • The BLS projected substantial employment growth from 2006 through 2016 in construction-related occupations, including a 16 percent increase in construction managers. Construction management also offers prospective job seekers the opportunity to opt for self-employment in lieu of working for an associated firm or management company.

Industry Outlook

  • New job creation can be expected with advances in building materials and methods, increases in multipurpose buildings and public works projects and changing regulatory requirements for building and management materials. With these shifts in the industry, schools like the University of Minnesota project that changing requirements will produce increasing demand for managers with advanced education and training in project management.

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