|Arizona State University||Tempe||Arizona|
|Boise State University||Boise||Idaho|
|Everglades University||Boca Raton||Florida|
|Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne||Florida|
|Seton Hill University||Greensburg||Pennsylvania|
|Middle Tennessee State University||Murfreesboro||Tennessee|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham||Alabama|
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor||Michigan|
The U.S. construction market is the second largest in the world after China. In the U.S., the total value of new private construction alone was $992 billion in 2018. Globally, the construction market is on track to reach $10.3 trillion in 2020.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and in January 2017, national construction employment added 36,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was the best month for construction employment growth in the U.S. since March of 2016. What’s more, there were 263,000 job openings in the construction industry in 2018, with a 12% increase in employment for construction workers for the 2016-2026 decade and an 11% increase for construction managers.
With such a promising outlook, it’s safe to say that now is a great time to be in construction—especially for managers.
Construction Managers and What They Do
Construction managers, also called project managers or general contractors, “coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges,” says the BLS. They “oversee the construction phase of a project,” and “consult with the client during the design phase to help refine construction plans and control costs.”
Construction managers also oversee specialized contractors and other personnel, they schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications, and they ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Some managers may be responsible for several projects at once. For example, the construction of multiple apartment buildings. Managers often work closely with architects, engineers, electricians, and carpenters, and they may interact with attorneys, and local government officials such as city inspectors.
On very large projects, construction managers may hire other managers to handle certain aspects of the project. The CM would then collaborate and coordinate with the managers to complete the project.
Construction managers are also in tune with technology. Per the BLS, construction managers “often perform the tasks of a cost estimator. They use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to allocate time and money in order to complete their projects. Many managers also use software to plan the best way to get materials to the building site.”
Construction Management MBA Programs
Because of the increasing complexity of construction processes, constantly changing laws, risks, environmental issues, and crews that could reach into the hundreds or thousands (especially on global projects), construction managers must have an extensive amount of construction experience and a specialized degree. In fact, large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with a degree in a construction-related field such as construction science, building science, or construction engineering. Some even seek out candidates with a master’s degree such as an MBA.
Hundreds of colleges and universities offer undergraduate construction management or construction technology programs, and dozens offer master’s degree programs in construction management. Examples include Texas-based Lamar University, which offers an Online MBA in Construction Project Management and Everglades University in Florida, which offers a one-year Online MBA in Construction Management. Florida Institute of Technology has a BS in Construction Management that students complete before enrolling in the Online MBA program.
The University of Michigan and Middle Tennessee State University offer two of the most unique programs of them all. The College of Engineering at University of Michigan has one of the top graduate programs in the field. In 1954, the school launched the first graduate program in Construction Engineering and Management (CEM).
Today, Michigan Engineering is home to the prestigious Tishman Construction Management Program (TCMP), which offers a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Construction Engineering and Management (CE&M). Students have the option to earn a dual degree such as an MSE CE&M/MBA. The MBA will be available online beginning in fall 2019.
Middle Tennessee State University is home to the School of Concrete and Construction Management, which offers an Online MBA in Concrete Industry Management. Coursework for the program is tailored specifically to the construction and concrete industry.
Construction Management MBA Courses
Common courses for MBA in Construction Management programs include Construction Planning and Scheduling, Construction Law, Environmental Issue Land/Construction, Strategic Management for Construction Organizations, Advanced Construction Estimating, Leadership Skills for Managers, Management Operations, and Management Information Technology. Programs generally require 36-48 credit hours of study, and some schools offer accelerated programs that may take as few as 12 months to complete, if prerequisite requirements have been met.
Note that an advanced degree and experience are not the only requirements to land a position with a major construction company. A license is required in most states and employers place a high value on certifications or designations such as Certified Construction Manager (CCM), awarded by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), or Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) or Associate Constructor (AC), awarded by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC).
Construction Management Salaries
In 2018, the mean annual wage for CMs was $103,110. Top earners in the field averaged $123,720-$161,510. And this doesn’t include signing bonuses and other benefits. The top paying industries for construction managers are:
- Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities - $146,760
- Oil and Gas Extraction - $137,880
- Insurance Carriers - $135,340
- Scientific Research and Development Services- $128,670
- Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing - $125,620
The top paying states for Construction Managers are:
- New Jersey - $145,400
- Rhode Island - $132,750
- New York - $131,950
- Delaware - $124,000
- California - $117,770
The states with the highest employment levels for Construction Managers are California, Texas ($98,420), Florida ($94,150), Illinois ($95,020), and North Carolina ($109,520).
Considering an Online MBA? Use our interactive map to find information on schools and colleges offering Online MBA programs in your state and across the U.S.
"Construction Job Growth Rebounds in 2017." Abc.org. Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), 03 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.
"Construction Managers." Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12 Jun. 2019. Web. 25 Jun. 2019.
"11-9021 Construction Managers - Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2018." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29 Mar. 2019. Web. 25 Jun. 2019.
Tishman Construction Management Program (TCMP). The Regents of the University of Michigan, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.
"Topic: Construction Industry." Statista, The Statistics Portal. Statista Inc., 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.
Wang, T. "U.S. Private Construction Put In Place 1999-2018." Statista, The Statistics Portal. Statista Inc., 18 Mar. 2019. Web. 25 Jun. 2019.