2023 Best Online Certificate in Construction Management Programs

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Explore the best online construction management certificate programs for 2023. Gain practical skills, and advance your career in this growing field.

A construction management certificate may help you build or advance your career in this growing field.

Best Online Certificate in Construction Management Programs

You might consider pursuing an online certificate program if you want to take on new responsibilities in your current construction position or want to change the trajectory of your career path.

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Certificate programs in construction management can strengthen your existing skills and provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge of methods, materials, regulations, and safety in the industry.

Online Construction Management Certificate Programs

Man taking Online Construction Management Certificate

Construction management online certificate programs provide practical knowledge and skills that may help you distinguish yourself from other leaders in the construction field. A certificate program can also serve as preparation for a certification exam or an advanced degree.

These online programs are very flexible, allowing you to take required and elective courses at the time and place that works best with your schedule. This makes them ideal for professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and skills while continuing to work.

During a construction management certificate program, you will study subjects like:

  • Safety practices and regulations
  • Construction materials
  • Blueprints
  • Scheduling
  • Cost estimation
  • Contracts
  • Surveying

These courses help you develop the necessary skills to run safe, efficient, and effective construction projects. They also offer a deeper understanding of construction techniques and methods, which is useful for professionals working in construction and closely related fields.

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After earning a certificate in construction management, you may be well positioned to pursue a position as a construction manager. This certificate is a popular option for construction workers, installers, and equipment operators hoping to take on a management role.

Construction managers are responsible for bidding for projects, supervising employees, meeting deadlines, and allocating funds. They serve as leaders for their teams and directly communicate with clients.

Positions in construction management typically require skills in:

  • Current construction practices
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Budgeting
  • Written and oral communication
  • Delegation
  • Organization

A construction management certificate program offers the opportunity to develop the necessary skills and qualifications that employers look for when hiring or promoting construction managers. Completing a certificate program may also enable you to become more effective in your present management role.

Professional certificate programs are also a logical choice for surveyors, inspectors, and safety specialists who want to transition into construction management or improve their knowledge within their current professions. If you plan to someday pursue a degree, earning a certificate in construction management provides a solid foundation.

Construction workers and civil engineers might complete a certificate program before pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in construction management or engineering.

Construction Management Careers & Salaries

Construction Management Certificate Careers & Salaries

An online certificate in construction management is beneficial to professionals in a variety of roles. Current construction laborers, carpenters, and equipment operators may have new opportunities to advance in their careers after completing a certificate program.

A construction management certificate could also be a valuable credential for professionals in other areas—such as engineers, architects, and inspectors—who want to gain in-depth knowledge of the construction process.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the career paths related to the field of construction management. Some of these roles may acquire specialized education or training.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Construction Managers $98,890
General and Operations Managers $97,970
Facilities Managers $97,930
Project Management Specialists $94,500
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers $72,010
Compliance Officers $71,650
Cost Estimators $65,170
Construction and Building Inspectors $61,640
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers $59,230
Construction Equipment Operators $48,290

For most students in construction management certificate programs, the ultimate goal is to become a construction manager. This role involves overseeing projects and leading a team of laborers, installers, electricians, and plumbers.

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In addition to earning competitive salaries, construction managers are also expected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years, which is faster than the average growth for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Construction Management Certificate Curriculum & Courses

Construction Management Certificate students in a group work

A construction management certificate program helps students develop fundamental skills to successfully run a construction business. Although no two programs are the same, the curriculum generally includes classes like:

  • Introduction to Construction: In this course, you’ll receive an overview of construction principles and practices, including regulations and common building materials.
  • Construction Management: This class provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of construction mangers, including risk allocation, documentation, and communication.
  • Construction Materials and Methods: Students in this class explore the different materials—including brick masonry, steel frames, and glass—used during construction processes.
  • Drawings and Specifications: This course centers on the tools and elements of drawings and specifications, such as scales, surveys, and layouts.
  • Safety Planning: In this class, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of safety, particularly common causes of accidents, OSHA compliance, and workers’ compensation.
  • Construction Surveying: The focus of this class is the use of surveys in construction, with an emphasis on mathematical concepts, distance measurement, and leveling.
  • Cost Estimating: Construction managers often make bids on jobs, and this course teaches you how to estimate costs, including labor, equipment, and overhead.
  • Project Scheduling: In this course, you’ll learn how to plan and schedule construction projects using tools like Gantt charts, the critical path method, and schedule compression.
  • Construction Law and Contracts: Students in this course learn about the potential legal issues that can occur during a construction project, with a focus on contracts and dispute resolution.
  • Construction Accounting and Financial Management: This class helps prepare you to effectively manage the financial aspects of a construction business, such as payroll, purchasing, insurance, and cash management.

Many programs offer elective courses that allow you to tailor your program to your interests and goals. For example, a prospective project management specialist might take a course in project planning, scheduling, and control.

How to Know If a Professional Certificate in Construction Management Is Right for Me

Man considering a Professional Certificate in Construction Management

Determining whether you should pursue a certificate in construction management requires you to evaluate your current role and future goals.

A professional certificate may be a good fit if you are seeking:

  • Career advancement. Current workers in the field of construction who want to take on supervisory or management positions may strengthen their resumés with a certificate.
  • Career change. A certificate serves as an excellent steppingstone for working professionals hoping to switch fields.
  • Up-to-date skills. Current construction managers who want to develop new skills and refresh their knowledge of the field often do so through construction management certificate coursework.
  • Specialization. A certificate may also be useful for construction professionals in leadership roles who want to narrow the focus of their careers to a particular area, such as law, finance, or project management.

In many cases, completing a certificate program also leads to increased earning potential and expanded responsibilities.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing Construction Management Certificate requirements

Enrolling in a construction management certificate program requires you to submit an official application along with a potential application fee. Other common requirements include:

  • Test scores. Some schools require minimum scores on standardized tests.
  • Resumé. List your professional experience and education.
  • Personal statement. Write a brief statement explaining your interest in the program.
  • Recommendations. Ask former instructors or supervisors to describe why you’re a good fit for the program.
  • Transcripts. Colleges often require students to provide official transcripts from previous schools.

Depending on the type of program, some may also recommend a bachelor’s degree for admission.

Construction Certificate Programs Accreditation

University offering Construction Certificate Programs

When researching construction certificate programs, it’s strategic to verify each school’s accreditation status. Schools that meet a high bar for academic quality often hold national or regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is often preferable because the standards required to receive it are so strict. A certificate from a regionally accredited school is often regarded more seriously by potential employers.

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Accreditation is also key if you plan to pursue additional degrees in the future. It is typically easier to transfer credits from colleges with regional accreditation, which may help you avoid having to repeat coursework you have already completed.

Construction Management Licensure and Certifications

Certified Construction Manager providing updates to her team

Industry certifications serve as further evidence of your knowledge and skills within your field. Popular certification options for construction professionals include:

  • Certified Construction Manager: This construction manager certification confirms that you have expertise in planning, designing, and constructing a project from beginning to end.
  • Certified Safety Manager – Construction: The CSMC credential focuses on workplace safety, effective employee training, and sound construction practices.
  • Certified Professional Constructor: A CPC has demonstrated experience overseeing safe and successful construction projects.

Completing a construction management certification online program may help enhance your potential earnings and opportunities for career advancement.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Construction Management Certificate Financial Aid

Completing an academic certificate is usually less expensive than an on-campus or online degree in construction management, but there are still several avenues you can pursue to seek support in paying for a certificate program.

A common first step is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines whether you are eligible for federal aid. Your state government may also offer separate aid programs, such as grants, to help offset the cost of tuition for qualifying students.

If you currently work in the field of construction, consider asking your employer whether there are tuition reimbursement or assistance opportunities available. Many organizations help support their employees’ pursuit of higher education.

Scholarships are an important source of aid for many students. You can speak to a financial aid specialist at your preferred school or consult an online database to locate scholarships that align with your field and personal background.

What Can You Do with a Construction Management Certificate?

Construction Manager discussing to his team

Many students who earn a construction management certificate go on to become construction managers and take responsibility for the overall success of construction projects. Others become project managers, who often serve as supervisors to construction managers.

A construction management certificate program can also be useful to construction laborers and equipment operators who want to develop their skills and hope to take on leadership roles in the future. Other potential career paths include civil engineer, cost estimator, and building inspector. Your qualifications for some of these roles may depend on your prior education and experience.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Construction Management Certificate Online?

Woman pursuing Construction Management Certificate Online

Most online construction management certificate programs take between 6 months and 1 year to complete. The specific timeframe depends on your personal circumstances and the number of required courses in your program.

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For example, a student with limited availability may complete a program that includes four required courses within 6 months, while a six-course program might require an additional semester of work. It’s important to note that some colleges and universities impose time limits on their certificate programs.

What’s the Difference Between Project Management vs. Construction Management?

Construction Manager working with a Compliance Officer

Construction management and project management often overlap, but there are some key distinctions between individuals in these roles, including:

  • Responsibilities. Construction managers usually focus on supervising laborers, while project managers design and supervise the entire project.
  • Education. Construction managers often have bachelor’s degrees in construction management or civil engineering, while project managers may have degrees in engineering, construction management, or architecture.
  • Work environments. Project managers frequently work in offices, whereas construction managers spend most of their time at building sites.

Deciding between these career paths often comes down to how directly you want to be involved in the construction process.

Is a Construction Management Certificate Worth It?

Construction Manager and Cost Estimator discussing about document drafts

Yes, a construction management certificate is worth it for many students. A professional certificate helps many construction employees concentrate their career paths and hone their skills. It may also help when seeking an increased salary or promotion.

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Construction is essential to society, and government agencies, private businesses, and individuals hire construction managers and their crews to complete crucial projects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, several careers related to construction management are projected to grow steadily over the next ten years. This includes construction managers (8% job growth), civil engineers (7%), and construction laborers (5%).

Universities Offering Online Certificates in Construction Management Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

California State University – East Bay

California State University East Bay campus

California State University–East Bay offers a Certificate in Construction Management. Coursework may be completed online, but typically includes collaborative assignments. Hands-on training for leadership positions is usually offered, and faculty commonly have extensive real-world experience working in the industry. The Princeton Review selected Cal State–East Bay as a “Best in the West” college.

Cal State East Bay is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University campus

Louisiana State University offers an online program for an undergraduate Certificate in Construction Management. Courses are usually taught by experienced instructors and may include Construction Estimating, Construction Contracting, and Construction Plan Reading.

The program requires the completion of 24 credit hours, which may be transferred into a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management program online or on campus.

Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

National University

National University campus

National University offers a Construction Management Professional Certificate program online. Enrollment in the program is typically available year-round. The program requires the completion of 4 modules, which may be done in 20 weeks, and is designed to prepare for the CMAA CMIT Level One Exam.

National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Pace University

Pace University campus

Pace University offers a Certificate in Construction Project Management program online, but classes are taught synchronously. Class meetings are typically held on Mondays and Wednesdays in the evenings. The curriculum aims to teach a strategic approach to management. Real estate agents and brokers in the state of New York may earn 22.5 hours of continuing education.

Pace University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University campus

Roger Williams University offers an online program for a Certificate in Construction Management Fundamentals. Most classes are offered over the Internet, but classes may have synchronous meetings and interactive activities. The program takes about 10 weeks to complete, and there are 10 modules that take about 7.5 hours each.

Roger Williams University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of California – Los Angeles

University of California Los Angeles campus

The University of California–Los Angeles offers a Certificate in Construction Management program online, with an option to also take classes on campus. Potential courses include Fundamentals of Construction Management and Construction Materials and Building Systems. An optional course is designed to prepare for the California state exam to become licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

UCLA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

University of Houston

University of Houston campus

The University of Houston offers Construction Management Professional Certificate. The program typically consists of 4 online, self-paced courses: Construction Management Principles, Contract Administration, Cost Analysis and Bidding, and Project Planning and Management. The program is designed to prepare for licensing exams from the American Institute of Constructors.

The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota campus

The University of Minnesota offers a Construction Management Certificate primarily online but with 1 course taught on campus. Potential courses include Construction Documents and Contracts, Construction Safety and Loss Control, Building Codes for Construction Managers. The program requires the completion of 19 credits, which may be applied toward a Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management.

The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of San Diego

University of San Diego campus

The University of San Diego offers a Construction Project Management Certificate. Potential courses include Project Management Fundamentals, Scope, Schedule, Cost and Quality Management, and Resource, Communications, Risk and Procurement Management. Courses are typically completed with a cohort and are usually 7 or 8 weeks long.

USD is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Washington

University of Washington campus

The University of Washington offers a Certificate in Construction Management that can be completed online or on campus in Seattle. Interactive, real-time virtual classes typically meet in the evenings. The program commonly takes 8 or 9 months to finish, and credits may be applied toward a Master of Science in Construction Management program.

The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Certificate in Construction Management Online

student Getting Certificate in Construction Management Online

Whether you are a prospective or current construction manager, a certificate program offers new knowledge and skills to help you stand out from other professionals in a competitive field.

During a construction management certificate program, you will learn about essential practices, laws, and techniques. This information may serve you well in a variety of areas connected to the construction industry, including management, surveying, cost estimation, and inspection.

Construction management is a growing field with many opportunities for advancement. If you’re ready to grow in your career, you can begin by researching online construction management certificate programs from accredited schools.

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Kama has a master's degree in English from Virginia Tech and a bachelor's in English from Concord University. She previously taught college-level English composition, literature, and English as a second language courses. She is now a full-time writer in the education field, with a particular focus on educational technology and pedagogical best practices for English language learners.