If you’re a construction professional looking to take the next step in your career, you might consider the benefits that a masters in construction management could offer.
This advanced degree could help you develop leadership and business skills to head up teams of other construction professionals. Because this degree is available online, you can keep working in the construction industry while taking classes.
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Professionals with a graduate-level education often pursue employment as general contractors, property managers, and other leadership roles in the facilities and built environments sector.
Online Masters in Construction Management Programs
Perhaps you entered the construction field with a bachelor’s degree, and it’s served you well so far. Now you’d like to take your career to the next level, but you’re finding that some employers want to see even more education listed on your resume.
Getting a master’s degree in construction management could equip you with advanced knowledge and training to help you grow your qualifications for prospective employers. In addition to developing your skills as a construction worker, you can also become more capable as a business leader.
You might study:
- Construction methods
- Cost estimating
- Environmental upgrades
- Information technology
- Quality management
- Real estate development
- Team dynamics
To enroll in this master’s program, it’s necessary to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree. Some programs may prefer a degree from a particular field. For example, it could help if you studied construction technology or civil engineering at the undergraduate level.
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Many schools will take students from any degree area, though. Often, construction management is a standalone degree. Sometimes, though, it’s part of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. If you choose to study construction management through a business school, it can help to have a business background. Otherwise, you might start your studies with an introductory business course.
In addition to having students take a variety of classes, some graduate degrees in construction management have capstone projects designed to synthesize students’ learning and wrap up the program. Others have students conduct research and write thesis papers.
Online construction management masters programs offer a flexible alternative to on-campus studies. Programs with online classes can often be completed during evening or weekend hours so that professionals can work while going to school.
Courses in online construction management degree programs include the same learning objectives and lessons as campus-based programs, so construction management students can count on thorough preparation for the workforce.
Potential jobs with this master’s degree include:
- General contractor
- Construction project manager
- Facilities manager
- Cost estimator
Some professions choose between working for an employer and running their own construction company.
Common Master in Construction Management Concentrations
Your school might offer the opportunity to specialize in one aspect of the construction industry.
Common concentrations for this degree include:
- Construction Management Technology. You might have the opportunity to study information systems and other technological tools that can improve your construction processes and outcomes.
- Facility Leadership. In this track, you’ll study approaches to maintaining and upgrading buildings that have already been constructed.
- Project Management. This concentration will develop your business leadership skills and equip you with tools and techniques for being an effective manager.
- Real Estate. You might study finance, valuation, and marketing as you learn how to invest in, upgrade, and sell properties.
- Sustainable Construction. You can study how to construct energy-efficient structures and retrofit buildings for increased sustainability.
Not all colleges offer concentrations for this degree. In some cases, you can still specialize somewhat by choosing elective courses that all focus on a particular area.
Construction Management Careers & Salaries
As the name suggests, construction management graduate programs prepare students for management positions in the construction industry.
Managers in this field may be called construction managers, project managers, or general contractors. There are positions available in the residential, non-residential, and heavy construction sectors. Construction managers are often self-employed. Some run their own companies, of which they’re the chief executives.
Of course, unless you are your own boss, becoming a manager often requires working your way up through a company. Some professionals start as equipment operators, later become first-line supervisors, and eventually receive full management titles.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for management occupations overall is $102,450.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$152,350|
|Project Management Specialists||$94,500|
|First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers||$72,010|
|Construction and Building Inspectors||$61,640|
|Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers||$59,230|
|Construction Equipment Operators||$48,290|
Construction management graduates may also work in jobs related to scheduling, compliance, or procurement for construction projects.
Some people in construction management focus on a particular area of bringing projects to fruition. For example, they may work in the cost estimating department or the project management department. People with a background in construction management don’t always oversee new construction projects. Instead, they might be in charge of a building’s maintenance, upkeep, or development.
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Job ideas include working as a facilities manager, a property manager, or a real estate manager. Being a building inspector would be a related line of work to consider. Other management titles that could be a good fit for some graduates include architectural manager and engineering manager.
Those particular jobs often require previous studies and experience in architecture or engineering. Studying construction management could complement what you’ve already learned.
MS in Construction Management Curriculum & Courses
If you decide to get a construction management online masters degree, you can expect to take an assortment of courses focused on advanced construction topics. In addition, you could learn management skills that are relevant to many different industries.
Here are some example courses:
- Advanced Construction Topics: This class may go into depth on methods and materials used in the construction industry.
- Budgeting in Construction Management: During your program, not only will you learn how to develop and work within a construction budget, but you’ll also study topics like cost estimation and bid preparation.
- Community Impact: You might have a class that addresses how construction projects and development initiatives economically, socially, and environmentally affect communities.
- Construction Quality: In a course on quality management, you’ll discuss methods for ensuring that your team produces quality work, and you’ll also talk about how to balance the need for quality with other considerations, such as schedules and budgets.
- Contracts and Legal Regulations: You’ll study the laws and regulations that govern construction contracts and projects.
- Energy Studies: Learning how to minimize a building’s energy demands is important for both cost savings and environmental sustainability.
- Facilities Management: There might be a class that focuses on providing care and upkeep for buildings that have already been constructed.
- Management Communications: During your program, you could learn to deliver clear messages to team members and stakeholders and to listen receptively to what others have to say to you.
- Organizational Leadership: You can learn what it means to be a strong organizational leader who understands team dynamics and fosters a healthy workplace culture.
- Productivity in Construction: As you study the topic of productivity, you may learn to collect data and analyze it.
If you choose a concentration for your degree, you can take several classes that focus on that area of the field.
Colleges will ask you to fill out an application form that they can review during the admissions process, and there’s often a non-refundable fee as well. In addition, your application materials might include:
- Reference letters
- Sample of your writing, such as a personal statement about your goals
- Scores from the GRE or GMAT (not required by all schools)
- Transcripts from your bachelor’s degree program
Since requirements can vary greatly from one school to another, it’s helpful to read the admissions instructions carefully and create a unique application packet for each school.
You can trust that you’re going to receive a high-quality education when you choose a regionally accredited school for your graduate studies. When a college is accredited, you can trust the verification of the schools standards provided by an independent accrediting agency.
Regional accreditation can be an asset to achieving your goals. Courses from accredited colleges often transfer from one to another. An accredited master’s program can also help students prepare for doctoral studies. may be ready to enroll in doctoral programs. Also, employers may prefer applicants with degrees from accredited schools.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Your financial aid package could help make going back to college for a master’s degree in construction management more affordable.
As you start looking at schools, it’s beneficial to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing the FAFSA may qualify you to receive government support for your schooling. While grant programs may be available in select cases, you’re more likely to receive loans as a graduate student.
You can check into assistance from your state as well as programs from the federal government. You can also apply for scholarships and fellowships as a grad student. Scholarships, whether from your school or another organization, usually go toward tuition costs. Fellowships might help you pay for enrichment activities, such as attending a conference or doing research.
Finally, you might ask your employer about tuition benefits. You may have the chance to receive workplace funding to support your studies.
What Is a Construction Management Master Degree?
A construction management masters degree is a graduate program for students who are interested in becoming leaders in the construction industry. The degree is also useful for people who want to work in real estate development or facilities management.
This degree program covers several different areas of study. For one thing, you can learn advanced construction concepts. Additionally, you can develop your business know-how. You can also expand your leadership capabilities by studying the decision-making and organizational culture.
The classes in this master’s degree program might include topics on construction cost estimation, sustainable construction, and contract law.
What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Construction Management?
If you want to be a construction manager, you might do well to earn a degree in construction management. Construction managers can also be general contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they can work for construction companies or be self-employed.
Facilities management is another job to consider. A masters degree in construction management could also be useful for a job in property and real estate management. That job category also includes real estate developers.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master of Construction Management Degree Online?
Full-time students can often earn a construction management masters online in 15 months to 2 years. Part-time students may need longer.
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One advantage to online graduate programs is that they’re often faster than on-campus ones. Campus-based programs usually have semesters that last 16 weeks. Construction management accelerated online degree programs, on the other hand, may have shorter terms that last 8 weeks to 10 weeks. The terms are held year-round, and this structure can help students complete more classes each year.
What’s the Difference Between a Project Management vs. Construction Management Master’s Degree?
Leaders in the construction industry are often considered project management specialists, but construction management and project management are not identical degree programs.
|Master’s in Construction Management||Master’s in Project Management|
Some colleges offer construction management as a concentration for their project management degree. Others combine the topics for a master’s degree in construction project management.
What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters Degree in Construction Management?
If you want to study construction management at the graduate level, you could earn a masters in construction management or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in the field.
|MBA in Construction Management||Masters in Construction Management|
The degree path that’s right for you may depend on your long-term goals.
Is a Masters in Construction Management Worth It?
Yes, a masters in construction management is worth it for many students. Gaining management skills could help you advance your construction career or prepare you to launch your own construction company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions for construction managers are projected to grow by 8% over the next ten years. That’s a higher growth rate than the national average, so construction management skills will be in demand.
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Since sustainability is a popular concept in today’s construction market, specializing in building upgrades for energy efficiency might increase your employability and job opportunities. Graduate programs tend to offer a range of specializations you can choose from.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Construction Management Degree 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.
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management and Technology. Potential courses include Facilities Operations and Maintenance, Building Energy Management, and Trenchless Construction Methods. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours, and each class is typically 7.5 or 15 weeks long.
ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Drexel University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management. Concentrations include Sustainability and Green Construction, Real Estate Development, and Construction Project Management.
The program aims to teach skills needed for entry-level positions in a construction management company. The program typically has no residency requirements but is designed to be highly interactive.
Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
East Carolina University offers an MS in Construction Management program online. Potential courses include Legal Implications of Design and Construction, Ethical Practices in Construction, and Residential Sustainability. ECU often facilitates internships to help provide real-world experience.
East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Eastern Kentucky University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management. The program is intended for current industry professionals. Courses commonly start every 8 weeks. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours and may be completed in 18 months. GMAT or GRE scores are typically required for admission.
Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University offers a fully online program for an MS in Construction Management. The program requires 30 to 36 credit hours of courses. These may include Advance Planning and Simulation for Construction, Construction Safety Management, and Construction Cost Analysis and Control. An undergraduate background in construction management is not required for admission to the program.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lawrence Technological University offers a Master of Construction Engineering Management program online. The program may be completed in 18 months. Smaller class sizes commonly offer opportunities to speak directly with faculty. GRE and GMAT scores are not typically required for admission.
Lawrence Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Louisiana State University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management. The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours of courses such as Research Methods in Construction Management, Project Delivery, and Human Factors and Leadership in Construction Management. The curriculum is highly customizable through elective options.
Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The New England Institute of Technology offers an MS in Construction Management program online. Classes are typically self-paced, but may include occasional scheduled discussions or other activities. The program usually has no residency requirements, and is designed for working professionals with an undergraduate degree in a related field. GRE scores are commonly not required for admission.
New England Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
NewSchool of Architecture and Design offers a Master of Construction Management program online. The program offers both full-time and part-time study options. Classes typically meet weekly and are designed to encourage networking with other students and faculty. The program may be completed in 1 year of full-time attendance.
NewSchool of Architecture & Design is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
North Dakota State University offers an online program for a Master of Construction Management. The completion of 30 credit hours of coursework and passing the Associate Constructor (AC) Exam are required prior to graduation. The exam may be taken multiple times, if necessary. The program is aimed at current construction professionals.
NDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Norwich University offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Construction Management. Potential courses include Project Management Techniques, Contracts and Insurance, and Project Finance and Accounting. Class size is typically limited to 15, and usually only 1 course is taken at a time. The program may be completed in 18 months.
Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Purdue University offers a Master of Science in Construction Management program online. Usually, 2 courses are taken per semester, and the program typically takes 2 years to complete. Instructors usually have professional experience in the construction industry. The aim of the program is to teach practical knowledge that can potentially be applied in practice.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Rochester Institute of Technology offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours, designed to be completed in 2 years. Co-op and internship opportunities are commonly offered but are not required.
RIT is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers an MS in Construction Engineering and Management program online.
Potential courses include Construction Contracts, Scheduling, Construction Equipment Management, and Construction Cost Estimating. A thesis or final examination is not typically required, but a project report may be submitted. A maximum of 12 credit hours may be transferred from another accredited institution.
South Dakota Mines is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for an MS in Management with a concentration in Construction Management. There are typically no set class times. Potential courses include Construction Law and Contracts, Construction Materials and Methods, and Construction Quality Management and Productivity.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Arkansas offers a Master of Science in Construction Management program online. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes courses such as Construction Safety, Building Information Modeling for Design and Construction, and Legal Aspects of Construction. The program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed in about 2 years.
The U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Florida offers an online program for a Master of International Construction Management. The aim of the program is to teach managers how the construction industry operates on a global basis. Courses typically begin in the fall, spring, or summer. A statement of purpose, resume, and unofficial transcripts are required as part of the application process.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Construction Management program online. The program requires 30 credit hours of courses designed to teach topics such as cost estimation, risk analysis, and sustainability. The program aims to help prepare to work in either leadership positions in the construction industry or in academia.
The University of Houston is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of New Mexico offers a Master of Construction Management program online. The program requires 30 credit hours of courses typically offered in an accelerated 8 week format. The curriculum was developed with industry input, and graduates may be prepared for leadership positions in the construction industry.
The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Southern California offers a Master of Construction Management both online. The program is designed to teach knowledge and skills needed for working for general contractors, real estate developers, sub-contractors, and construction management firms. The program is open to professionals with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. With full-time attendance, the program is commonly completed in 1.5 years.
The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission.
The University of Texas–El Paso offers an online program for a Master of Science in Construction Management. Most faculty have work experience in the industry. A semester-long internship to gain real-world experience is also commonly offered. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours.
The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Washington offers a Master of Science in Construction Management program online. The program offers both full-time and part-time study options, and is often completed in 1 to 3 years. Faculty typically have professional industry experience. UW uses a quarterly academic calendar, and admissions are usually offered for any quarter.
The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Wentworth Institute of Technology offers an MS in Construction Management program online. Potential courses include Construction Management, Advanced Project Controls, Construction Law, and Real Estate Development. Full-time or part-time enrollment is offered, and courses are typically 15 weeks long. The program commonly includes hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. The writing of a thesis is optional.
Wentworth Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Western Carolina University offers an online program for a Master of Construction Management. Potential courses include Sustainability in Construction, Advanced Construction Finance, Advanced Legal Issues in Construction, and Leadership in Construction Management. The completion of 30 credit hours is required. A current resume and at least 1 letter of recommendation are required for admission.
Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an MS in Construction Project Management program online. Potential topics taught include civil engineering, management science, business and economics, and system dynamics. The aim of the program is to teach skills needed to manage every stage of a construction project.
WPI is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Getting Your Construction Management Masters Degree Online
If you know the ins and outs of construction techniques and equipment, you might be ready to advance into management positions.
Effectively leading teams requires a different set of skills, though, so it may be worth heading back to school for a graduate degree in construction management. In this type of masters program, not only will you study how to excel as a construction professional, but you could also learn invaluable management ideas. You could even earn your degree online so that you can maintain your current job responsibilities.
You could start exploring accredited schools today to find the masters in construction management online program that’s right for you.