What Can You Do with a Construction Management Degree?

Construction is a rapidly growing field.

In most cases, you’ll find that the careers available to you in construction share two things in common: firstly, they offer attractive salaries, and secondly, they tend to have some of the strongest projected growth in the coming decade. 

Check out the article below to read more about what exactly you can do with a degree in this promising industry. 

What Do You Do with a Construction Management Degree?

A degree in construction management can lead to numerous career paths, which could include fields such as general labor, architecture, and project management. The latter career is what many construction management graduates choose, which would see you directly involved in the designing, planning, and delivery management of construction projects. Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of some of the common careers available to you with a degree in construction management: 

  • Building Services Engineer: These professionals are responsible for maintaining all the key services within a structure. This includes security systems, lighting and plumbing, power supplies, air conditioning, and heating, among others. 
  • Building Surveyor: Building surveyors are experts in structural integrity, creating detailed reports for both commercial and private buildings, which highlight defects, structural instability, electrical or plumbing problems, environmental hazards, dilapidation, and building regulation issues.
  • Facilities Manager: A facilities manager is responsible for ensuring that an organization and its facilities are suitable for the employees working within the structure. Unlike many other careers in construction management, the facilities manager is not normally involved in the design and construction phase of a building’s life cycle. 
  • Site Engineer: The role of a site engineer is similar to that of a construction or project manager. They assist in the day to day management of a construction site and project; they’ll be responsible for parts of the project – called ‘packages’ – and ensuring that their packages are completed on time and within the budget. 
  • Sustainability Consultant: Sustainability consultants are responsible for promoting sustainable ideas for buildings and infrastructure. This can cover the renovation of community facilities, regeneration of infrastructure, or the planning of new projects and residential zones. 

How Much Money Can You Make with a Construction Management Degree?

The earning potential for careers in construction management tends to be above the national average for all other careers, though your salary ceiling will largely depend on the specific role that you choose. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a good source of information for earning potential in a variety of careers: 

  • Architect: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $80,750 annually, or $38.82 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s a faster than average projected growth rate of 8% from 2018 to 2028, or 11,200 new openings.
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $144,830 annually, or $69.63 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s a slower than average projected growth rate of 3% from 2018 to 2028, or 5,400 new openings.
  • Building Inspector: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $60,710 annually, or $29.19 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s a faster than average projected growth rate of 7% from 2018 to 2028, or 7,700 new openings.
  • Construction Laborer: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $36,000 annually, or $17.31 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s a much faster than average projected growth rate of 11% from 2018 to 2028, or 173,400 new openings.
  • Construction Manager: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $95,260 annually, or $45.80 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s a faster than average projected growth rate of 10% from 2018 to 2028, or 46,200 new openings.
  • Surveyor: According to the BLS, these workers earned a median salary of $63,420 annually, or $30.49 hourly (BLS, 2019). There’s an average projected growth rate of 6% from 2018 to 2028, or 3,000 new openings.

Is Construction Management a Good Career?

Depending on your definition of a good career, there are some great reasons to pursue a position in this field. Not least of these is the fact that, as highlighted above, roles within construction management attract high salaries and strong growth potential. Of course, with higher salaries comes greater responsibility; construction managers take on a significant amount of accountability for the success of their projects. If you choose this career, you’ll be leading an entire construction project from the design and planning stage through its completion. You’ll need a strong work ethic and some essential skills, including:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Business acumen
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Good decision-making abilities
  • Leadership
  • Time management

How Long Does a Construction Management Degree Take?

To start a career in construction management, you’ll be expected to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as construction management, construction science, or similar. Associate degrees typically last for two years, while bachelor’s degree programs are four years full-time.

Gaining a professional certification is not essential for working in many companies, but it can set you ahead of the competition, particularly as a newly-qualified graduate with little experience. Look to the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) or Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) for more information concerning certifications.