If you’re considering a career in construction, you may have wondered if getting a construction management degree is worth the time and investment. With the growing demand for skilled workers in the construction industry, it’s no surprise that many aspiring professionals are considering pursuing higher education in construction management. But is it worth it?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the construction industry is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for construction managers was $97,180 in May 2020. These statistics highlight the importance of the construction industry and the potential for growth and success in this field.
So, is it worth getting a construction management degree? In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages of obtaining a degree in construction management, potential career paths in the industry, and alternative routes to a career in construction management. We aim to help you make an informed decision about your education and career path.
Here at MatchBuilt, we specialize in construction management recruiting and have helped many candidates find fulfilling careers in this industry. In this post, we aim to share our knowledge and expertise to guide you in making the best decision for your future in construction management.
What is Construction Management?
Construction management is a specialized field that involves planning, coordinating, and supervising the construction process from start to finish. A construction manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a construction project, including budgeting, scheduling, and ensuring quality workmanship.
Construction managers work closely with architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals to ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the client’s specifications. They are also responsible for managing the construction team, which may include workers such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers.
The average cost of a construction management degree can vary depending on the school and location. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual cost of tuition, fees, room, and board for a four-year degree program in construction management was $24,614 for in-state students at public institutions and $41,578 for out-of-state students at public institutions in the 2019-2020 academic year. Private institutions can cost even more.
While a four-year college degree in construction management is one way to enter the field, it’s not the only option. There are many alternative routes to a career in construction management, including trade schools, apprenticeships, and certificate programs. These alternative programs can provide a more affordable and efficient way to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in construction management. They may also offer more flexible scheduling options for working professionals who are unable to attend traditional college classes.
What Is the Cost of a Construction Management Degree?
The cost is an important factor to consider when deciding whether to pursue a construction management degree. The cost of a degree can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of institution, the location, and the length of the program.
According to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for an in-state student at a public four-year institution was $10,560 for the 2020-2021 academic year. Out-of-state students paid an average of $27,020, while private nonprofit four-year institutions charged an average of $37,650. Remember that these figures do not include additional expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and supplies.
It’s important to consider the return on investment when evaluating the cost of a degree. While a construction management degree may require a significant financial investment upfront, it can increase job opportunities and earning potential in the long run. Additionally, scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid may be available to help offset the cost of tuition.
Before deciding on a program, research the cost of tuition and fees at various institutions and compare them to potential earnings and job prospects in the field. Don’t forget to consider alternative paths to a career in construction management, which may have lower upfront costs but different requirements and potential earnings.
Compare Costs: Construction Management Degrees in the US
Are you considering a degree in construction management and looking for top programs in the US? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top construction management degrees offered at universities across the country, along with their estimated costs. While cost is certainly an important factor to consider, it’s also important to research each program’s curriculum, faculty, and career outcomes before making a decision.
|School Name||Degree Name||Estimated Cost (annual)|
|Clemson University||BS in Construction Science and Mgmt||$35,000|
|University of Florida||BS in Construction Management||$28,659|
|Purdue University||BS in Building Construction Mgmt||$28,794|
|Virginia Tech||BS in Building Construction Mgmt||$31,000|
|Arizona State University||BS in Construction Mgmt Technology||$29,428|
|Brigham Young University-Provo||BS in Construction Management||$5,970 (per semester)|
|California State University-Long Beach||BS in Construction Management||$6,840 (per semester)|
|Colorado State University-Fort Collins||BS in Construction Management||$11,901 (per semester)|
|University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus||BS in Construction Science||$12,180 (per semester)|
|Wentworth Institute of Technology||BS in Construction Management||$38,750|
Remember that the cost of attendance may include additional expenses beyond tuition, such as room and board, textbooks, and fees. It’s important to research and compare costs at various institutions to determine the best fit for your financial situation and career goals.
Advantages of Getting a Construction Management Degree
Obtaining a degree in construction management can provide many benefits for aspiring professionals in the field. Some of these advantages include the following:
- Internship opportunities while in school: Many construction management degree programs offer internship opportunities that allow students to gain real-world experience while still in school. These internships can provide valuable networking opportunities and can help students gain a better understanding of the industry.
- Hands-on work experience in most schools: Some construction management degree programs offer hands-on experience through practical projects, which can help students develop their skills and gain experience in the field.
- Increased job opportunities and earning potential: Having a degree in construction management can open up many job opportunities in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of construction managers is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029. Additionally, construction managers earn a median annual wage of $97,180 as of May 2020.
- Enhanced knowledge and skills in construction management: A construction management degree program can provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, including project management, construction materials, safety regulations, and more. This knowledge can help students excel in their careers and become valuable assets to their employers.
- Professional networking opportunities: Construction management degree programs often provide opportunities for students to network with industry professionals, such as alumni, faculty members, and guest speakers. These networking opportunities can help students build valuable connections and potentially lead to job opportunities.
- Career advancement opportunities: Obtaining a construction management degree can also help professionals advance their careers within the industry. With a degree, professionals may be eligible for higher-paying jobs, more managerial roles, or opportunities to specialize in certain areas of construction management.
Overall, a degree in construction management can provide numerous advantages for aspiring professionals in the field. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the cost of the degree and other factors before making a decision.
Potential Career Paths in Construction Management
A degree in construction management can open up many career opportunities in the industry. Graduates may find work in a variety of roles, including:
- Project manager: Project managers oversee the entire construction process, from planning and design to construction and final completion. They are responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the client’s specifications.
- Site manager: Site managers are responsible for managing the construction site and ensuring that the work is being completed safely and efficiently. They may also be responsible for managing the construction team and overseeing the scheduling and budgeting of the project.
- Estimator: Estimators are responsible for estimating the cost of a construction project. They analyze the plans and specifications and consider factors such as materials, labor, and equipment to determine the project’s cost.
- Construction engineer: Construction engineers work closely with architects and managers to ensure the project is being constructed according to the plans and specifications. They may also be responsible for managing the construction team and overseeing the scheduling and budgeting of the project.
- Facilities manager: Facilities managers are responsible for managing the maintenance and upkeep of buildings and other facilities. They may also be responsible for managing construction projects related to renovating or expanding existing facilities.
Other potential career paths for graduates with a degree in construction management may include construction superintendent, sustainability manager, or construction consultant. The possibilities are endless, and it’s important for graduates to explore their options and find a career path that aligns with their interests and skills.
Ultimately, a degree in construction management can provide a solid foundation for a successful career in the industry. Graduates with a degree in construction management may find themselves in high demand, with opportunities for career growth and advancement. However, it’s important to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before deciding if a degree in construction management is the right choice for you.
The following table provides a quick overview of these careers, including job descriptions and median salaries. Keep in mind that these salaries are just estimates and can vary based on a variety of factors. Use this table as a starting point to explore different career paths and determine which one aligns with your interests and goals.
|Career Path||Job Description||Median Salary (per year)*|
|Project Manager||Oversee the entire construction process, and ensure project completion within budget and timeline||$76,000|
|Site Manager||Manage construction site, ensure safety and efficiency of work||$70,000|
|Estimator||Determine the cost of a construction project, analyze plans and specifications||$64,000|
|Construction Engineer||Ensure the project is being constructed according to plans and specifications, manage the construction team||$67,000|
|Facilities Manager||Manage maintenance and upkeep of buildings and facilities, oversee construction projects related to renovation or expansion||$63,000|
|Construction Superintendent||Manage day-to-day operations of the construction site, coordinate with project manager and other stakeholders||$71,000|
|Sustainability Manager||Develop and implement sustainable practices and initiatives in construction projects||$80,000|
|Construction Consultant||Provide expert advice and guidance to construction companies and stakeholders||$86,000|
*Note that these salary figures are just estimates and can vary based on factors such as location, company, and experience level. Other factors may be considered when choosing a career path, such as job growth potential and personal interests and goals.
Alternatives to Getting a Construction Management Degree
While getting a degree in construction management can provide numerous advantages, it’s not the only path to a successful career in the industry. In fact, there are several alternative routes that aspiring construction managers can consider. Here are a few options:
- On-the-job Training and Apprenticeships: Many construction companies offer on-the-job training programs and apprenticeships to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge needed for a career in the industry. These programs can provide hands-on experience and mentorship from experienced professionals, allowing you to learn the ins and outs of the industry while earning a salary.
- Certificate Programs or Continuing Education Courses: Certificate programs or continuing education courses can provide specialized training in areas such as project management, construction technology, or building codes and regulations. These programs can be completed in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost than a traditional degree program, making them a more accessible option for some individuals.
- Relevant Work Experience and Transferable Skills: If you already have experience working in the construction industry, you may be able to leverage your skills and knowledge to transition into a management role. Transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership can be valuable assets in any career, including construction management.
Ultimately, the best path to a career in construction management will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. Consider your interests, skills, and financial situation when deciding which option is right for you.
Is a Construction Management Degree Worth it? Final Thoughts
Pursuing a degree in construction management can be a smart investment in your future career. While the cost of a degree can be significant, the potential benefits, including increased job opportunities and earning potential, make it a worthwhile consideration.
Whether you pursue a degree or an alternative path, such as on-the-job training or certificate programs, it’s important to research and evaluates your options. Consider your personal goals, finances, and career aspirations before making a decision.
At MatchBuilt, we are committed to helping you build a successful career in construction management. We offer a variety of resources and services to assist you in your job search and professional development. Visit our website to explore our career development resources, including resume, LinkedIn, and interview tips.
We hope this post has provided valuable insights into a construction management degree’s benefits and potential career paths. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to helping you achieve your career goals in construction management!