Online Construction Management Degrees

If you love big projects and want to work outside of a traditional office environment, you might be interested in earning an online construction management degree. Construction management programs prepare students to plan, manage, and complete major building projects. Below, we’ll cover the particulars of a construction management degree, along with the latest trends and salary forecasts for the field.

Many online construction management programs offer courses geared towards professionals with industry experience; others cater to people without any background in the field, and it’s important to find the right curriculum for your needs. Regardless of your current experience though, a construction management online degree can help secure your next role in this ever-growing industry.

Most cities and regions in the United States need supervisory professionals in construction management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that construction management positions will grow 5% through 2024, which makes the online construction management degree a sound investment for anyone interested in the field. Additionally, a recent Associated General Contractors of America workforce study demonstrated that construction project management positions are in demand, and that as many as two thirds of contractors are struggling to find enough qualified managers for the work they need.

An online construction management degree will help you develop strong analytical, business, customer service, oratory, technical, and leadership skills. Jobs in the field will require you to use all of these skills, and also to competently manage employees, budgets, timelines, and contractors. It’s demanding work that requires dedication and discipline, but if you’re interested in construction management, a construction management bachelor’s degree online can help prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career.

Meet our expert

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Amber Pearson Construction Management

“Be open to change and growth, and don’t get stuck in a path that does not allow you to better yourself.”

Online Construction Management Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $9,741 17.43% 2 years N/A N/A N/A
Bachelor's $17,198 15.93% 4 years $55,805 $71,767 4.1%
Master's $19,644 5.9% 2+ years $65,000 $88,400 N/A
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Experience has long been crucial in construction management, and education has become just as necessary. More education allows you to sharpen your critical thinking and analytical skills, and depending on your specializations, a degree can qualify you for work on specific projects. Earning an online bachelor’s in construction management will also help you increase your salary potential.

Professionals with a bachelor’s in construction management degree can expect to make approximately $55,000 annually in the early stages of their career, and their expected income rises to nearly $72,000 at mid-career. Additionally, each subsequent degree you earn in construction management raises your income potential, meaning that you’ll be more qualified and make more money with a master’s degree than you would if you just held a bachelor’s (workers with a master’s earn $65,000 on average at their first job, and then nearly $90,000 at mid-career). Best of all, an online construction management degree allows you to study remotely and on your time, allowing you to advance your career prospects when it’s most convenient for you.

Online Construction Management Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Construction Management

An online associate degree in construction management combines general education courses with industry-specific classes. An associate degree will take approximately two years to complete and the curriculum provides a foundation for your career in the field. On average, an associate degree in construction management costs $9,741 per student.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Cost Estimating, Project Scheduling, Drawings and Specifications

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Construction Technology, Construction Management, Construction Engineering Major

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Construction Worker, Plumber, Assistant Project Manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    The median salary for a construction worker is $30,890, and $50,620 for plumbers.

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Positions for construction workers and plumbers are projected to increase 12 and 13 percent respectively between now and 2024. Assistant project managers can expect to see a 5% increase in job opportunities between now and 2024.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management

Earning a construction management bachelor’s degree online is one of the best ways to prepare for a managerial job in the industry. Bachelor’s programs are four years long.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Plumbing and piping, Electrical systems, Construction ethics, OSHA Standards

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Construction Technology , Construction Management, Construction Engineering Major

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Construction Worker, Construction Manager, Plumber

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    The median salary for a construction worker is $30,890, $87,400 for construction managers, and $50,620 for plumbers.

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Positions for construction workers and plumbers are projected to increase 12 and 13 percent respectively between now and 2024. Assistant project managers can expect to see a 5% bump in job opportunities between now and 2024.

Online Master’s Degree in Construction Management

An online master’s in construction management degree typically take two to three years to complete and costs $19,644 on average. Master’s programs offer a blend of leadership, construction, and business management courses. Students who complete a construction management degree online will feel prepared to oversee complex residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and civil building projects.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Research Methods in Construction Management, Project Delivery, Decision Making Tools in Construction Management

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Construction Technology, Construction Management, Construction Engineering Major

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Construction Project Manager, Senior Project Engineer, Assistant Project Manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    The median salary for a construction manager is $87,400, and $82,000 for civil engineers.

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Project management positions are projected to increase by 5% between now and 2024.

Online Doctorate Degree in Construction Management

There aren’t many PhD programs in construction management, and only a smattering are available online. These programs do exist, however, and if you are interested in earning a doctorate in the field, you’ll be able to do so in a distance program.

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Construction Project Manager, Senior Project Engineer, Professor

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    There aren’t enough programs to reliably separate your likely career earnings from our projections for those holding a master’s degree.

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Project management positions are projected to increase by 5% between now and 2024.

Online Construction Management Choose Your Career

Average Construction Management Salaries

$132,800
$93,940
$60,390
$87,400

Architectural & Engineering Managers

Salary: $132,800
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
2% 182,100 Bachelor's N/A

Architectural & engineering managers oversee their teams, and they plan, direct, and coordinate work for their architectural and engineering firms. As part of their day-to-day responsibilities, they make detailed plans for new projects and designs, create budgets and timelines for their work, supervise employees, and coordinate work with project managers. Managers must be able to verify the technical accuracy of their team’s work while also meeting regular deadlines and generating new projects for the business.

Industrial Production Manager

Salary: $93,940
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-4% 173,400 Bachelor's N/A

Industrial production managers oversee the operations at manufacturing plants or similar organizations. Production managers coordinate, plan, and direct various operations on a given project. They determine the best way to use an organization’s resources while also adhering to their production schedule and budget. Successful production managers must hire, train, and evaluate their workforce regularly to ensure that their team consistently meets safety and performance goals.

Cost Estimator

Salary: $60,390
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
9% 213,500 Bachelor's N/A

Cost estimators focus on data so that they can properly estimate the time, money, materials, and employee costs needed to complete a project. Successful cost estimators usually specialize in a particular industry or product. Typical job duties include reading and analyzing blueprints and technical documents, identifying variable costs, and managing records of estimated and actual costs for projects. As part of their job, they regularly work and interact with engineers, architects, clients, and contractors.

Construction Manager

Salary: $87,400
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
5% 373,200 Bachelor's May need license depending on state

Construction managers earn $87,400 per year on average, and an online bachelor’s degree in construction management is an important step towards a career in management. Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise their projects, often at a field office on their construction site. A construction management degree will introduce you to the academic and practical material you’ll need in the field, including how to meet deadlines and respond to professional emergencies as needed. Managers have several essential duties, including interpreting and explaining contracts and technical information to employees. They’re also responsible for preparing and managing cost estimates, budgets, work timetables, legal requirements, building and safety codes, and various other regulations. Successful construction managers also communicate and collaborate effectively with architects, engineers, and construction specialists.

Online Construction Management Degree in Action

Amber Pearson Construction Management

Amber Pearson earned her BS in construction management from Colorado State University. Today, she spearheads Vertex Innovations’ construction management software, custom-building workflows for multi-million dollar infrastructure projects. She uses her construction management expertise to design specific workflows to streamline construction projects, train the construction teams, and provide technical and process support.

When and how did you begin pursuing a career in construction management (and how did you end up at Vertex?)

When I was 17, my father offered me a summer job with his company. I helped remodel a high school—demolishing classrooms and building concrete walls. I absolutely loved it. I worked for my father every summer until I graduated from Colorado State University with a construction management degree.

Upon graduation, I worked as a project engineer for a leading general contractor. Eventually, I became a project manager in the Small Projects division. When the economy took a turn in 2008, my job was eliminated. I went to work for an electrical subcontractor. As time progressed, I became familiar with an unfortunate trend in this industry: being a woman limits upward mobility.

In April of 2013, I was approached about a job at Vertex Innovations. I was curious because the company specialized in construction oversight for telecom, so I took the leap. This was the best decision I have made for my career. I began overseeing software systems that manage the construction process for major wireless infrastructure programs.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your career?

The most rewarding aspect of my career is seeing an idea turn into a plan, which then becomes a product that makes someone’s life better.

What types of skills does a student develop in a strong construction management degree program?

Communication is necessary in a construction management position. You have to make “those” phone calls; you have to follow up on your tasks and not let things slip. You must make sure everyone is on the same page. If you cannot communicate and choose to hide behind your desk, the outcome of the project will suffer.

Teamwork is also key to accomplishing project goals. I have learned that you shouldn’t do everything by yourself. It takes a team to get any type of project or task to the finish line. Many don’t realize that construction work is actually much easier when collaborating with others. All of the different trades coming together is one of the best ways to ensure that the end goal will be reached.

What is the work environment like in a career like this?

I would like to say that the environment is easygoing, but it’s a hard job. Construction management requires a strong backbone and a willingness to learn. You have to work hard and prove yourself.

At a past employer, I was working on a very hard project, and my superintendent passed away in the middle of it. I was tasked with being in charge. There were a lot of late nights. The night before the ceremony, I was at the site until 3 AM, and then back at 6:30 AM to put the final touches on the building. I was tired, but I just kept thinking, “It needs to be perfect for the dedication ceremony so that everyone can be proud of what we have accomplished and overcome!”

Because I worked the late hours alongside everyone else, I earned the trust of my coworkers. Even though this is a career that takes time to generate rewards, it is worth it.

What advice would you give to fresh graduates seeking a career in construction management?

Be open to change and growth, and don’t get stuck in a path that does not allow you to better yourself.

When I graduated, I envisioned working with a general contractor and growing within that company until I was a vice president. Then, the stars above (and the economy) called that vision into question. What I thought at the time was a devastating turn of events became the best thing to happen to me. I entered a new track that led me to grow in a profession I love, construction management.

At 22, I thought I would be building buildings my entire life. Today I provide the telecom industry with construction management expertise, advising companies on how to build data centers efficiently, work as a team, and think outside of the box to create something that will benefit everyone.

Online Construction Management Professional Requirements

Certified Construction Manager (CCM)

After completing your construction management degree, you’ll want to stay up to date on required certifications. The certified construction manager credential is not mandatory, but it is considered the highest credential a professional in construction management can earn. You’ll need to complete 48 months as a CM in a qualifying area, which includes pre-design, design, procurement, construction, and post-construction. You won’t need 48 months of experience in each area, but you will need to have either four years of experience in the field and an associate or bachelor’s degree in construction management. If you don’t complete the educational requirement, you can become a CCM with eight years of experience in general design/construction and 48 months as a CM in the qualifying areas. You will have to complete an application once you’ve completed the above requirements. When your application reaches the candidacy stage you will be asked to take a certification exam. The exam takes five hours; it’s a multiple choice exam, although some questions will require you to make calculations.

Is it required?

Recommended

How long will it take?

Varies