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How Do I Start a Career in Construction Management?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Starting a career in construction management requires you to have a four year college degree, as well as some experience working in the construction industry. Two year degrees are also accepted as long as they are combined with work experience. Construction management positions for extremely large job sites, such as a shopping center, normally require a master's degree. In addition, some future managers may voluntarily test for a United States certification so that they are more desirable to employers.

A construction management position entails many responsibilities, from directing daily job site work to verifying adequate supply levels. As many of these are high-level responsibilities, you must have a four year college degree in a construction-related field. Typical degrees earned include civil engineering or building science. Those who earn these degrees should be knowledgeable about construction laws and regulations, helping them manage the projects so they are safe and productive.

An alternative college course route may be a two year degree in construction technology. Construction basics are taught throughout this major for future construction management applicants; however, most students work and attend school at the same time to gain both textbook and hands-on experience. It is possible to gain management employment with a two year degree, but a complete bachelor's degree is normally desired by many large construction companies.

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Some successful construction management workers began their careers as basic job site employees. Gaining hands-on experience is a practical way to become a manager; however, the increasingly competitive construction industry may not promote from within as willingly as in the past. Alternatively, an experienced job site worker can earn his or her four year college degree while working to ensure that both education and work background are noted on the resume.

Construction management positions are not exclusive to small home or business projects. In fact, some managers oversee huge job sites or even multiple projects in a specific area. These professionals normally have a master's degree in construction science or management. The large amount of work and particular details involved at huge construction sites require a highly educated individual as the leader to ensure daily safety and productivity.

Although certification as a construction management professional is not required in the United States, many people decide to test for accreditation to give them more leverage during hiring processes. The written exam tests applicants on all aspects of managing a job site, from practical tool applications to regional structural regulations. This certification is normally accepted across the United States; individual states do not require a separate certification.

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