To work as a construction manager, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- have a bachelor's degree; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
In the past, employers hired workers who had years of experience as construction workers. Now employers look for managers who have both experience and at least an associate degree. Many construction managers have a bachelor's degree. Recommended areas of study are construction science, construction management, or civil engineering. Colleges, universities, and community colleges offer these programs. Courses cover project control and development, site planning, and building design. You also study construction methods and materials. Other courses include value analysis, contract administration, and building codes.
Regardless of your major, experience working in construction is important. You can get experience through an internship, a cooperative education program, or working in the industry. These experiences offer you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. They also allow you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.
With a degree in building science or construction management you generally start as an assistant. You work with project managers, cost estimators, schedulers, and field engineers. The length of on-the-job training you receive varies by employer and your skills. In general, construction managers receive up to one year of training.