Programs in construction management prepare people to manage and supervise the construction process. Students learn to plan budgets and manage costs and supervise workers. They also learn the basics of construction and how to manage contracts.
If you think that managing the construction process is a complex task, you're right. At least your work crew is much smaller than the 20,000 workers it took to build the Khufu pyramid in Egypt!
Still, managing 20 workers, a budget, blueprints, and deliveries takes some multi-tasking. You also need to understand the different phases of construction, from pouring the foundation to framing to installing the electricity. Then there's safety, scheduling, and meeting local building codes. While many construction managers work their way up to this position, as buildings becomes more complex, it makes sense to seek formal training.
About 25 schools offer programs in construction management. Associate and bachelor's degrees are most common. In these programs, your course work is all about the different types of construction. These include residential, commercial, and highway. You learn a bit about architecture and engineering. You study logistics, management techniques, and budgeting.
You also learn how to plan a project from beginning to end, how to set up contracts with different subcontractors, and how to keep costs under control. In addition, you also learn how to keep work sites safe and efficient.
As you might expect, the longer the program, the more complete your training will be. Many employers now look for managers with a bachelor's degree, so keep this in mind when considering programs.