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Building Tomorrow’s World: What Can You Do with a Construction Management Degree?

Oct. 31, 2019

Construction manager reviewing plans on his computer

Construction is booming business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction jobs will see a significant uptick in the coming decades. Growth in America’s cities, small towns, and local and national infrastructure means many new projects that will yield a surge in employment opportunities. Because of their ability to boost productivity, organization, and safety, construction managers will be in high demand.

Construction managers set the goals for construction and make sure teams meet them while maintaining flexibility, given the dynamic nature of construction projects. You can do even more with a construction management degree, depending on your interests and goals.

Careers in Construction Management

Generally, construction managers keep an office as a home base, where they maintain detailed records on work projects and use computer programs to track progress; however, they spend much of their time on-site. In the midst of the action, they work with their teams to manage building projects, from blueprint to final walk-through. Construction management combines practical aspects of fields such as architecture, business, and engineering, and it offers plenty of opportunities for visionary leaders.

Residential Construction Management

Residential construction managers supervise and plan the construction of homes. They interact with subcontractors, developers, clients, and municipal governments to ensure everyone on the job site is safe, buildings meet all codes, and projects stay on time and within budget. Residential construction management offers professionals the satisfaction of leading the creation of beautiful, functional, and well-made homes. Working on a relatively small project scale, residential construction managers can enjoy variety in their work and shorter project timelines.

Commercial Construction Management

What can you do with a construction management degree besides build homes? Commercial construction is a good fit for professional individuals with the proper combination of education and experience in construction management. Commercial construction involves building new business structures and renovating existing ones. These construction managers have a lot of project choices, large and small—from stand-alone stores to shopping complexes, office parks, and movie theaters. They typically handle the financial aspects of a project and make bids for new projects. Using high tech 3D building information modeling software, excellent communication skills, commercial construction managers work with shareholders, subcontractors, local government, and other officers at their firms to ensure projects run smoothly.

Heavy Highway Construction Management

Interested in working on an even bigger scale than residential or commercial projects while improving your community? Heavy Highway construction, sometimes also called heavy civil construction, relates to designing and executing large municipal projects, including bridges, roads, train tracks, and buildings that are part of civic infrastructure, such as courthouses and water treatment facilities. What you can do with a construction management degree in heavy highway construction includes negotiating contracts with subcontractors, managing bids for projects, handling finances, communicating with stakeholders, and creating project timelines that move design and completion targets forward while maintaining flexibility.

Industrial Construction Management

Industrial construction managers are those professionals managing large complex construction projects in the petrochemical sector. They manage everything from plant maintenance and turnaround, the installation of electrical and instrumentation, to power plants, petroleum and chemical factories. They deal with the compliance to government regulations, environmental hazards, and work closely with design engineers to ensure project completion in a safe and timely manner. These type of projects are high risk and require close supervision to ensure worker safety while maintaining related contracts and budgets.

Preparing for a Future in Construction Management

For someone who is interested in building and design and adept at managing complex projects, construction management is an excellent professional path to pursue. Through study at an accredited university, students learn how to exercise communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills in a construction environment. They also learn management and leadership strategies, how to delegate tasks effectively, how to prioritize project components, and how to be a team player and consider the needs and capacity of everyone working on a project.

LSU Online’s Master of Science in Construction Management offers aspiring construction managers the opportunity to deepen their understanding of core principles while gaining specialized knowledge to move toward their unique career goals. Learn more and apply today.

Discover LSU Online's Construction Management programs.

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