Regardless of your educational background, it’s a good possibility you can get a certificate in construction management. This credential positions you for better pay and better chances of moving up the career ladder. Or, with your own small contractor business, a certificate shows your customers you have the skills to manage their projects. It also gives you a point of differentiation from other competing contractors. Here’s the story on these certifications and how to get one.
Certificate in Construction Management Pros
Many people working in construction learned their skills on the job. Others started with community college programs or union apprenticeships. Those who want to move into construction managers’ jobs though will require deeper knowledge and skills then what they get through on-the-job training. This is where a certificate in construction management comes in.
Certifications like these show you have advanced skills in project management in construction. So if you already manage projects, you can be more successful at delivering them on time and on budget. It also means you’ll find it easier to get promoted.
If your next job goal is to become a construction manager or contractor manager, then having a certificate in construction management helps in at least a couple of ways. First, it tells your current employer, or a potential employer, that you have the knowledge to perform a project manager’s role. Second, it shows that you take your career seriously and have been willing to invest in it. A certificate is also valuable to your employer, who can show it to prospective clients as evidence of employee proficiency.
Paths to a Certificate in Construction Management
You have a couple of options for getting your certification. When going through a college or university, you get the certification once you successfully complete the coursework.
The coursework includes budgeting, scheduling, estimating, planning, materials, methods and management principles. Many of the courses might go by different names, and the curriculum will vary from one provider to the next. When getting a certification through a university, you will have flexibility in doing the coursework, which usually takes about two years. Once you complete the curriculum from an accredited source, you will have a deeper skill set for project management in construction.
You can also get these certificates once you have construction experience and pass a written examination, or take a short course and pass an exam. With the required on-the-job experience, you can get these certifications without having a bachelor’s degree.
So, what should you consider when thinking about getting a certificate in construction management?
Consider Your Current Education Level and Career Goals
Construction managers jobs can be springboards to other types of construction roles. You might have your eyes on a role as construction program manager where you manage multiple projects. Or perhaps you’d like to get into a senior company leadership position. Maybe you want to improve on general skills like math or science that you can only get by taking a degree program. In those cases, you might opt to get a degree in construction management instead of a certificate.
But if you have your heart set on managing construction projects and don’t already have a construction management degree, then certification should be a top consideration. If you already have a four year major in another field or construction work experience, you can add the certificate to your resume.
Consider Your Time
It’s common for people to underestimate the time it takes for coursework. This is more true when they already have work and family to consider. A rule of thumb is to figure two to three hours of study for each hour of coursework. Even if you opt to take an examination to get your certificate, you’ll still need to allot some time to study the recommended materials before taking the test. For some exam-issued certifications, you must complete an online course.
Consider Your Finances
You will spend more on certificates offered by universities and colleges. Even doing the online programs can easily cost $5,000 and more. You receive a certificate for exam-style certificates when you pay for and pass the exam. Assuming you pass the first time, you can expect to spend $500 to $1,100.
Places Offering Certificates in Construction Management
You can find many options for getting your construction certificate. Some even come specifically for the various specialty trades. So it’s important to compare them carefully so you get the certification most fitting for your current role and any future role you have in mind. Here are three to consider for general construction.
- American Institute of Constructors
- Louisiana State University
- Construction Management Association of America
When you embark on the journey to a certificate in construction management, you make the statement that you are in the career for the long haul. Besides gaining new insights and getting better at what you do, you show employers and clients your commitment to your construction role.