What Can I Do with a Master’s in Construction Management?

If you’re a working adult in the construction industry, you can do a lot of good for you life and career by getting a master’s in construction management. Construction management deals with all aspects of construction jobs. Hands-on experience is very important to your ultimate success as a construction manager. This job involves working directly with techniques, materials, and engineers to transform designs into finished buildings or structures.

In this section, we cover the following topics:

  • Is a masters in construction management worth it?
  • Is a masters degree in construction management worth it for a civil engineer?
  • What can I do with a masters in construction management?
sdsu construction management

Is a Master’s in Construction Management Worth It?

Many online construction management degrees focus on sustainable design, professional ethics and continuous learning. Students learn about economic, legal and social relationships as they pertain to the building trade. Construction managers often interact with architects and regulatory agencies and must consider ecofriendly perspectives in different aspects of the work. Students who get a master’s in construction management develop professional skills that allow them to take on leadership positions in the construction industry. They also receive a sound foundation in architecture, science and business management.

There are many common threads between construction management and civil engineering. However, these are two different fields and require different education paths. Civil engineering focuses on infrastructure while construction management has a wider purview including environmental safety, planning and construction safety. Meanwhile, a civil engineer determines the best placement and techniques for constructing projects.

Overall, if a person wants to know is a construction management degree worth it, the answer is yes. A person can earn a high salary. Plus, if a person likes to be in charge of others or tasks, then the answer to is a construction management degree worth it is yes. 

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Construction Management?

As you will see in upcoming sections, salaries in construction management are quite competitive. With a degree in construction management, students can advance in their career and increase their pay rate. In order to succeed as a construction manager, students will also need to have or get the years of experience required to understand the industry. This position allows job seekers to express their leadership skills, creativity and passion for construction. In addition, the structures and projects managed are visible for everyone to see and can bring an extreme sense of accomplishment.

There’s an increasing demand for construction and re-purposing commercial infrastructure due to the aging infrastructure in the nation as a whole. Employers tend to hire candidates who have both job training and a masters degree. Therefore, before seeking a construction management masters degree, candidates should work a few years in all levels of construction. Alternatively, students can seek experience while they obtained their degree online to gain experience faster without putting off their education.

This is a leadership role and successful graduates emerge as decision-makers. Leadership is part of The DNA of construction managers. Therefore, those who aren’t comfortable supervising others and directing workflow may not be comfortable in this role. For those with natural leadership flair, this could be a very rewarding career path.

Construction managers have a lot of autonomy. For students who love independence and thrive on leadership roles, this is a great position. construction managers are problem solvers and entrepreneurs who must be able to motivate themselves and others and find unique solutions to sticky problems that arise on a daily basis.

In this field, continuous learning is a must. Intellectual growth is part and parcel of the position. This position challenges successful candidates to hone their problem-solving skills. It also requires a creative mind, and many practitioners find it deeply rewarding on both a professional and personal level.

With the right experience and a construction management masters, students can expect to move up quickly. Many CMs manage million-dollar projects at the beginning of their careers. Although this puts tremendous pressure on those new to the playing field, it also creates enormous opportunities for those with a gift for the job.

For students who like to travel, a masters in construction management can bring plenty of opportunities to see the country or the world. Projects can be based anywhere and those who are willing to travel will find themselves with plenty of work to do. This is particularly true for CMs who live in more remote areas. Often, construction managers stay on site for several weeks at a time. This can be difficult for those who have families left behind, but it can be a wonderful way to see the country.

After earning a degree in construction management, students can secure high paying jobs and enjoy job stability. Students learn even more on the job and develop a versatile skill set that becomes invaluable as their career progresses. For students who can solve problems and lead people and organizations, this is a great degree to have.

Accreditation for Construction Management Programs

It’s important to find a construction management degree online accredited by reputable regional and national bodies. For example, the American Council for Construction Education reviews construction management degrees at all levels, including masters degrees. They determine whether each program complies with the standards of excellence set by the ACCE.

Choose an online school with regional or national accreditation. The Council on Higher Education Accreditation approves accreditation bodies focusing in technical, distance learning or vocational education. All reputable schools within the United States have some kind of national or regional accreditation, proving that they meet the minimum standards set by the accrediting agency. Typically, schools receive a new evaluation every three to five years. As long as they continue to meet the requirements set by CHEA, they can renew their accreditation.

Schools with accredited national online construction management degrees may also achieve regional accreditation. Regional agencies consist of six bodies that oversee colleges and universities in their geographic area. Any of these agencies can declare regional accreditation or take it away. Regionally accredited institutions are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as well as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). When you visit a school’s website, it’s a good idea to look for their accreditation. Attending a school at the masters level, or any level for that matter, that does not have the appropriate accreditation can jeopardize your job prospects or your plans to pursue a doctoral degree.

Gaining a construction management degree online accredited by regional and national boards certifies that you have received a high quality education that many perspective employers covet. An accredited online construction management master’s degree accompanied by the appropriate job experience can land you a lucrative job as a construction manager.

Types of Construction Management Master’s Degrees

Online masters in construction management vary in structure and title. A construction management online masters may be called one of the following:

  • Master in Construction Engineering and Management
  • MSc Construction Project Management
  • Master in Construction Management and Information Systems
  • MSc in Construction and Project Management
  • Master of Science in Construction Management
  • Master in Project and Contract Management in Construction Works
  • Master of Construction Management (MCM)
  • MSc Project Management for Construction

There are many schools that offer a master of construction management online. When students pursue an online construction management masters, they can complete their coursework at their own pace and continue working. This is very important for this degree because professional experience plays such a huge role in landing the right job.

The field of construction will always go through boom-bust cycles, but the fact is, construction is a consistent element of the economy. People will always need buildings, roads and infrastructure to make their world work properly. In turn, the role of construction manager is always going to exist. Putting in the effort to educate yourself as a construction manager gives you an advantage when it comes to hiring. Employers in the construction fields will want to see on-the-job experience from a managerial candidate, but they also like to see formal education. Having a solid combination of the two helps you earn a higher salary and improves your career outlook over the course of your working life. 


Rather than opting for free construction certifications online, students might do better to participate in accredited construction certifications online. For instance, San Diego State University has a construction project management certificate. the program features an overview of project management principles as they relate to the best practices for the construction industry. Graduates become construction project managers and take part in every part of projects including planning and dealing with engineers and architects. They also budget using cost estimates and oversee the production stage of different builds. Cms also deal with owners and occupants during the initial part of the occupancy stage. Students who want to join the industry will learn much in this program and SDSU’s construction management certification is a potential goldmine for students with extensive construction experience.

Other types of certifications include construction safety certifications and construction management certification online. These certificates also position graduates well, depending on their undergraduate education and years of experience in construction.

Many colleges offer a certificate in construction management. With a construction management graduate certificate, students learn skills that are highly valued in the job market. A graduate certificate in construction management online includes crucial courses that specialize in construction management and leadership. These high responsibility roles require creative thinking and inspired leadership. Students who leave the program with these skills will do well in the industry. The school’s construction management graduate certificate online enjoys national accreditation recognized by perspective employers and doctoral programs across the country. The education platform is available around the clock, designed for career growth and attended by rising professionals.

CMAA Certification

The CMAA is another valued construction management certification. Although you can find free construction certifications online, you may want to take a paid program if you expect to receive professional recognition for completing it. CMAA certification is awarded by the Construction Manager Certification Institute. The CMCI oversees the credentials for this construction management certification. These construction certifications online are designed and modified by the group’s Board of Governors.

Many CMs obtain construction safety certifications. Safety is the number one priority at most job sites and attention to detail is a must for leaders in this field. There are free construction certifications online for safety and other specializations, but a paid construction management certification online can help you bolster your resume to get your first construction management job.

You will need a bachelor’s degree in construction or engineering to get into many graduate certificate in construction management programs. With a construction management graduate certificate, midcareer construction professionals can advance in their field. Choose a graduate certificate in construction management online administered by an accredited university. A construction management graduate certificate online allows for more flexibility than one taken on site.

Careers in Construction Management

There are many levels of jobs within the construction industry. For those looking for construction management jobs entry level, it may make sense to join a job site as a welder, construction worker or other lower level position. To get into a Masters or certificate level program, applicants typically have to show experience in construction management roles. it’s possible to pursue part-time careers in construction management while completing your degree to qualify for construction management degree jobs. Job in construction management require a broad skillset.

Here is an example of a construction management job description:

  • Supervise construction sites including general contractors and laborers to ensure safety and quality standards are met.
  • Create request for proposals and change orders for new and existing jobs.
  • Guarantee that workers adhere to policies and procedures.
  • Handle project documentation and ensure that contracts adhere to sound engineering practices.
  • guide project managers with required Technical Support.
  • Maintain project cost, track change controls and handle accounting related to construction management.
  • Create change orders that include estimates and help the project manager negotiate change orders with clients and owners.
  • Monitor updates, submittals and invoices for all projects.
  • Assist in reviewing construction schedules as related to actual progress.
  • Review reports on the status of different parts of the project that include potential changes and cost overruns.
  • Report the status of projects to clients and other stakeholders and attend client meetings as required.

Construction Job Title Hierarchy

There are lower, middle and higher levels of construction jobs. Job titles in construction management vary from location to location and company to company. However, with a masters in construction management jobs, Students can expect to meet the requirements of top construction manager jobsdescriptions.

Learn more about where a job in construction management falls in the hierarchy. Below, we begin with construction management jobs entry level before moving onto mid-level construction management roles. The higher the level of careers in construction management, the higher the salary. Also, construction management degree jobs at a higher level typically come with greater autonomy. Each student must decide which construction job title hierarchy is their final goal. Job titles in construction management matter because future employers will judge your worth by the amount of responsibility reflected in your job title.

With a masters in construction management jobs and many years of experience, students can shoot for higher level construction officer jobs. Please review the job levels was below to understand where each role fits into the hierarchy.

 Higher Level – Construction Officers

  • Safety Director
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
  • Senior Manager – Construction
  • Building Services Director
  • Chief Construction Officer

Middle Level – Construction Managers

  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Architect
  • Project Manager
  • Construction Assistant
  • Construction Coordinator
  • Building Services Engineer
  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Purchasing Coordinator
  • Structural Engineer
  • Building Inspector
  • Site Manager
  • Superintendent
  • Project Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Safety Manager

Lower Level – Skilled Workers

  • Apprentice
  • Construction Worker
  • Contract Manager
  • Carpenter
  • Concrete Labor
  • Construction Supervisor
  • Construction Manager
  • Crane Operator
  • Construction Foreman
  • Dry Wall Finisher
  • Contract Administrator
  • Estimator
  • Dry wall Installer
  • Equipment Operator
  • Electrician
  • Field Engineer
  • General Laborer
  • Iron Worker
  • Framing Carpenter
  • Inspector
  • Laborer
  • Joiner
  • Scheduler
  • Welder
  • Signal Worker
  • Roofer
  • Surveyor

Salary Expectations in Construction Management

Students may still wonder if a construction management degree is worth it. The only way to measure this is to consider the potential construction management degree salary. Below, we provide typical masters in construction management salary ranges according to 500 positions surveyed. This information comes from Salary.com’s research on a master of construction management salary.

A construction management salary with masters depends on items already mentioned, including your experience, level of education, and your specialization. For those wondering how to get into construction management, we recommend obtaining at least a few years of experience before beginning a masters program.

Is construction management stressful? Due to all the responsibility that falls in this role it can be very stressful. The safety of the crew, the schedule, satisfaction of the client and the final result all fall on the shoulders of the construction manager.

Typical Salaries

The salaries below are based on salary.com.

  • Average salary with a construction management degree: $75k
  • Senior Project Manager: $126k
  • Project Manager: $92k
  • Project Engineer: $71k
  • Construction Estimator: $65k
  • Assistant Project Manager: $65k

As you can see, a construction management degree salary can be lucrative on every level. in order to achieve a masters in construction management salary, students need to obtain a masters in construction management. With a master of construction management salary, Students can achieve real change in their lives and gain more responsibility and autonomy at work. Those seeking a construction management salary with masters have a lot to prove. If you’re wondering how to get into construction management, start by looking at accredited online program so that you can continue to gain experience in the field.

Is construction management stressful? Yes. Is construction management a good job? It can be very financially and professionally rewarding.

According to US news, people in this field can achieve significant upward mobility. There are many opportunities for construction managers in terms of salary and higher positions.

Due to the complex nature of this job, it typically involves a high level of stress and requires extreme flexibility in terms of daily activities and adaptability. The hours tend to be long and the work life balance can be tricky for the average construction manager.

Professional Organizations 

The Construction Management Association of America is one of the better-know construction management organizations. Joining a professional organization can help students network, keep up with new trends in the industry and look for internship opportunities.

The Construction Management Association of America is among the top construction management organizations. It promotes quality, safety, cost effectiveness and other standards in the industry. It also assists with professional development and certification.

Other construction manager organizations include:

  • American Institute of Constructors
  • American Builders and Contractors
  • Associated General Contractors of America

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl