How to Learn About Construction Management


construction manager working on site
When you drive past a construction site, you probably notice a lot of activity with lots of workers in action. From heavy equipment to hammers, saws, and welders, the scene is full of activity. But what you may not realize is that among all those people is someone holding it all together. Construction Managers start behind the scenes to plan, budget, and hire for the job. And they’re there from start to finish to make sure every project gets safely done, on time, on budget, to exact specifications. If this role sounds like one you might want to explore, there are multiple ways to begin. You can read about the profession, get onsite, join a construction management organization, attend conferences, or pursue a degree to acquire the full set of skills you’ll need to build a career.

What You Need to Know to Work as a Construction Manager

There is much you need to know to be a Construction Manager. You need to understand construction materials and methods, project management, blueprints, cost estimates, budgets, mechanical and electrical systems, safety and building codes, leadership and people management, HR rules, and more.

Acquire a Degree in Construction Management

Because there is so much to learn, a degree program can provide you with the foundation to build your career in construction management. An associate degree can get you started, but a bachelor’s degree in construction management will provide you with more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the field and the opportunities within construction management.

Amount the subjects you can expect to be covered are:

  • Construction Materials and Methods
  • Construction Documents and Graphics
  • Building Codes and Inspection
  • Cost Estimating
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Construction Safety
  • Laws and Contracts
  • Mechanical and Electrical Systems
  • Productivity and Cost Control
  • Construction Equipment Operations
  • Green Building Trends and Technology
  • Project Management and Administration

Embrace Skills That Will Transfer to Construction Management

Even if you’ve never set foot on a construction site, you probably already possess skills and knowledge that could help you prepare for a construction management career. Skills like communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and problem solving all transfer well to construction management. Maybe you’re familiar with purchase orders and budgets from a previous job. Or maybe you acquired some knowledge by watching homes and high-rises pop up where you live. The more you’re willing to absorb information, the more you’ll find ways to learn skills that will transfer into the construction industry.

Gain Field Experience in Construction

On-the-job experience, at whatever level you can perform it, is another way to learn about how construction projects are run. Whether through an internship, apprenticeship, or paid position, real-world experience gives you the chance to watch and learn from seasoned professionals. You can find these opportunities through online job boards, on construction company websites, or through industry organizations.

Join a Construction Organization

Industry organizations such as the Construction Management Association of America provide opportunities for networking and education, which are two important tools in your construction manager’s toolbox. As a member of the CMAA, you can participate in courses and training as well as live webinars that cover important topics in the construction industry. You can become a Certified Construction Manager and earn a credential that’s recognized throughout the industry. You also gain access to the members-only postings for jobs and internships. And you also get to connect with other members through training and live conferences to enhance your professional network.

Keep Up with Construction Trends

The more you research, read, and pay attention to what’s going on in the industry, the better you’ll understand the field and all that might affect it. If you become a member of the CMAA, you can find industry news on their website. You can find important info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as publications such as Construction Executive. You can listen to construction podcasts and read blogs that discuss the latest happenings in your field. And you can keep up with local and regional news that will tell you what events might have an impact on construction management. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to know, and always something new around the bend.

Are you ready to learn? National American University offers an associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree in construction management, along with a certificate program. All three programs are completely online so you can incorporate all your methods of learning while you earn your degree or certificate. Call 800-209-0182 or click learn more now.


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