A Degree in Construction Management May Be Right for You

Were you a 12B combat engineer or a Seabee? Then the skills you learned in the field give you a head start toward a degree in Construction Management (CM).

CM professionals plan, budget, and supervise new building projects and can work on any number of endeavors from the construction of an apartment complex, to the installation of highways and public transportation infrastructure. Wherever there is new construction, there is a construction manager – especially on large scale, big-budget projects.

A typical day for a CM is varied and may consist of site visits, stakeholder meetings, planning and review, contract negotiation, and more. Sounds like a simple proposition for someone who built bridges in a warzone, doesn’t it?

Outlook for Construction Management Professionals

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for CM professionals is $95,000, but you can expect a starting salary of somewhere around $55,000.

  • Starting Salary – $55,000
  • Median Salary – $95,000

The field is expected to grow by 10% by 2028, which outpaces the national average of all industries by 5%.

CM professionals work in real estate development, architectural engineering, and building design management. Federal government agencies like the General Services Administration and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command also hire CM professionals. Be sure to indicate your Veterans’ Preference Points when applying to federal jobs.

Having a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most firms hiring CM professionals, but graduate level degrees will help increase your marketability. College Recon has put out a definitive article of military friendly colleges. To help you start your research, here are a few schools from that list which offer CM degrees. Be sure to double check your Joint Services Transcript (JST) to see if you might already have snuck a few extra credits in during your time in service.

Search GI Bill-approved schools offering degrees for careers in Construction Management.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management

Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences

Ohio State University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Construction Systems Management. Their program boasts developing managerial skills that will apply to the residential, commercial, and heavy construction sectors.

A typical course load includes mechanical and electrical systems courses, heavy construction courses, and other organizational courses including estimating, scheduling, and project management.

  • BAH Rate: $1,280
  • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
  • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
  • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
  • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
  • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

Texas A&M Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Texas A&M offers a BS in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management Track. Texas A&M is one of the country’s top civil engineering undergraduate programs. They started teaching civil engineering back in 1880!

The typical course load for any Civil Engineering degree is very math and science heavy.

  • BAH Rate: $1,331
  • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
  • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
  • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
  • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
  • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

University of Nebraska Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

The University of Nebraska offers a BS in CM with recent grads being employed at places like Black & Veatch, and Johnson Controls

A typical course load includes some physics, calculus, and statistics, but also incorporates law, health and safety, and interpersonal communications.

  • BAH Rate: $1,175
  • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
  • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
  • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
  • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
  • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: NO

Additional Schools with Bachelor’s in Construction Management

Master’s Degrees in Construction Management

University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering

USC offers a Masters in Construction Management and a well-rounded program that requires students to take courses in five different schools at USC including the business school, law school, and school of architecture. USC also offers an online option for this program.

Typical course load includes construction business, construction practices, and construction planning. Students are required to have classroom experience in engineering economy or business finance prior to applying.

  • BAH Rate: $3,005
  • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
  • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
  • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
  • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: NO
  • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: NO

Arizona State University School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment

ASU offers a Masters in CM which focuses on organizing, leading, and managing the building process as it relates to business and technology. This program is not an engineering degree, but students are expected to have a proficiency in pre-calculus and physics. ASU offers an online option for this degree as well.

Typical course load includes independent study in a variety of research areas including Asset Management, Building Energy Management, Sustainable Development, and more.

  • BAH Rate: $1,769
  • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
  • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
  • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
  • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
  • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

Depending on your learning strengths and career goals you can choose a path in CM that could be engineering heavy, or more in line with business management.

An Engineering Aide (EA) in the Seabees would be most closely aligned with a Construction Manager, but a Combat Engineer can easily translate their military skills into the field as well.

So, if you still have an interest in building things but are tired of doing all the heavy lifting, check out the programs above and start your next career in Construction Management.

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