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The many career prospects of a construction management graduate

September 19, 2022

Few degrees offer the income, flexibility, and career satisfaction of the Construction Management diploma. Which pathway will you take? Which opportunities most appeal?

One attractive feature of this field is that it offers the option to work on site with the professionals who actually construct buildings, or to work in an office in front of a computer in an area like sustainability. A sustainability consultant focuses on environmental issues and their relationship to building practices. Their work may include an analysis of a building’s energy consumption and that energy source’s environmental impact. They also identify practices within an organization that can be optimized to achieve sustainability. By advising clients on the most optimal choices, they focus environmental activism in a practical direction.

Construction superintendents, on the other hand, are all about the actual build. They are responsible for a project’s daily operations, and function as the construction manager. Usually working on-site, they schedule the various stages of construction and monitor each for quality and safety, which requires a familiarity with local regulations. Job functions also include hiring and creating work schedules for each person on the crew along with cost estimates for managers. Their responsibilities are broad, and they often negotiate subcontractor prices as well.

The construction manager often coordinates with a project manager, who monitors progress of the entire venture from a distance. This is a high stress job that involves making on-the-fly decisions as problems arise during the construction, yet hewing to deadlines. Project managers are also responsible for personnel safety in an inherently hazardous undertaking. This is one of the higher paying job titles available to construction management graduates, averaging over $110,000 annually.

If you have strong communication skills and enjoy problem-solving, marrying those strengths with a construction management degree can land you work as a construction field engineer. In this role, you will plan and develop projects within a construction project. Specializations include foundation analysis, structural inspection, and surveying. Many field engineers are self-employed — giving you an opportunity to build your own company if so inclined.

What else can you do with a construction management degree from Capitol Tech? For those with an accounting bent, starting as a cost estimator can lead to a position such as cost engineer or project controls specialist. Employed in these roles, you would develop and implement cost controls on a specific project.

A site engineer is active from the inception of a construction project, as they work collaboratively with the land surveyors and other professionals who choose site locations and designs suitable for them. 

But you are not limited to construction management per se, once you have the diploma. Allied industries also welcome the skills and knowledge represented by a degree in this field. Architectural agencies, specialty contractors and civil engineering firms may employ you to assist in their planning and design processes. Insurance companies and legal teams may profit from your knowledge and experience as they practice in their respective fields. And any firm that produces a product or markets to construction professionals may want to include an individual with a construction management background on their sales team.

In short, a degree in this expanding field offers, at a minimum, an above-average professional salary, and a wide variety of career paths. You’ve already made a wise choice at the inception of your career by choosing this occupation—now you only have to pick and choose your favorite opportunity!


Works cited:

10 best jobs for Construction Management Majors in 2022 - zippia. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2022, from https://www.zippia.com/construction-management-major/ 

8 construction management career paths (with average salaries and duties). Indeed Career Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/construction-management-career-paths 

Construction superintendent vs. project manager. LSU Online. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://online.lsu.edu/newsroom/articles/construction-superintendent-vs-project-manager/#:~:text=A%20construction%20superintendent%20supervises%20a,handling%20problems%20and%20making%20decisions

Field/Project Engineer. Field/Project Engineer | Careers in Construction. (2022, September 13). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://www.careersinconstruction.ca/en/career/fieldproject-engineer

Stress Management for Project Managers. Mechanical Services Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://www.metromech.com/blog/2016/01/stress-management-for-project-managers/#:~:text=Being%20a%20project%20manager%20in,of%20other%20negative%20side%20effects.