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Mechanical and Civil EngineeringConstruction Management | Engineering Management

What is Construction Management

Training for a Leadership Role in the Construction Industry 

Construction managers (CMs) plan, coordinate, budget and supervise construction projects from development through to completion. To be successful, they must understand the basic science that underlies the engineering design of the project, and to that add the business aspects of hiring and managing the production works and logistics of materials acquisition.

What is construction management compared to engineering? Unlike engineering skills which are highly specialized, the construction manager’s knowledge base must include a working knowledge of all the disciplines one encounters in a construction project such as civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. 

In terms of the working environment, what is construction management all about? Construction management is like a team sport such as football, where the construction manager is the quarterback. The work is primarily out of doors, with some office work associated with planning, but on the construction site there are a lot of moving parts that need constant attention, control and on-the-spot adjustments to keep the work flowing in an efficient manner toward timely completion. 

Construction managers are involved in a wide variety of projects such as roads, bridges, commercial buildings, shopping centers and residential homes. Frequently they even serve as consultants to developers and builders on construction related issues.

What is construction management on a day-to-day basis?

  • Preparation of cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
  • Collaboration with architects, engineers, and other construction specialists
  • Management of contracts and communication regarding specifications
  • Preparing status reports and budget matters for the owner
  • Selecting, scheduling, and coordinating subcontractor activities on each phase of the project such as structural foundation, plumbing, or electrical work
  • Responding to work delays, emergencies, or other problems
  • Complying with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations of the city, state, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Graduates from Florida Tech enter the industry with the expertise they need to perform these duties, no matter the type of career path they choose. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities are projected to remain solid through 2022, as population and business growth spur construction of new residences, office buildings, retail stores, medical facilities and schools.

What is construction management job opportunity expected to be in the future?

The expectation is for green building techniques, new standards for the conservation of materials and energy efficiency to continue to influence the way structures are built. Construction managers will need to incorporate these methods into projects that involve retrofitting old buildings as well as erecting new structures under these guidelines. As construction processes and building technology becomes more complex with the use of robotics and ever more sophisticated technologies, the demand for environmental protections, new regulations, project coordination, oversight and understanding will all be part of the specialized expertise demanded of a construction manager. 

What is construction management professional accreditation?

Professional construction managers can pursue professional accreditation in several ways. 

  • CCM: Certified Construction Manager. The Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI), an independent administrative body of the Construction Management Association of America, administers this process. Certification is aimed at improving professional practice and recognizing individuals who demonstrate knowledge and experience essential to the practice of professional construction management. Construction owners increasingly recognize the importance of having a certified construction manager (CCM) leading their teams. More information about qualifications and the certification process is available from the Construction Management Association of America.  
  • In addition to the CCM certification, graduates of the Florida Tech construction management program often pursue licensing as a General Contractor (GC). In most states, this GC license is a state requirement for anyone who seeks to own and operate a construction company. Requirements vary but may involve background checks, documented field experience and passing state exams. A construction management degree often reduces field experience requirements. Contact information for state licensing authorities is available on our state licensing information page. It is the responsibility of all students to stay informed about any requirements or regulations pertaining to construction managers and general contractors in the state and locale in which they plan to work.
  • Lastly, professional accreditation as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a popular choice for Florida Tech graduates. More information about education, experience and exam requirements for this credential is available on the PMI website.