Top 6 Construction Management Schools in the US

Insight - 58 Min read

April 16, 2024

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that from 2020 to 2030, the employment rate of construction managers is expected to grow 11% -- faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth and urbanization will continue to drive the position into higher demand.

In a top-paying position, a thorough and respectable education is necessary to secure a job upon graduating. As of May 2021, the average yearly salary for construction managers was $98,890. Higher demand comes with increased competition, so it's important to take the time to choose which institute is the right match.

In the US alone, there are over best colleges and 70 schools that offer construction management degree programs. However, there are quite a few that shine above the rest for more reasons than one. We dug in to see which academies currently have the best success with graduates and job placement.

1. Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Nationally renowned as an institute with many accreditations, Virginia Tech is a large public school located somewhere on the larger side. The motto of the school is "Ut prosim" -- "That I may serve." The college is often recommended for those seeking a degree in construction management, and for good reason.

Students coming out of VT are in a better position than most for finding higher-paying work early on. The university's history and vast network of connections place graduates in a fortuitous spot as long as they try to make ties while still in school.

Another appeal of Virginia Tech is its hands-on learning approach in many classes, immersing students early on in their chosen fields. Through their College of Engineering, construction management courses, students will experience situations where they can test their acumen before setting off on a career path.

Tuition: $24k in-state / $44k out of state

2. California Polytechnic State University

San Louis Obispo, CA

Located in sunny Southern California, the public college California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo has a steady track record for turning out successful graduates in their construction management degree.

Cal Poly San Louis Obispo enjoys a higher than the national average of women graduating with a bachelor's degree in their construction management program. They have been named the best public, master's level university for the 29th year straight by the US Best Colleges Guidebook.

Tuition for Cal Poly San Louis Obispo is also relatively low when compared with some of the other institutions on this list. In-state tuition drops so significantly, that it makes it a top choice for anyone living on or planning on relocating to the West coast.

Tuition: $6k in-state / $18k out of state

3. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT

For a not-for-profit private academy, Brigham Young University has a thriving student population. Their construction management bachelor's degree program is rated one of the highest in the country. Although a larger school, the construction management program is by contrast a smaller and more specialized department.

Students are provided with ample early career opportunities upon graduation from BYU. They sit in the top 10% nationally for the best construction management schools anywhere in the US, and it is the best option in the Midwest. The mean starting salary for graduates is over $60k.

There is no discount on tuition provided for in-state students, however, LDS members do benefit from greatly reduced rates due to the church's sponsorship of the school's campus itself.

Tuition: $34k

4. Wentworth Institute of Technology

Boston, MA

Wentworth boasts great statistics, with 97% of the graduating Class of 2019 being employed or in graduate school within 6 months. Graduates from WIT's construction management degree program earn nearly $10k on average above their colleagues. There is a faster growth rate for jobs acquired by those with Wentworth degrees as well.

The construction management degree is part of the College of Architecture at Wentworth, and as such receives the department's support. WIT even has the flexibility of online options in its construction management degree, which is rare for the field.

Costs per credit at WIT are higher than most on this list, sitting at an average of $1.1k. That being said, they are a respected private institution, and accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. Current President Thompson has even pledged to create an even more open and inclusive environment for the campus throughout his tenure.

Tuition: $36k

5. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

With a smaller pool of annual graduates, students of the construction management degree program at the UMN Twin Cities can focus. The school offers an extensive amount of internship and research opportunities for undergraduate students. Some of their coursework focuses on environmental health and safety through their construction management majors.

Its national reputation as a leading college in many sectors can open the door for graduates early on in their career paths. Their degree program is trusted and accredited by ABET through the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) criteria.

UMN also offers a unique perk for its students interested in taking lots of credits -- per semester, everything after the 13th credit is free.

Tuition: $29k in-state / $49k out of state

6. Clemson University

Clemson, SC

One of the best budget-friendly options on the East Coast, Clemson University graduates of the construction management degree program see early-career salaries similar to those of other schools on this list. With lower than average student debt, college has many benefits for the initial stages of the career path.

Job placement for graduates is extremely lucrative, with 100% of students landing work out of school. The program training is extensive, with labs and 800 hours of internship required. Students can even earn certifications from organizations like the AIC Constructor Certification Commission while still enrolled.

For those living in or willing to relocate to South Carolina, tuition rates are significantly lower for students in-state. This makes the school (conditionally) one of the most affordable options on our list.

Tuition: $14k in-state / $37k out of state

Here's a table summarizing the information on the top 6 construction management schools in the US based on the provided article:

These schools are selected based on their reputation, success rate of graduates, tuition fees, and additional features like hands-on learning, strong industry connections, and internship opportunities.

A Demanding Job That's In Demand Now

Construction managers are involved in the entire construction process, of the projects they're assigned, and wholly responsible for their success. This challenging yet rewarding position provides opportunities for growth within the industry and lucrative career advancements.

There are certainly different pathways to becoming a construction manager, but having a bachelor's degree in the field is entirely necessary for the current market. Firms generally hire new-to-the-field managers with degrees and then train them in their way of doing things.

Many varied career paths open up with a construction management degree: residential and non-residential building construction, specialty trade contractor, civil engineering construction, and plenty others.

Construction Management Colleges: A Path to Success

Construction management is a dynamic and challenging field, requiring a diverse skill set that encompasses project planning, budgeting, resource management, and effective communication. This makes choosing the right college for your construction management education a critical decision. The best construction management colleges provide students with a well-rounded education that equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in this competitive industry.

Key Factors That Define the Best Construction Management Colleges

Comprehensive Curriculum: The best construction management colleges offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of construction management. From project scheduling and budgeting to risk assessment and sustainability, students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for real-world challenges.

Experienced Faculty: The faculty at these colleges often consists of experienced professionals who bring industry expertise to the classroom. This practical knowledge is invaluable in shaping the next generation of construction managers.

Research Opportunities: Many top construction management colleges are affiliated with public research institutions. This association with public research institution provides students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research related to construction materials, construction science, and environmental science. It allows students to delve deeper into the field and contribute to industry advancements.

Public University Resources: Several of the best construction management colleges are part of public universities. This affiliation provides access to a wide range of resources, from state-of-the-art facilities and online programs to extensive libraries. Public university campuses offer an enriching environment for learning and growth.

Industry Connections: These colleges often have strong connections with the construction industry. This translates into internships, co-op programs, and networking opportunities that help students build connections and gain practical experience before they graduate.

Arizona State University (ASU) is one such public institution that stands out as a premier choice for construction management education. ASU offers a robust construction management program that covers a wide spectrum of topics, including project management, construction technology, and sustainable building practices. Their program equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful new construction managers.

Why Construction Management Colleges Matter?

The construction industry is continually evolving, and the demand for skilled construction managers is on the rise. Construction management colleges play a pivotal role in preparing students to excel in this dynamic field. Choosing the best construction management college sets the foundation for a successful career in construction management.

When aspiring to become a construction manager, it's essential to select the right educational institution. The best construction management colleges offer a comprehensive education, experienced faculty, research opportunities, public university resources, and strong industry connections. These factors, combined with a dedicated commitment to the field, ensure that graduates are well-prepared to excel in the challenging world of construction management.

Construction Management Program: Shaping Future Leaders in the Industry

The field of construction management is dynamic, constantly evolving to meet the demands of a growing and ever-changing industry. With the world's infrastructure needs increasing, the role of construction managers has become more critical than ever. In response to these demands, construction management programs have emerged as vital educational pathways to train future leaders and professionals in the field.

Understanding the Role of Construction Management

Construction management is the discipline of effectively planning, coordinating, and overseeing a construction project from conception to completion. It encompasses a wide range of tasks, from budgeting and scheduling to business management, resource allocation and quality control. These professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the client's satisfaction.

The Importance of a Construction Management Program

In the complex world of construction, proper training and education are essential. A construction management program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to excel in this field. These programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers various aspects of construction management, including project planning, construction management major cost estimation, risk management, and communication.

Construction Management Students: The Next Generation of Industry Leaders

Students pursuing a degree in construction management are the future of the industry. They represent a diverse group of individuals with a passion for the built environment and a commitment to making construction projects more efficient, sustainable, and successful. Let's delve deeper into the world of construction management students and the role they play in shaping the industry's future.

Characteristics of Construction Management Students

  1. Passion for Building: Construction management students are drawn to the field by a genuine passion for construction. They have a deep appreciation for the process of transforming architectural plans into tangible structures.

  2. Problem-solvers: In a field where challenges are the norm, construction management students are natural problem-solvers. They thrive on finding innovative solutions to complex issues that arise during construction projects.

  3. Strong Work Ethic: The construction industry demands hard work and dedication, and students in construction management programs are known for their strong work ethic. They understand the importance of meeting deadlines and staying on budget.

  4. Team Players: Collaboration is a key component of construction management. Students in these programs are trained to work effectively in diverse teams, bridging the gap between architects, engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders.

  5. Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in construction management. Students are taught to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner, ensuring that all team members are on the same page.

The Role of Construction Management Students

As the industry continues to evolve, construction management students are at the forefront of shaping its future. They contribute to the field in several ways:

  1. Innovative Solutions: Students bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table. They are open to adopting new technologies and methodologies, driving innovation within the industry.

  2. Sustainability: Many construction management students are deeply committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. They advocate for eco-friendly practices in construction and work to reduce the industry's carbon footprint.

  3. Adaptation: In an industry known for its adaptability, students learn to navigate change effectively. They are equipped with the skills to embrace new trends and technologies, ensuring that construction projects remain competitive and efficient.

  4. Leadership: Construction management programs groom students for leadership roles. They learn to manage teams, make critical decisions, and take on responsibility for project success.

The Future of Construction Management

The construction management industry is experiencing a generational shift as students enter the workforce. These future leaders will play a vital role in shaping the industry's direction, implementing sustainable practices, and embracing innovative technologies. Their commitment to quality, efficiency, and sustainability ensures that the field continues to thrive and meet the evolving needs of society. Construction management programs are the gateway to developing these competent and dedicated professionals who will lead the industry into a prosperous future.

At Boom & Bucket, we care about established trust and value in the construction industry. We know that quality comes full circle, with education and equipment alike. Contact us with any questions and concerns at

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