There are a number of options for getting trained in construction project management. While formal training is not a prerequisite for working as a project manager in the construction field, completing a formal education program can certainly be beneficial to anyone who is promoted to a project management role, as well as others who want to work in this occupation.
Online Training Programs
Some online options are intended for experienced professionals while others are appropriate for people with less (or no) experience in the field.
University of Washington
The University of Washington (U of W) offers a fully online Certificate in Heavy Construction Project Management program. Enrollment is open to people who have both a Bachelor's degree and at least some professional experience working in the construction field. The program consists of four courses and is expected to take 11 months to complete. The cost is approximately $8,760.
Unlike most other similar programs, courses completed here can be applied to up to 12 hours of credit toward a few of the school's related online graduate degree programs, like Construction Engineering and Construction Management. Coordinate with the school prior to enrolling if you plan to utilize this option as specific pre-enrollment procedures must be followed.
San Diego State University
The College of Extended Studies at San Diego State University (SDSU) offers a fully online Construction Project Management Certificate program. This program is better suited to people looking for initial training to enter the occupation since there are no academic prerequisites or experience requirements.
The program consists of five courses, each of which is taught during an academic quarter. Assuming you take one class at a time, it will take five quarters (15 months) to complete, with short breaks between terms. You can expect to pay around $3,900 for the full program.
If you'd rather complete online courses through a company that specializes in project management training, then 4PM.com's Construction Project Management Certification program may be the right option for you. It also does not have any academic prerequisites or experience requirements.
This self-paced, fully online program includes two online courses, as well as individualized online coaching from someone who manages construction projects in the real world. Students can also schedule private video conferences with their instructors throughout their enrollment. It generally takes approximately 30 hours to complete all requirements. The program cost is $3,690.
If you live or work near an area where there is an in-person program, you may want to consider traditional classroom training instead of an online course. Class length and cost may vary significantly, so be sure to review all program requirements in detail before registering.
Pace University (New York)
Pace University in New York City periodically offers a Construction Project Management Certificate program through the school's Center for Professional Studies. This course is appropriate for people who are new to construction as well as those who are overseeing or working on construction projects as planners, engineers or designers.
The course meets all day (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for four consecutive Saturdays, making it a good option for busy professionals who live within driving distance of the campus and who are seeking training they can fit around their already busy work schedules. It costs around $600 and is designed to help participants "master the essentials of construction project management."
Kennesaw State University (Georgia)
Georgia's Kennesaw State University offers a Construction Project Management Certificate program through the university's College of Continuing and Professional Education. Enrollment is open to those who have a high school diploma (or equivalent) or can pass a basic skill assessment test.
The course meets at the Marietta campus in the Atlanta Metro and consists of six modules, all of which must be completed to earn the certificate. Classes meet on Fridays and Saturdays for six weeks, with one module being covered every week, requiring a total of twelve all-day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) sessions. The cost is just under $8,000.
Associated General Contractors (Various Locations)
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) offers a six-day Construction Project Manager Course (PMC) in major markets a few times each year. In 2016, the program was offered in Dallas and Atlanta. Previous construction experience is required to enroll. If you have a Bachelor's degree (or higher), you must have at leat two years of construction experience. If you do not have a degree, you must have six or more years of experience in the field.
Classes meet for six consecutive days in the specified location and cover "15 critical areas of project management that seasoned project managers tackle on a daily basis." The cost is just under $4,590 for AGC members and $5,370 for non-members.
Choosing the Best Program for You
It's not unusual for people with a successful track record working in construction to be promoted to a project manager role and learn how to do the job solely as a result of on-the-job training. However, if you are seeking formal training to help develop or advance your skills, there are plenty of options available.
The programs discussed here are just a few of the many options. To find out if there are more options in your local area, contact the closest AGC chapter and/or local institutions of higher learning that offer continuing education programs. If you are a member of a construction union, you should also check with them to see if they offer project management training.
When selecting a program, you'll need to consider how your experience compares to the admission requirements and what options work best with your schedule and career goals. Whether you are a seasoned professional in the field or if you're just getting started, there are excellent programs available to you.