10 Best Online Construction Management Trade Schools in 2024

Construction projects, no matter the size or setting, are complex and require specialized skills to ensure that they are completed within the budget and timeframe as requested by the owner. Various kinds of skilled workers and professionals need to coordinate to perform various tasks promptly and safely.

This is where construction managers are needed!


If you’re interested in a fulfilling career in construction management, this article is for you.

We have listed the best Construction Management trade schools that will provide you with excellent quality training that will prepare you for a rewarding career in the field.

We used the following criteria to come up with the best trade schools and community colleges that offer online, hybrid, or in-person certificate or apprenticeship programs that will train Construction Managers who are confident and competent to lead a construction project to success:

  • Features Construction Management courses that are offered fully online, partly web-based, or in-person to give students the option to customize their schedule and ensure it fits their lifestyle or other commitments,
  • Offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers construction planning and scheduling, cost management, conflict negotiation management, and sustainable practices, to name a few,
  • Features classes and lab work facilitated by experienced instructors who have years of experience in construction management,
  • Offers coursework and practical training opportunities to allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge in simulated or real-world scenarios that help enhance their skills,
  • May prepare students for academic Construction Management degrees,
  • Provides networking opportunities with industry professionals and relevant organizations to enhance their employability after completing the program,
  • Provides financial aid to qualified students,
  • Has proper accreditation from the Construction Management Association of America (CMMA), the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and other reputable colleges and school commission bodies to ensure compliance with educational and industry standards.

Top 10 Construction Management Trade Schools

University of Houston

University of Houston
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Online Delivery Method: Online, Self-Paced
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 1 year
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, B-On-Time Loan, College Access Loan, Parent Federal PLUS Loans, Perkins Loan, William D. Ford Direct Loan, Work-Study Program, Summer Aid, Spring Aid, Cougar Emergency Fund, Alternative Loans

The University of Houston offers a Construction Management Professional Certificate program that provides students with the essential theoretical foundation and valuable skills to help them advance in their careers.

This CM certificate program provides practical know-how on project management, scheduling, contract administration, estimating, and project control. It helps them to transition to Construction Management jobs, including construction/field engineers, field superintendents, estimators, schedulers, construction/project managers, or contract administrators.

CM students are required to complete four online, self-paced courses that feature assignments, online quizzes, instructional videos, discussions, and live support from experienced faculty members. The required online courses include the following:

  • Construction Management Principles
  • Contract Administration
  • Cost Analysis Bidding
  • Project Planning & Management

After completing the certificate program, students will earn a Certificate Diploma/digital badge from the university’s Department of Construction Management. They will be able to earn 16 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), equivalent to 160 instructional hours. They will also be eligible to sit down for future licensing examinations, including the Associate Contractor or Certified Professional Contractor offered by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC).

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles - Extension
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Online Delivery Method: Online/In-Person
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 1-2 years
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Training, AmeriCorps Education Award, Military and Veterans Aid Programs, UCLA Extension Grants

The University of California, Los Angeles has a certificate in Construction Management program that provides students with a rigorous, comprehensive, and up-to-date curriculum that covers all aspects and practical principles of the field. This program is available fully online or in-person in their Westwood or Downtown Los Angeles campus.

This CM program is designed for construction professionals and engineers who are looking to advance in their careers through formal construction management training. This is also ideal for those who are currently working in the field and are looking to transition to leadership or managerial positions. Moreover, the CM program is for professionals who wish to focus on specific aspects of the field of construction.

Through this program, students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of essential construction methodologies and materials. They will learn how to manage construction job sites from a contractor’s point of view. They will be taught to identify possible legal implications of contractors from the customer’s or supplier’s side.

This program will also teach learners about preparing project schedules using MS Project, Primavera, and other applications. Students will learn to furnish the owner with project cost estimates for labor, equipment, subcontractors, and materials. More importantly, they will learn to read and interpret construction blueprints.

This CM certificate program will also prepare students for the state exam by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to become a licensed contractor.

University of California, Davis

University of California, Davis
  • Location: Davis, California
  • Online Delivery Method: Online
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 1 year
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Student Loans, Job Training Funds, Veterans Education Benefits, AmeriCorps Education Award, Scholarships, Grants

The University of California, Davis offers the only Construction Management certificate program in the Sacramento area. This program is taught by well-respected veterans in the industry and provides students with the real-world education needed, which includes the business, managerial, and technical aspects of the career.

Through this program, students will become adept in reading and applying blueprints from conceptual drawings to the final phase of construction. They will tackle topics on contract administration, bidding rules, liabilities, and more. They will also know how to identify legal issues that may arise during the construction project.

CM students will be taught the basics of construction accounting and the importance of having strong financial management skills in the industry. In this regard, they will examine best practices for risk management and internal controls. Moreover, they will learn about the methods and processes for generating accurate estimates using the latest tools.

Required courses include:

  • Construction Project Management: Bid and Beyond
  • Construction Plan Reading & Specifications
  • Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control

Liberty State University

Liberty State University
  • Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Online Delivery Method: Online
  • Time It Takes to Complete: undisclosed
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Federal Loans, Private Loans, Grants, Work-Study Programs, Entering Freshman Scholarships, Transfer Student Scholarships, TOPS, and Other Scholarships

Liberty State University’s College of Engineering’s Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management and LSU Online offers the Undergraduate Certificate in Construction Management program. It provides learners with the fundamental understanding and valuable skills needed to successfully enter the field without having to earn a full bachelor’s degree.

This CM certificate program covers topics such as construction methods and materials, safety, and sustainability. They will learn about the latest billing software, scheduling tools, and technologies from certified online instructors who are leaders in the field.

Students will be taught how to interpret construction documents and apply them in managing construction projects. They will gain the necessary skills to estimate costs and quantities for the bidding process. They will be able to understand the fundamentals of codes, contracts, and regulations that govern construction projects. Moreover, they will have a strong foundational knowledge of the principles and ethics in the industry.

Courses required for this CM certificate program include:

  • Construction Estimating
  • Construction Materials and Methods
  • Introduction to Construction Management
  • Company Strategic Planning

San Diego State University

San Diego State University
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Online Delivery Method: Online
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 5 months (minimum completion time)
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: None

San Diego State University’s Professional Certificate in Construction Management program teaches learners how to become leaders on the job site. This program is designed for those who are already part of the construction management industry or looking to have a foothold.

This CM certificate program provides students with an all-encompassing overview of construction management best practices and principles that can be readily used to take on higher-level management positions and new challenges on the job site. This program has no prerequisite, allowing interested students to take any online construction courses.

SDSU’s professional certificate program in construction management combines highly relevant lesson plans and case studies that provide them with real-world knowledge to tackle site-related issues and questions.

Through this program, learners will have a solid knowledge of project management principles, project planning, and scheduling. They will also learn how to use and manage various types of equipment and building methods.

Core courses include:

  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Construction Project Management
  • Practical Application of Construction Law
  • Building Green Buildings: The Contractor’s Perspective

University of San Diego

University of San Diego Professional and Continuing
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Online Delivery Method: Online, Safe-Paced
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 5 years
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Marcia Sue Rathfon Scholarship

The University of San Diego is one of the top schools that offer a Construction Project Management Certificate program online. It features five courses that will provide students with a strong foundation for efficient construction management.

This program provides students with a comprehensive overview of construction project management best practices and principles that will expand their know-how and skills, giving them a competitive edge. Learners are required to complete five courses with a final grade of at least C.

These are the five required courses for this program:

  • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Construction Project Management
  • Scope, Schedule, Cost, and Quality Management
  • Resource, Communications, Risk, and Procurement Management
  • Stakeholder & Financial Management & Health, Safety & Security

These courses provide students with a comprehensive overview of project management methodology, terminology, best practices, and principles. They will learn through case studies, simulation of real-world construction projects, and discussion. They will also be taught about managing risks, resources, and stakeholder relations. Plus, they will be able to develop their communication and presentation skills.

University of Washington

University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education
  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Online Delivery Method: Online, In-Person
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 9 months
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: UW Certificate Scholarship, Rotary Scholarship, WEL Certificate Scholarship, Refugee & Immigrant Scholarship

The Certificate in Construction Management offered by the University of Washington will take people’s construction careers to the next level. This program is designed for managers who can tackle complex projects and monitor moving parts efficiently. It is also for those who are looking to advance in their careers in this dynamic field.

UW’s CM certificate program features a curriculum that offers a comprehensive coverage of all major aspects of construction management. It includes specialized training budgeting, scheduling, project planning, quality control, contracts and staff development, and safety. Students learn from construction managers with years of experience and then be able to apply their theories through a project for their professional portfolio.

CM students will learn about the practices and principles of managing and planning construction projects. They will be taught about the techniques for commercial cost estimation, methods for developing a personal estimation manual, and accident prevention techniques.

Ashworth College

Ashworth College
  • Location: Norcross, Georgia
  • Online Delivery Method: Online
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 6 months to 1 year
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: None

At Ashworth College, those who are interested in gaining job-ready skills for the construction industry can enroll in its Construction Management certificate program. This undergraduate certificate program is an excellent step to take toward having a competitive edge in this competitive field. It also shows graduates’ specialized knowledge in the field of construction management, ensuring they are more than capable of taking high-responsibility roles.

This program will build students’ strong foundational skills that will help prepare them to excel in the world of construction management. They will learn about construction project management, allocating resources to projects, and other valuable skills. They will know how to identify the primary design considerations and regulations used to create compliant and safe building plans and drawings.

Students will need to choose elective courses including:

  • Introduction to Construction
  • Construction Management
  • Construction Materials and Methods
  • Safety Planning and Administration
  • Cost Estimating

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Online Delivery Method: Online; On Campus
  • Time It Takes to Complete: undisclosed
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Pell Grants, SEOG, MAP Grant, First-Year Student Scholarships, International Undergraduate Student Scholarships, Dimiter Etimov Endowed Scholarship, Federal Work-Study

Illinois Institute of Technology’s Construction Management Certificate program requires at least four courses on construction methods, construction site operations, construction contract administration, and cost estimation.

This program prepares students for fulfilling careers in the construction management industry, including cost estimators, first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, construction managers, and construction and building inspectors. They will gain valuable skills, including construction communications management, leadership, and project management.

Lamar University

Lamar University
  • Location: Beaumont, Texas
  • Online Delivery Method: Online
  • Time It Takes to Complete: minimum of 6 months
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Lamar Promise, B-On Time Loan, Federal Student Loans, Scholarships, Work-Study Program, Grants

Those who are looking to successfully enter the field of construction should consider enrolling in Lamar University’s Certificate in Construction Project Management program. This undergraduate program will prepare future construction managers to deliver competitive, safe, and timely construction projects.

This certificate program in construction project management will teach students about construction project planning, scheduling, and management to better manage construction projects and avoid legal and safety implications. They will have the option to learn about additional sustainability or estimation practices. Plus, they will know how to navigate industry-utilized software Primavera P6 and HeavyBid in real-world settings.

Core courses for Lamar University’s Construction Project Management program include:

  • Advanced Construction Planning and Scheduling
  • Advanced Construction Project
  • Construction Cost Management
  • Sustainable Practices in Construction
  • Conflict and Negotiation Management in Construction
Online Construction Management Trade Schools - fact

What Is Construction Management?

In essence, construction management is all about providing a project owner with professional and effective management services to ensure the construction project’s cost, function, quality, schedule, scope, and safety. In other words, it is a specialized field of project management that involves the coordination and supervision of a wide range of construction activities to ensure success.

A construction manager’s responsibility is to the project owner and the success of the project, no matter the setting. They represent the owner’s interests and provide the project’s oversight directly for the owner. They work with various parties, including the architect or engineer and general contractor to ensure that the project is delivered at or under budget and on time. Moreover, they need to ensure that risks are mitigated by controlling the project’s budget, quality, and schedule.

9 Duties and Obligations of a Construction Manager

A construction manager (CM) may be an independent contractor or a hired employee of a construction management firm. A general contractor may also act as a CM to perform both consultation during the design phase and actual construction work. They have undergone extensive training, gained technical knowledge and skills, and accumulated years of experience in building codes, construction methodologies, and drawings.

These are the most common duties and obligations of a construction manager, for which trade schools offering Construction Management programs can offer the relevant skills:

  1. Act as a representative of the owner, ensuring there are no communication gaps between architects, engineers, designers, and contractors to streamline the delivery of the project.
  2. Serve as an advisor or consultant to the owner for the entire construction process without directly engaging but providing expert advice to assist with decision-making.
  3. Provide input to ensure that the project is feasible and balanced against other factors, such as schedule and budget, allowing the contractor to recommend alternative methods or materials to ultimately reduce the total cost of the project through value engineering.
  4. Solicit bids from subcontractors during the design phase to ensure the owner is able to establish a guaranteed price for the project.
  5. Ensure the logistical requirements of a construction project are met on time and on/under budget.
  6. Set objectives, responsibilities, and targets for all supervised staff.
  7. Review timeline, budget, labor, risk, and project plans to ensure the project stays on track.
  8. Conduct site visits to check materials, ensure workers are performing their respective tasks, and inspect the progress of the project to ensure that all timelines and health and safety guidelines are followed.
  9. Provide progress reports regularly to the owner, third parties, and other stakeholders to ensure they are kept up-to-date throughout the project.

Construction Management Industry and Job Outlook

It is estimated that there are around 303,220 employed construction managers in the nation.

These are the industries with the highest employment levels of construction managers:

  • Nonresidential building construction
  • Residential building construction
  • Building equipment contractors
  • Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
  • Utility system construction
  • Land subdivision
  • Highway, street, and bridge construction
  • Other heavy and civil engineering construction

The industries that offer the highest salaries to CMs include:

  • Pipeline transportation and natural gas – $249,960
  • Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing – $179,400
  • Oil and gas extraction – $178,730
  • Metal ore mining – $168,860
  • Computer systems design and related services – $167,110

Construction managers in the United States earn a median annual salary of $101,480 or $48.79 per hour. This is one of the reasons why construction management is a lucrative and rewarding career choice.

Another reason that makes construction management quite popular is that its employment is estimated to grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for other occupations. This translates to 38,700 job openings every year, on average, until 2032.

Students may decide on pursuing a Construction Management degree program, with the vocational training giving them the foundational skills! With a Construction Management program at the bachelor’s level, future professionals can enrich their academic portfolio. An online Construction Management degree qualifies them for higher-level opportunities and may take at least four years to complete.

FAQs about Online Construction Management Trade Schools

Can a certificate in Construction Management qualify graduates for a bachelor’s degree?

Most colleges and universities offer construction education certificate programs that award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for non-credit and non-degree programs that improve the knowledge and skills of working adults. CEUs can be used toward online construction management program options and continuing education programs, especially for professions that require a license.

This means that graduates of a Construction Management certificate program can go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field. With an academic-focused degree in Construction Management education, Construction Management students get transfer credit for the units they have enrolled in.

Can anyone who doesn’t have any background in Construction Management qualify to enter this program?

Yes, anyone can enroll in a certificate program in Construction Management, even without any background in Construction Management. However, it is an advantage to be working in the construction industry because that means they already have a solid foundation in the field.

What are the certifications Construction Management graduates need to have?

To increase job prospects, graduates of a Construction Management certificate program can apply for several professional licenses and certifications.

For more valuable information, see the following: