Obtaining an MBA in construction management is a great deal of work, but the long-term rewards can be substantial. Graduates will have a choice of several potentially lucrative careers, all of which have a positive outlook for growth over the next several years. Here are just a few of the careers suitable for construction MBA graduates, with September 2019 salary data from PayScale.
Average salary: $75,760 per year; $121,000 for earners in the top 10th percentile
Construction managers are typically responsible for supervising projects from beginning to end. They have to plan the project and set the budget. Not surprisingly, a job with this level of responsibility requires construction managers to wear a lot of hats.
For example, not only do managers have to prepare estimates for the cost of a project, they also need to set a timetable for completion. Managers have to be able to explain complex technical information to clients, as well as collaborate with engineers, architects and other specialists.
Managers will usually work on several different types of projects. They may oversee the building of a road or bridge, or they may be responsible for the construction of homes or commercial buildings. Whatever the size or scope of a project, the manager is responsible for ensuring timely completion within budget.
The future looks bright for construction managers. Employment in the field of construction management is projected to grow 11% in the U.S. by 2026 primarily due to continued expansion in construction activity over the next few years, and management professionals will be needed to oversee these projects.
The population will continue to grow and, as a result, more homes, schools, office buildings and other structures will be needed. In many areas of the country, existing buildings will need to be retrofitted in order to make them more energy efficient.
Another reason the future of the construction management profession looks so promising is that roads, bridges and other infrastructure nationwide will need to be repaired or replaced to accommodate the expected growth in population.
Average salary: $116,096 per year; $149,000 for earners in the top 10th percentile
This is a lucrative, challenging field. Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for producing the plans dictating how a construction project will be designed and solving any technical issues that arise before the project is completed. As with just about all management positions, architectural and engineering managers also have to set budgets, hire staff, supervise work and more.
Managers must have a detailed knowledge of all the components in a construction project. Those working on infrastructure project, such as a roads and bridges, should be intimately familiar with the various components. They should have electrical expertise in addition to structural and mechanical expertise.
Staying up to date on the latest design software, reading industry publications, and joining professional networking organizations are essential for construction managers looking to thrive in the field.
Overall, the architectural and engineering management profession is projected to grow 6% by 2026. However, that growth could increase by as much as 13% in the engineering services industry. High demand is expected in consulting firms that work with engineering companies on projects such as commercial buildings and infrastructure construction.
Real Estate Development Management
Average salary: $92,585 per year; $148,000 for earners in the top 10th percentile
A real estate development manager's main responsibility is to ensure development runs smoothly on a daily basis. Managers are responsible for the growth of the development as well. This position typically entails working with both present and potential tenants, making sure to provide timely answers to questions.
Real estate development managers also have to be able to predict the future, so to speak. They must be able to spot and forecast industry trends, putting the development in the best possible position to take advantage. For example, they need to analyze large volumes of data in order to identify potential expansion opportunities. This includes market data, demographic data, economic data and more.
This position is expected to grow 10% by the year 2026. One factor driving this growth is the rising number of single-family homes. Developments will also be needed for people who want to live in condominiums and apartments, and the number of senior housing developments is also projected to rise.
These are just a few of the positions available for graduates of an MBA in construction management. The road will be hard, and it will take a great deal of commitment, but those who obtain an MBA will be well-positioned to pursue potentially lucrative careers.
Learn more about Boise State University's online MBA in Construction Management.
Sources:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers
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