How to Enroll in a Construction Management Program near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Once you have chosen to obtain a degree in construction management near Tuscaloosa AL, the next step is to start looking for the ideal school and program. There are a number of things to consider when selecting a college or vocational school, so it’s vital to have your list of qualifications ready prior to initiating the process. Often potential students first look for colleges that are closest to their home. Then, out of those colleges they target the ones that have the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are 2 critical issues when selecting a construction management school, they are not the sole ones. Additional ones, for example reputation and accreditation can be similarly as important. The bottom line is that you have to assess and compare all of the qualifications of each college you are reviewing so that you enroll in the best one for your needs and career objectives. Toward that end, we will examine what several of those qualifications are. But first, let’s discuss what is involved in training to become a construction manager.
Degrees Available in Construction Management
Construction management, by definition, is the planning, coordination and control of a construction project from start to finish. There are several choices offered to earn a construction management degree. Specialized training at the graduate and undergraduate levels is also provided with certificate programs. The more advanced the degree, the more the student will delve deeper into the financial and business aspect of construction. Following are a few short descriptions of the different types of credentials that are offered in Tuscaloosa AL.
- Certificate Programs are normally completed in 1 year and furnish specialized training. They may be beneficial for individuals with either experience or a degree who are looking for a credential to boost their career in a certain area.
- Associate Degrees are two year programs that provide a strong foundation in the rudimentary concepts of construction. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to apply. The credit hours can usually be applied to an undergraduate degree upon completion.
- Bachelor’s Degrees progress from the core studies of the Associate Degree to the managing of more complex construction projects. Typically they are four year programs that involve both general education as well as construction management courses.
- Master’s Degrees are 2 year programs requiring a Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field. They offer more detailed skill sets and knowledge than the lower level degrees. Master’s Degrees will help train managers for upper level or management positions, focusing on such topics as marketing, financial planning, and real estate development.
Many Tuscaloosa AL employers usually look for a Bachelor’s Degree or higher when filling a construction management position. That does not imply that the Associate Degree is not a practical credential. Earning an Associate Degree is a good way to gain a foundational education that can help launch your career in such areas as construction contracting and cost estimation. After your career is secured you can always go back to school to earn a more advanced degree later.
Construction Management Licensing and Certification Requirements
There are several organizations that offer construction management certifications, which assess the knowledge and experience of individuals applying. A large number of Tuscaloosa AL employers not only require a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited program, but also certification from a reputable organization, for example the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). Several of the qualifications that certification can vouch for are
- Formal training
- Field experience
- Demonstrated ability
A number of states have licensing prerequisites for construction managers or contractors. Of those calling for licensing, several also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to show to Tuscaloosa AL employers that you are highly skilled and knowledgeable in your profession. Therefore make sure to verify the certification and licensing requirements for your local area prior to choosing a construction management program in Alabama.
Online Construction Management Classes
Individuals who don’t have access locally to Tuscaloosa AL construction management colleges or who just prefer the convenience and flexibility of earning their degree online will find that there are fully accredited alternatives available. Institutions are located throughout the United States providing online degree programs similar to their traditional counterparts. The online approach to studying can be a more accessible alternative for individuals with hectic work schedules or family responsibilities. Being able to attend classes on any computer and learn at your own speed makes it the only option for some students. In addition online schools are often times less expensive than traditional options. But similarly as with any college or school, make certain that the online school you choose is accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). Accreditation helps guarantee that the program and instructors are of the highest caliber and that the course material is both current and comprehensive. So if you are motivated and can apply yourself to this type of learning, obtaining your construction management degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Construction Management Degree Programs
Once you have determined what kind of certificate or degree you would like to earn, you can begin to compare colleges. There are a large number of colleges and schools near Tuscaloosa AL and throughout Alabama that offer construction management programs. With lots of options offered, it’s imperative to determine beforehand what qualifications are important when assessing schools. We have previously gone over the first two that usually come to mind, cost and location. While they are significant qualifiers, there are additional ones that are equally important and need to be considered also. So below are several added factors that may assist with the development of your due diligence check-list for construction management schools.
Are the Schools Accredited? The construction management school and degree program you choose should be accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. The school itself can earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of its programs. However, the program you choose should be accredited as well, which is known as Programmatic Accreditation. Accrediting organizations such as The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) help ensure that you receive a quality education. Accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, often not available in Tuscaloosa AL for non-accredited schools. Many employers require a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited school. And accreditation may also be required for obtaining a license or professional certifications as well.
Do they have Job Placement Programs? Many construction management colleges have job placement programs that will help you find employment upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering provide job placement. They should have relationships with local Tuscaloosa AL unions, construction companies and contractors to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a large network of graduates that they can refer students to. One thing to keep in mind is that the schools’ job placement networks may be within their local areas. If that is the case, be sure that the school is in a location where you will ultimately want to work.
What are their Completion and Job Placement Rates? The construction management program you choose should have a high completion rate. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in and complete an educational degree. A low rate may indicate that many students were unhappy with the course material or instructors and dropped out. The job placement rate, which is the percentage of students placed in a job by the school, is a good indicator of the quality of the education. A high rate will help confirm that the school and program has a good reputation within the Tuscaloosa AL construction industry. It also indicates that the school has a large network of professional contacts to refer students to upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? The location of the school is important, particularly if it needs to be within driving distance of your Tuscaloosa AL residence. If you should decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs you may have to pay a higher tuition as an out-of-state resident. Some schools, such as community colleges, even have lower tuition for those living within their districts. As we have previously discussed, if the construction management school offers a job placement program, their placements are probably within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately want to work.
Are the Classes Small? Smaller classes allow for more interaction between students and instructors, as well as more individual instruction. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personal attention. Find out what the average size is for the construction management classes you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their construction experience has been in the Tuscaloosa AL area and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Are Classes Offered that Fit Your Schedule? Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Find out if the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what their policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Construction Manager?When getting ready to interview for a Construction Management position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Construction Management prospects is "What made you decide on Construction as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Manager in Construction, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Construction and Management, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Manager of Construction and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Construction Management School near Tuscaloosa AL
The most important decision that you will make to start your new career in construction management is to choose the right school. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to know what you‘re looking for before you begin your search for a quality program. One of the best ways to research the schools you’re considering is to visit them in person and speak with the faculty and students. Sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Be confident that the school you ultimately select is the right one for you. With a proper education, hard work and discipline, the end result will be a successful career as a construction manager in Tuscaloosa Alabama.
Tell Me About Tuscaloosa Alabama
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUS-kə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Tuscaloosa has been traditionally known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. The city has become known nationally for the sports successes of the University of Alabama, particularly in football. City leaders adopted the moniker "The City of Champions" after the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the BCS National Championship in their 2009, 2011, and again in their 2012 seasons. The Tide won the College Football Playoff in the 2015 season and 2017 season.
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