Construction management certification 101: How to get it

Construction management certification 101: How to get it

If you’re looking to advance in the construction industry, there are a variety of construction management certifications worth considering. Keep reading as we explore popular certifications, how you can obtain them, and what benefits they convey.

What are construction management certifications?

Construction management certifications are offered by a variety of educational and regulatory institutions. These certifications aren’t substitutes for a bachelor’s degree in building science or engineering (which, as Study.com highlights, is an increasingly common requirement among employers seeking construction managers) but rather add-ons that can help you demonstrate specialized knowledge in key areas such as safety and project management.

Top construction manager certifications

Next, let’s look at a few of the most in-demand construction management certifications.

Certified Safety Manager (National Association of Safety Professionals)

The Certified Safety Manager distinction from the National Association of Safety Professionals conveys expertise in tasks such as:

  • following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements
  • analyzing and documenting hazards in the workplace
  • interpreting and applying OSHA regulations
  • investigating and responding to workplace accidents
  • making safety a part of your company’s culture

The certification costs $395 to obtain. You must score 80% or higher to receive the certificate. Two attempts at each exam are permitted.

Benefits of becoming a Certified Safety Manager

This certification is ubiquitous in the construction industry. Many employers require it for certain roles. Receiving the Certified Safety Manager course also authorizes you to train other employees on safety protocols, making it a great avenue for career advancement.

There are also higher-level NASP certifications you can receive after completing this course. The association highlights that completing this certification first will save you roughly 40 hours when pursuing those additional certifications. You’ll also receive discounts on those courses.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) itself doesn’t offer formal certifications. However, trainers and education centers authorized by OSHA provide training. Upon successful completion of OSHA training, you may receive a 10-hour or 30-hour card. Some employers require these cards as proof of your expertise in occupational health and safety.

Benefits of receiving certifications from OSHA

As a U.S. government agency, OSHA is recognized throughout the country as an authoritative source on occupational health and safety. Consequently, any certifications from them will go a long way towards accelerating your career in construction management no matter where you live in the country.


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LEED Green Associate

Receiving the LEED Green Associate certification is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the area of sustainable construction. The United States Green Building Council provides a variety of resources you can use to study for this certification and its two-hour exam.

Once you pass the exam, you’ll need to complete an additional 15 hours of training with the United States Green Building Council.

Benefits of receiving the LEED Green Associate certification

The demand for professionals capable of delivering sustainable construction services is rising rapidly. Experts expect this will continue, with some research indicating the compound annual growth rate of green building construction projects to reach 14.3% by 2027.

The LEED Green Associate certification is consequently among the most valuable construction project management certifications you can receive if you’d like to take on these projects.

American Concrete Institute certifications

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) offers several certifications for concrete professionals looking to advance their careers.

Areas in which you can receive certifications from the ACI include:

  • aggregate
  • masonry
  • concrete flatwork finishing
  • concrete foundations
  • shotcrete construction
  • concrete quality management

Benefits of receiving certifications from the ACI

According to the ACI, more than 550,000 concrete professionals have pursued its certifications, comprising a significant percentage of America’s construction workforce. Receiving certifications from the ACI will consequently help you maintain competitiveness within the industry.

Many concrete company owners also see ACI training programs and certifications as valuable investments in their workforce since it can be a huge selling point when bidding for projects.

Crane operator certifications (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators)

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is a non-profit that provides training, testing, and safety standards for crane operators. Crane training and certification are highly specialized, meaning you’ll need different courses for each type (or specialize in a few types of cranes).

Benefits of receiving certifications from the NCCCO

Receiving the certifications required to operate cranes can help you build valuable work experience and credentials in advance of becoming a construction management professional. Because the NCCCO is widely recognized as the national authority on crane operation training, its certifications will serve you well no matter where you work in the United States.

Certified Construction Manager (Construction Management Association of America)

Receiving a certificate in construction management from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) is a great way to join a network of more than 16,000 construction professionals throughout America.

The certification conveys that you have met the formal educational requirements and completed the additional training required to be considered a proficient construction manager. 

Benefits of becoming a Certified Construction Manager

According to the CMAA, Certified Construction Managers earn over 10% more than construction managers that are not certified.

Additionally, many companies prefer hiring professionals that have Certified Construction Manager status.

Conventional degrees

As mentioned earlier, construction management certifications generally aren’t a substitute for a conventional degree. Associate’s, bachelor’s, and even master’s degrees are often required to reach the industry’s upper echelons as a construction manager.

Degrees that can help your career as a construction manager include:

  • construction technology
  • engineering
  • architecture
  • construction management

Benefits of receiving a conventional degree as a construction manager

Most construction managers have many years of experience working in the field. Having a degree in a construction-related discipline can help you land the initial work required to build this professional experience.

Having a degree will also give you the flexibility to pursue different career paths (i.e. as an engineer or architect) if you ultimately decide construction management isn’t ideal for you.

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Brandon-Richard Austin

Brandon-Richard Austin is a writer and content strategist focused on the construction sector. He’s passionate about educating readers on construction management techniques and best practices.