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Construction manager advancing in his company by following a construction management career pathway

The Most Important Steps in a Construction Management Career Pathway

Becoming a construction manager is a good career choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of construction managers is projected to grow 11 percent by the year 2030, which is considered faster than the average for all occupations.

To support continued growth in this career, you want to make sure you follow a clear construction management career pathway. We will outline the key steps that should be included in your career path so that you can realize your professional goals and continue to make a positive contribution to the construction industry.

10 Steps In a Construction Management Career Pathway

Consider these steps to help you realize your career goals as a construction manager.

1. Obtain a degree in Construction Management. To start with, you should graduate from an accredited college or university with a degree in construction management. There are many wonderful programs across the country that can help you establish a solid educational foundation for construction management.

2. Pass our AC (Associator Constructor) exam. We partner with several colleges and universities to include our AC certification exam as a requirement for graduation. Our robust exam confirms whether you have the fundamental knowledge required to become a construction manager.

Even if your university does not offer the AC exam as part of the degree program, we recommend that any recent graduate take the AC exam. This will help determine whether you are prepared to step into the critical role of managing construction works.

Note: the AC Level I Certification is now the CAC Level I Certification, as of November 2022.

3. Start building your network of construction professionals. Your network will be critical in your career path. You need access to people who have already walked down the path and can help you out. And, you need to build connections with peers that will go through the same challenges that you will face as a construction manager.

4. Gain valuable work experience. When you start out as a construction manager, you should focus on developing skills and knowledge that can only be acquired through real-world experience.

Focus on how to apply your educational background to the actual execution of construction works. Then, continue to learn from your accumulated experience so that you can continue to recognize problems, craft solutions, and serve the construction industry in a professional and ethical manner.

5. Become an AIC member. No matter where your career takes you, it’s good to have a home base. AIC can be your home to connect with peers, continue to build your network, access valuable resources, and support growth.

At AIC, we are committed to accelerating constructor excellence by investing in the individual construction professional. We focus on providing our members with resources and tools to maintain the highest standards for construction professionalism. Consider becoming an AIC member to establish a valuable connection to the industry.

6. Participate in an AIC program. We offer many opportunities for construction managers to grow and give back. You can serve as a judge in our collegiate ethics competition, join the AIC Board of Directors, or find other ways to participate in the organization.

Consider the benefits of becoming involved with AIC:

  • You will personally grow through experience.
  • You will continue to build your network.
  • You will become more valuable to your employer and clients.
  • You will become more marketable in the construction industry.
  • You will see where you need to grow so that you can strive for higher positions.

7. Apply for the CPC (Certified Professional Constructor) exam. One of the biggest steps on the construction management career pathway is becoming a Certified Professional Constructor through our organization. To become a CPC, you will need to pass our rigorous and comprehensive CPC exam.

This level of certification is ideal for established constructors who have several years of project oversight experience and are ready to take their career to the next level. You should apply for the CPC exam once you have accumulated the required experience and believe that you have a deep understanding of construction management concepts.

8. Become a Certified Professional Constructor. The CPC exam will determine whether you can apply recognized construction principles and use your professional work experience to solve constructor problems, evaluate information, and predict the outcome.

After you apply for the CPC exam and are approved to sit for the exam, you should take our pre-exam preparation course to grow your confidence before exam day. Then, once you pass the exam, you will be recognized as a leader in the management of construction works.

9. Advance to senior levels of construction management. Becoming a CPC carries unique advantages that will separate you from other construction managers in the industry. Consider the opportunity for career advancement once you become a CPC:

  • Gain industry-wide recognition of your constructor skills and knowledge.
  • Utilize your credentials to pursue higher positions in your company or elsewhere.
  • Follow a clear plan for Continuing Professional Development for career advancement.

10. Continue to learn and grow. One of the advantages of becoming a CPC through our organization is that you have access to valuable resources for continuing education. We believe this is important because there is always something new to learn in the construction industry so that you can continue to manage projects with excellence.

AIC is committed to helping all of our CPCs earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours through numerous opportunities that fit your available time and skills. Take a look at all of the ways that you can earn hours and continue to grow.

We Can Support Your Construction Management Career Pathway

No matter where you are on your career path, we can help you take the next step.

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– Do you need help with a specific area of your construction management career pathway? Whether you’re ready to sit for one of our exams or want to get involved in the organization, we are here to help. Contact us today for assistance!

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