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Choosing Between Architecture and Construction Management

For an individual wanting to work in the building industry, two possibilities are architecture and a career in construction management. These two professions share similarities but are vastly different by nature. A construction management career would benefit an individual looking to manage and direct the building process, while a career in architecture may be more beneficial for someone who prefers to visualize and design the desired construction project.

Architecture Career

Architecture is the process of designing homes, office buildings, and other structures. Architects will spend much of their time in an office setting, designing plans for projects. They usually consult with engineers and clients throughout the design process, and may visit the construction site to review the progress of any given project. Architects may work on private or public projects, and can be responsible for designing both indoor and outdoor spaces.

The path to becoming and architect involves completing a five-year accredited bachelor’s degree program, and completing the requirements to become state-licensed.

Construction Management Career

Construction management is the business side of the building industry. Construction managers (CM’s) are the leaders who possess the business skills and experience to direct build projects and oversee the construction process through the final stages of completion. These individuals may work in the public or private sector, and must possess the professional knowledge to interact with engineers, architects, and firm owners. CM’s may be responsible for estimating and planning the project, scheduling workers and subcontractors, or directing and supervising on site. They may perform work in an office at the company’s headquarters, or from an on-site office during a build.

Individuals can become a construction manager by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in construction management, or by acquiring a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Construction Management in combination with prior work experience.


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