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Construction Management Vs Civil Engineering: Salary, Job Outlooks, Requirements, Certificates 2023.

A career in construction management or civil engineering prepares students in the fields of engineering and management. Actually, construction management is one of the branches of civil engineering, but regardless of this, they differ. So, in this article, you will know their difference and similarities to know which career best suits you.
Both construction management and civil engineering cover the design of buildings and the construction of a project.

So, notwithstanding their similarities, they differ in their unique ways. The major difference is that civil engineering deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining the physical and naturally built environment.

While construction management deals with project management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project from its beginning to its end.

So, this article on construction management and civil engineering has been put down to give you a better understanding of these careers. Here you will learn more about this field, like their difference, similarities, job outlook, and requirement of construction management vs civil engineering.

Before we continue, let’s go through the table of content below to get an overview of what the article entails.

What Is Construction Management?

Construction management is a professional service that provides a project’s owner(s) with effective management of the project’s schedule, cost, quality, safety, scope, and function.

Construction management is compatible with all project delivery methods. No matter the setting.

Also, the CM represents the owner’s interest and provides oversight over the entire project directly for the owner.

His/her mandate is to work with all parties to deliver the project on time, at or under budget, and to the owner’s expected standard of quality, scope, and function.

Who Is A Construction Manager?

A construction manager is an individual that coordinates and supervises a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.

Also, they understand construction methods and technologies, and are able to interpret contracts and technical drawings.

What Is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining the physical and naturally built environment.

Also, public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.

READ ALSO: 13 Best Structural Engineering Schools In The World

Who Is A Civil Engineer?

A Civil Engineer plans and constructs public works, such as dams, bridges, and other big infrastructure projects. It is one of the treasured branches of engineering, dating back to when people started living in permanent settlements and shaping their environments to suit their needs. 

In this, all phases of building and organizing a structure fall under the remit of a civil engineer. This can include planning, design, budgeting, surveying, construction management, and analysis.

Also, the Civil Engineer will be accountable for finding suitable materials, suggesting modifications and alterations, and evaluating the structural integrity to transform the architect’s vision into realization.

You can read this: How can I become a Civil Engineer in 2023? Best Schools, Cost Programs & Salary

What are the Similarities Between Construction Management and Civil Engineering?

Despite the differences that may exist between these two, construction management and civil engineering are quite similar in some ways.

Firstly, Civil engineering and construction management are similar to the degree that both deal with the construction industry. 

Civil engineering deals more with the design, planning, and analysis of a construction project, while construction management is primarily on-site management of actual construction.

Secondly, both civil engineering and construction management generally take four to five years to complete.

In addition, civil engineering and construction management work with the design.

Construction Management (CM) vs Civil Engineering(CE): What Is The Difference Between Two?

The main difference between these two construction management and civil engineering is that construction management is a specialization within civil engineering.

In fact, workers in construction management often work exclusively out of a field office at the construction site, where they monitor the project and make daily decisions about construction activities, while civil engineers may spend most of their time indoors in offices.  and typically earn a higher salary than construction managers. 

There is also another difference between construction managers and civil engineers.

So, we are going to be looking at other differences below:

  • Job/Duties
  • Education
  • Requirement
  • Job Outlook
  • Pay
  • Cost
  • License/Certificate

#1 Civil Engineering vs Construction Management – Job/Duties

Basically, civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sectors.

This includes roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems. Many civil engineers work in planning, design, construction, research, and education.

Duties Of Civil Engineers

  • Analyze long-range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects.
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during a project’s planning and risk-analysis stages.
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations.
  • Analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects.
  • Prepare cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility.
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards.
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations to establish building locations, site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction.
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure.

What Do Construction Managers Do?

Construction managers plan construction projects and oversee their progress promptly and cost-effectively. Also, they are responsible for budgeting, organization, implementation, and scheduling of the projects.

Below are some major duties of construction managers:

  • Oversee and direct construction projects from conception to completion
  • Review the project in-depth to schedule deliverables and estimate costs
  • Oversee all onsite and offsite constructions to monitor compliance with building and safety regulations
  • Coordinate and direct construction workers and subcontractors
  • Select tools, materials, and equipment, and track inventory
  • Meet contractual conditions of performance
  • Review the work progress daily
  • Prepare internal and external reports pertaining to job status
  • Ensure quality construction standards and the use of proper construction techniques

#2 Construction Management vs Civil Engineering – Education

Basically, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering would likely include both specializations. In contrast, a bachelor’s degree in construction management would focus solely on having a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering.

Also, both options usually require students to take similar courses, like mathematics and statistics.

Typical Coursework in an Construction Management Program

Basically, students earning a degree in construction management take these classes.

  • Project control and management
  • Design
  • Construction methods and materials
  • Cost estimation
  • Building codes and standards
  • Contract administration.

Typical Coursework in an Civil Engineering Program

Also, students earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering will take courses like:

  • Engineering mechanics and systems
  • Fluid dynamics

#3 Construction Management vs Civil Engineering – Requirements

There are many different paths that can be taken to begin a career in civil engineering, which is:
Firstly, you have to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, that is commonly offered, and serve as the base level of education required to begin working and is completed around four years of full-time study.

Secondly, the master’s degree in which you can gain additional civil engineering knowledge in a particular concentration. Most master’s degree programs take about two years to complete, and many are offered online, allowing students to continue to work full-time while attending class.

Thirdly, a doctorate in civil engineering, getting a Ph.D. takes three to five years, but the length ultimately depends on the discipline of the student.

For Construction Management

Most construction managers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, construction science, or architecture.

Some managers may have obtained an associate’s degree at a community college, which would prepare them to work on smaller projects.

So, after graduating with a degree, working several years with an experienced manager, and preparing the manager for supervising projects on his or her own.

Finally, while there are no federal licensing requirements for this field, some states require that construction managers obtain a license to practice within the state.

You can also check this Letter of Recommendation for MS in Civil Engineering | Download Samples Free

#4 Construction Management vs Civil Engineering – Job Outlook

According to the US BLS, the employment of construction managers is expected to increase by 10% from 2018 to 2028.

However, construction managers are expected to be needed to oversee the anticipated increase in construction activity over the coming decade.

While, employment of civil engineers is expected to increase by 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

#5 Civil Engineering vs Construction Management – Pay/Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for civil engineers is $87,060 per year. That is to say, civil engineers earn $41.86 per hour.

While the median annual wage for construction managers is $95,260 per year. which means construction managers earn $45.80 per hour.

#6 Civil Engineering vs Construction Management – License/Certificate

Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, approve design plans, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years working under a licensed engineer
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

However, The American Society of Civil Engineers offers certifications in coastal engineering, geotechnical engineering, ports engineering, water resources engineering, and other fields. Also, civil engineers can become certified in building security and sustainability.

Construction Management – License/Certificate

It is advised that applicants for certification complete a self-study course that covers the professional role of a construction manager, legal issues, the allocation of risk, and other topics related to construction management.

Furthermore, The American Institute of Constructors awards the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations to candidates who meet its requirements and pass the appropriate construction exams.

Also, some states require licensure for construction managers. for more information, you can contact your state licensing board.

#7 Civil Engineering vs Construction Management – Cost

The annual cost of tuition for a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or construction management varies greatly depending on the kind of college or university you’ll be attending. That is, whether you’ll be attending it in-state or out-of-state.

What Is The Cost Of A Civil Engineering And Construction Management Program?

For Cornell University the undergraduate tuition & fees of $57,222, and Purdue University-Main Campus tuition & fees are around $28,794. For graduate programs, the average graduate tuition & fees of the schools are $15,517 for state residents and $36,413 for out-of-state students.

In other words, the average undergraduate tuition & fees for an in-state civil engineering degree would run around $13,327 a year, while the tuition & fees for someone studying out-of-state is around $43,927 for out-of-state students in a year.

While the average tuition & fees including all costs over four years are around $28,000-$116,000 for Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management. Also, additional fees for construction management students may range from $2,000-$15,000 per year.

What Are The Best Construction Management Schools?

Various universities all over the world offer programs or specializations in construction management. However, here is a list of some of the schools that offer the best construction management programs in the USA. Do well to click on each of the cm schools for more information on the program.

What Are The Best Schools For Civil Engineering?

Here is a list of some schools offering the best civil engineering programs in the USA. Do well to click on each of the cm schools for more information on the program.

Which is Best For Me Between Becoming An Construction Management(CM) Or Civil Engineering(CE)?

Generally, these two engineering professions are unique and distinct from each other. However, knowing what to pursue depends on your choice and career goals.

If you really want to coordinates and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, then, you can become a CM. But, If you want to plan and construct public works, such as dams, bridges, and other big infrastructure projects, then you can go for CE.

In addition, if you want to do your job and also earn more, you can compare the salaries of the engineering professions and go for the higher one.

You can also read this: Computer Science vs Mechanical Engineering: Salary, Similarities, Differences & Job Outlook

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, both construction management and civil engineering cover the design of buildings and the construction of a project.

So, notwithstanding their similarities, they differ in their unique ways. The major difference is that civil engineering deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining the physical and naturally built environment.

While, construction management deals with project management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end.

So, the type of career one needs depends on his/her specific condition and individual needs. Knowing your career and individual goals will help you decide what is better for you between CM and CE as someone who wants to pursue a career in engineering.

Good luck with your choice of career.

FAQs On Civil Engineering

What is civil engineering all about?

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining the physical and naturally built environment, public works such as roads, bridges, canals, etc.

What do civil engineers do?

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sectors.

Who is a construction manager?

A construction manager is an individual that coordinates and supervises a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.

How much does a civil engineer make annually?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for civil engineers is $87,060 per year. That is to say, civil engineers earn $41.86 per hour.
Construction managers plan construction projects and oversee their progress along the way in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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