Construction sites are complex operations fraught with risks ranging from unsafe situations to financial pitfalls. And with most construction projects facing razor-thin profit margins, construction firms need everything to go right.
That’s why certification is so important in the construction industry. Construction managers and their teams need to have the skills necessary to get the job done right.
What is a construction management certification?
Construction management certification refers to credentialing for those who have chosen a career in construction and want to either advance in an organization or simply learn how to be better at what they do.
Many nonprofit professional organizations—and even government agencies—offer certifications that can help construction managers do their jobs. Additionally, some construction software companies offer their own certification programs. A certification in a popular type of software in the construction field could look good on a resume, and some firms may even require it.
7 top construction certifications
Based on our research, there are seven certifications in particular for construction professionals that are the most popular based on Google search traffic. These certifications will be useful either because you work at a small firm and have to do much of the work yourself, or because you need to make sure your own workers are properly certified. The certifications are listed in alphabetical order.
1.American Concrete Institute (ACI)
ACI claims that more than 550,000 craftsmen, technicians, inspectors, and other concrete professionals have pursued ACI Certification, and that a large list of specifiers and owners require it. The organization offers 30 certification programs “designed to form a minimum qualification for personnel employed within the concrete construction industry.”
Who should get this certification: Concrete professionals
ACI certification is best for construction managers heavily involved in concrete work (Source)
2. American Institute of Constructors (AIC)
The American Institute of Contractors offers a Constructor Certification Program that provides a certification of skills and knowledge in construction management. AIC’s first certification program, Associate Constructor, is ideal for those in other industries who are trying to transition into construction management. For those who are already construction managers, the Certified Professional Constructor course is meant to help you advance in your career.
Who should get this certification: Professionals who are transitioning into construction management from other industries, or established constructors who are seeking career advancement.
3. Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
The Construction Management Association of America offers the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) program, which the organization describes as the “gold standard” in construction management and claim is the only construction management certification accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The program teaches management techniques designed to help professionals figure out how to run construction projects more efficiently in order to stay on time and on budget.
Who should get this certification: Construction managers seeking career advancement.
4. National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)
The NACE International Institute is the part of the organization that deals with certifications, particularly workforce certification programs. It administers 23 certifications in many disciplines, such as coatings inspector or corrosion technologist. “Unlike other certifying organizations, NII Certifications are not solely awarded based on course completion,” the website states. “All candidates must display a level of skill and competency that only comes with validation, years of experience, and continuous study in their selected corrosion field.”
Who should get this certification: Corrosion professionals.
Construction managers may need expertise in coatings and corrosion to ensure a long lifespan for their structures (Source)
5. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
NCCER offers credentials and certification through its registry system, a secure database the organization maintains to track the names of those who have completed their standardized training program. The program covers more than 70 craft areas in construction. “NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curriculum and assessments with portable credentials,” the websites states. “These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s Registry System that allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires.”
Who should get this certification: Any construction professional who wants to certification in a specific field (electrical, drywall, etc.).
6. National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)
If you’re on the engineering side of construction, NICET has nationally recognized certification programs that can help you get the expertise you need to advance in your career. The organization trains and certifies workers in civil engineering, fire protection, security systems, and other areas. “Designed by industry experts to provide engineering technology fields with a qualified workforce, our programs are increasingly used by employers and specifiers to measure job skills and knowledge,” the website states.
Who should get this certification: Construction engineering professionals.
7. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA is a well-known name in construction, to say the least, and the government agency offers an Outreach Training Program on common on-the-job safety and health hazards. You can take a 10-hour or a 30-hour course, depending on your needs. The 10-hour course is meant for entry-level workers, while the 30-hour course “provide[s] workers with some safety responsibility a greater depth and variety of training,” according to OSHA’s website. “The Outreach Training Program provides basic safety and health information and education — it does not fulfill an employer’s requirement to provide training under specific OSHA standards. The OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in the construction industry.”
Who should get this certification: Entry-level workers (10-hour course) and workers with some safety responsibility (30-hour course).
OSHA offers training programs to improve the safety of a job site (Source)
Expand your knowledge of construction management
Want to learn more about being a construction manager? We have a library of information that can help you grow in your skills and run a better, safer, and more efficient construction site:
- Best Practices in Holding Subcontractors to Your Agreement
- 5 Best Practices For Fixing Your Construction Schedule (With Examples)
- 5 Top Reasons Why Your Construction Bidding Process Is Failing
- Low-Cost and Reusable Building Construction Materials That Boost the Bottom Line
- What Is Construction Planning? 5 Steps to the Perfect Process