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Employment and Industry

Employment Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook , Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Construction managers will be needed as overall construction activity increases over the coming decade. Those with a bachelor’s degree in construction management will graduate with excellent job prospects in this fast-growing field.

The West Virginia Economic Outlook 2016, published by the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, West Virginia University College of Business and Economics, states that construction employment is expected to grow at a rate of 1.8 percent per year, leading all other industry sectors for the period between 2015-2020.  

Industry Overview

The construction industry is classically categorized by one of four major divisions:

  1. Building (Commercial and institutional) - this includes healthcare, education, office, retail, recreational, religious and government buildings.
  2. Residential (single and multi-family) - this includes single-family homes, multi-unit townhouses, apartments and condominiums.
  3. Heavy/Infrastructure (transportation and utilities) - this includes  bridges; tunnels; highways; airports; dams; water and waste water treatment facilities; railroad and transit systems; port and marine construction; pipelines; power and communication networks; and mining support activities. 
  4. Industrial (manufacturing and processing) - this includes  petroleum refineries/petrochemical plants, power plants and manufacturing facilities.

The construction industry is further subdivided into sectors or segments by:

  1. Public vs. private ownership/funding
  2. Union labor vs. merit (open) shop
  3. Organization and method of project delivery, e.g.: traditional, design-build, etc.
  4. Type of work: new vs. renovation/rehabilitation/retrofit/restoration
  5. Contract type

There are several industry organizations whose membership seeks well educated graduates from 4-year construction management programs. These include the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Contractors Association of West Virginia (CAWV), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the ABC West Virginia Chapter, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).

Government agencies who typically employ construction managers include the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE).