Construction cost management FAQ

construction cost management FAQ

This article provides information on frequently asked questions about construction cost management.

How much does it cost to hire a construction manager?

The cost to hire a construction manager can vary widely depending on several factors, including the scope and location of the project, the construction manager’s experience and reputation, and the specific services provided. Generally, construction managers charge either a fixed fee, a percentage of the total project costs, or an hourly rate. Here’s a rough breakdown:

  1. Percentage of Construction Costs: This is the most common fee structure in which the construction manager charges a percentage of the total project cost. The charge typically ranges from 5% to 15%, depending on the project’s complexity and size.
  2. Fixed Fee: Some construction managers may agree to a fixed fee for projects with a well-defined scope. This arrangement gives the owner a clear picture of the management costs but may require adjustments if the project scope changes significantly.
  3. Hourly Rate: Construction managers might sometimes charge an hourly rate, particularly for smaller projects or consulting work. Hourly rates can vary significantly but often range from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the manager’s expertise and the project location.
  4. Cost Plus: A cost-plus fee structure means the construction manager is paid for all project costs (such as labor and materials) plus a fixed fee or percentage of the costs as their fee. This method ensures the manager is compensated for all work done but can make it harder to predict the total cost upfront.

The cost also depends on the project’s complexity, the construction phase the manager is involved in (pre-construction, construction, post-construction), and the local market conditions. For a specific quote, it’s best to contact several construction managers or firms, provide them with your project details, and request detailed proposals.

How much does a construction management degree cost?

The cost of a construction management degree can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the type of institution (public vs. private), whether the program is in-state or out-of-state for public colleges, the program’s length, and the degree level (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral). Here’s a general breakdown to give you an idea:

  1. Community College (Associate Degree): Community colleges offer two-year associate degrees in construction management, which are generally the most affordable option. Tuition for in-state students can range from as low as $3,000 to $10,000 per year.
  2. Public University (Bachelor’s Degree): Public universities charge different rates for in-state and out-of-state students. In-state tuition can range from about $8,000 to $25,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition can range from $20,000 to $40,000 yearly.
  3. Private University (Bachelor’s Degree): Private universities typically have higher tuition rates ranging from $20,000 to over $50,000 per year.
  4. Master’s Degree: The cost of a master’s degree in construction management can vary widely, from about $15,000 to $50,000 or more for the entire program, depending on the institution and program length.
  5. Online Programs: Online programs offer more flexibility and sometimes lower tuition rates than traditional on-campus programs. Prices can vary widely depending on the school and the program’s structure. However, an online construction management degree can range from $6,000 to $28,000 annually.

These figures can vary widely based on the specific school and location. Additionally, it’s essential to consider other costs associated with pursuing a degree, such as books, supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, which can add significantly to the overall cost of education.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, you should check directly with the specific colleges or universities you are interested in attending. They can provide detailed information on tuition, fees, and other associated costs.

How much does it cost to become a construction manager?

The cost of becoming a construction manager can vary widely depending on several factors, including the educational path you choose, the country or region where you study, and whether you pursue additional certifications. Here’s a general breakdown to give you an idea:

Educational Costs

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: The most common route into construction management is through a bachelor’s degree in construction management, civil engineering, or a related field. In the United States, the cost of a four-year degree can range from $10,000 per year at public institutions to $35,000 or more per year at private institutions. Thus, total costs can range from $40,000 to $140,000 or more.
  2. Associate Degree: Some may opt for an associate degree in construction management or a related field, which typically takes two years. Costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000 per year, making the total cost between $6,000 and $20,000.
  3. Certification Programs: Certificate programs in construction management are shorter and generally less expensive than degree programs. These can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Additional Certifications

After or alongside educational qualifications, certifications can bolster a construction manager’s credentials. The costs for these certifications vary:

  1. Certified Construction Manager (CCM): The application fee is $325, and the exam fee is $275 for Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) members or $425 for non-members.
  2. Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC): Fees for these exams range from $165 to $555, depending on the level and membership status.

Other Costs

  • Books and Supplies: Estimated at $1,000 to $2,000 per year.
  • Living Expenses: This can vary significantly based on location.
  • Online vs. In-Person: Online programs offer savings on transportation and housing.
  • International Study: Costs can be higher for international students, not only for tuition but also for visas, travel, and living expenses.

It’s also worth considering that many construction managers gain experience on the job, which may reduce the need for formal education but require starting in lower-level positions. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid are available to help mitigate these costs, and it’s worth researching these options thoroughly.

Who is responsible for cost management in construction?

The construction project manager is primarily responsible for construction cost management. They are responsible for creating the project budget, monitoring project expenses, and implementing cost control measures to manage changes and avoid cost overruns.

About the Author

CEO of Bauwise

Mikk Ilumaa

Mikk Ilumaa is the CEO of Bauwise, a leader in construction financial management software with over ten years of experience in the construction software industry. At the helm of Bauwise, Mikk leverages his extensive background in developing construction management solutions to drive innovation and efficiency. His commitment to enhancing the construction process through technology makes him a pivotal figure in the industry, guiding Bauwise toward setting new standards in construction financial management. View profile

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