Built environment construction is one of the US’s most regulated and competitive fields, with good reason. Buildings—offices, homes, malls, or public services such as railway stations and bus stands—must stand strong, handle extreme weather, and be safe for all, including those with disabilities or special needs.
Moreover, buildings can’t be quickly brought down and reconstructed if something goes wrong. So, the license requirements are strict.
However, that’s just the beginning. To build safe, usable environments for the rapidly evolving world, contractors and technicians must demonstrate skills and reliability. This is where construction certifications help.
How Can Construction Certifications Help Your Career?
A construction certification is the written word of a competent authority that you have learned and gained specific skills within your chosen specialization. The certificate issuing authority is often a trade organization, government agency, or private association of construction experts.
A typical certification would require you to take a course, read material, watch videos, and take an exam. Once you meet the criteria for passing the exam, you’ll be certified as an expert in that area. This can boost your career in innumerable ways.
Completing the most popular construction certifications builds credibility among potential employers or customers, assuring them that you have all the bases covered.
For instance, the green business certification immediately establishes your commitment to sustainability. Construction certifications can be even more valuable while bidding for large-scale government projects.
Since the pandemic, we’ve seen the world rapidly evolve. More and more homes require dedicated workspaces in them. Offices are transforming into collaborative venues. Even in the most physical experiences like concerts or games, digital offerings have increased.
A relevant certification builds the confidence that you can evolve with the times. It helps you learn and adapt quickly.
Online courses are a great way to network with your peers nationwide. By studying together, you can build camaraderie and knowledge sharing that’ll hold you in good stead for the long term.
Certifications in specialized areas such as crane operation or construction industry financial management help you stand out when you apply for jobs. Some project management certifications can be your path to managerial/leadership roles.
Investing in learning and certification can bring you bigger paychecks and help you get promoted faster. Indeed finds that construction managers with LEED certification earn about 28% more than the average base salary.
Depending on your location, experience, specialization, existing skills, and the time you’re willing to spend on learning, you can undertake dozens of construction certifications.
However, not all certifications are created equal. Therefore, we’ve curated the ten best construction certifications that will help you advance your career.
10 Construction Certifications to Help Advance Your Career
Before we get into the specifics of functions, let us explore the general construction management certification programs.
1. Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
This certification offered by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) is aimed to validate your credentials in planning, design, construction, and financial management of construction projects.
Qualification required: To qualify as a certified construction manager, you need a 4-year bachelor’s degree or eight years of experience.
Cost: $325-425 for certification. You’re required to renew your certification every three years.
CMAA also offers Certified Associate Construction Manager and Construction Manager In-Training programs for those with lesser experience.
2. Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)
The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) offers the Certified Professional Contractor program for established contractors with several years of experience.
In addition to various construction management areas such as project scoping, recruitment, resource management, cost control, and safety management, this program also focuses on ethics and professionalism.
Cost: $575-675 to take the certification exam.
AIC also offers a Certified Associate Contractor Level I program suitable for recent graduates.
3. Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional
This certification by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) covers eight knowledge domains: accounting and reporting, revenue recognition, budgeting, risk management, taxation, HR, legal, and IT.
All these chapters are customized for the construction industry, differentiating you from the generalist finance professional.
Qualification required: To be certified, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 12 credits from business-related courses, and 4000 hours of total experience. If you have an associate’s degree or a diploma, you need appropriate additional hours of experience.
Cost: $850 for first-time candidates.
With that, let’s move on to one of the most critical aspects of construction management: Health and safety.
4. OSHA outreach training program
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers training programs customized for construction professionals. This program focuses on workplace health and safety, occupational hazards, potential risks, and how to mitigate them.
It offers two varieties:
- A 10-hour session for entry-level workers, which costs $59.99
- A 30-hour session for forepersons, supervisors, and safety directors, which costs $159.99
5. Certified Safety Manager: Construction (CSMC)
The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) offers the skills and abilities to help you qualify as a safety leader in the construction industry.
The course curriculum covers workplace safety, training methodology, interpreting regulations, designing safety programs, avoiding civil and criminal liabilities, and managing safety audits.
The course typically takes about 40 hours, and you have six months to complete.
Cost: $1995. You must be recertified every three years, which costs $395.
6. Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) offers the CHST certification, specially designed around activities that prevent construction illnesses and injuries.
Qualification required: Three years of construction experience with “at least 35% of the primary job duties involving safety, health, and environmental practice” to qualify for this certification.
Cost: $450-550 to take the exam. You’re required to submit 20 recertification points every five years.
BCSP also offers a Safety Trained Supervisor Construction (STSC) for leaders, managers, supervisors, and employees for whom safety might not be the primary responsibility.
Within the construction industry, various specialized roles require highly skilled workers. Certification is a great way to demonstrate skills and capabilities in these areas. Some of the most popular ones are below.
7. OSHA Aerial and Scissor Lifts Exam
If you’re a lift operator on a construction site, this course is for you. The OSHA Aerial and Scissor Lifts training course offers fundamental awareness for construction workers around the types of lifts, applicable safety standards, conducting inspections, and specific precautions to prevent common hazards such as falls or electrocution.
Cost: $49.95, allowing up to 180 days to complete.
You can also take this course at Hard Hat Training.
8. Crane Operator Certification
Crane operators handle a large part of load handling and movement at any construction site. It is a complex and risk-prone job. A crane operator certification establishes you as an expert who can kickstart work immediately.
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators offers 28 different certification designations across 14 categories. Some of the key certifications include Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator, Digger Derrick Operator, Signalperson, Rigger, and Crane Inspector.
Cost: Between $100 and $400 each, depending on the exam mode and modules included.
In addition to the above machinery-related specializations, there are also technical certifications, such as the Residential Concrete Foundation Technician, offered by the American Concrete Institute.
9. LEED Green Associate Certification
A growing priority for construction companies worldwide is sustainability. The LEED Green Associate certification validates your understanding of green building practices and prepares you for the future of construction.
It measures your knowledge of the LEED process, integrative strategies and standards, location and transportation, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, project surroundings, and public outreach.
Cost: $350. You may incur additional costs for exam prep material and registration.
10. Construction Professional in Built Environment Projects (PMI-CP)
This certification by the Project Management Institute is customized for construction professionals. It comprises micro-credentials in built environment project communication, technology and innovation, and performance and materials management.
You will also be required to complete four e-learning courses in interface management, change orders, risks, and execution planning.
Qualification required: At least three years of experience working on construction projects.
Cost: $500 to take the exam and nearly $5000 to complete all the e-learning courses. You are also required to renew the certification every three years.
- Project Management Certifications
- Design Certifications
- Product Management Certifications
- CRM Certifications
- Marketing Certifications
- Agile Project Management Certifications
More Tools for Construction Teams
While advancements in building technology have grown leaps and bounds over the last few decades, information management hasn’t caught up. Work is done on legacy construction project management software or generic tools such as spreadsheets.
Many processes are either manual or partly digitized, affecting the overall efficiency of project delivery.
In addition to the above certifications, mastery of a robust tool like ClickUp, purpose-designed for construction, will set you apart in many ways. This is true for builders who execute projects or businesses who outsource their construction to a vendor.
Customize workflows for your construction teams
Whether you’re building a home or a multi-story shopping complex, break down the process flow into a clear, dependency-enabled workflow, accounting for all project constraints.
Manage resources, schedule activities, and perform scenario planning on a Gantt chart on ClickUp’s construction ERP software.
Use ClickUp’s Gantt chart project templates to get started!
Simplify complex processes
If any process feels like it has too many steps or involves too many people, bring them all together to brainstorm on ClickUp Mind Maps. Add everything to a blank canvas, make connections, identify dependencies, and add comments to execute your process improvement methodologies.
Manage team workload
Use ClickUp as a construction scheduling software, considering team member availability. Use the Workload View to understand who is doing what. Assign tasks based on their availability without the additional hassle of to-and-fro messages. Invite them to sync their calendars to be updated on vacation days, too automatically.
Stay on top of audits and inspections
Use ClickUp’s checklists feature to conduct audits across departments meticulously. You can also set them up as goals to be completed before corresponding milestones.
If you’re liable to undergo external audits, seamlessly assign access to contractors/government agencies.
Collaborate with cross-functional teams
From offsite managers to technicians on-ground, bring everybody on the same page with ClickUp Tasks. Assign them to users, add comments, tag your team, and chat in real-time from your desktop or mobile devices.
Track time and manage budgets
Use ClickUp’s time-tracking software to log time for each task/sub-task. You can start and stop the timer or add time later when the task is complete.
Use the data from the time tracking module to create effort estimates for future projects. Convert time and effort calculations into budgets you can propose to organizational leaders or clients.
Try ClickUp’s project budget templates to get you started.
Make all assets and resources available in one place on ClickUp Docs. Embed files, set SOPs, and record details of each activity. Use ClickUp as a process improvement tool, giving clear visibility into the entire project context.
Get started right away with templates
Never used a modern project management tool before? No worries. The ClickUp Construction Management Template offers you a great springboard.
It helps you manage all your construction operations in one place with pre-built views, Custom Statuses, Custom Fields, Docs, and more.
Bring Your Construction Team Together On ClickUp
Even the biggest construction projects are built brick by brick. To ensure every brick is efficient, compliant, safe, and sustainable, you need granular visibility and a bird’s eye view.
ClickUp’s construction management software is designed to give builders, technicians, and project managers precisely that.
With robust features for real-time reporting, collaboration, project management, knowledge sharing, automations, and much more, ClickUp is the best tool to hit the ground running. Moreover, you can also streamline sales, manage contractors, and work with clients in one place. Try for yourself. For free. Sign up for ClickUp today.