COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.


Construction managers are able to walk the streets of their city and say with a smile to themselves, “I built that.” Behind every amazing building is one fine construction manager running a smooth operation with his or her team of builders. Construction management combines two separate areas of study: trade skills and management skills. On the trade side, you’ll study the processes and materials involved in building—from how to make and analyze construction plans and drawings to how to interpret construction site data and inspect specific sites. Your major will verse you on construction tools and machinery as well as codes for safety and ethics. Then, on the management side, you’ll learn how to actually run a construction operation, including resource and cost control and every aspect of site safety. As a construction manager, your days will combine time at the site—controlling the execution of building plans and ensuring that the building is going up effectively and efficiently—with time behind a desk, where you’ll oversee contracts and proposals, prepare bids and estimates, and make sure you’re squared away with accident prevention and quality assurance. Accounting, communication, and directing will be all under your command. And you’ll be required to demonstrate leadership, problem-solving, and great responsibility.

Remember: The people actually doing the building are important, but the managers behind the scenes are the ones making sure the job is done right.


  • Analysis of Commercial Prints

  • Basic Construction Estimating

  • Business Law

  • Construction Codes and Documents

  • Construction Law

  • Construction Project Financing

  • Construction Safety Management

  • Construction Surveying

  • Construction Working Drawings

  • Principles of Management

  • Production Control

  • Quality Assurance and Inspection

  • Residential Development

  • Temporary Structures


A strong knowledge of math is key to construction management, as are good reading, writing, and computer skills. Foreign languages are always a plus. Consider courses in business if they’re offered, but most important is developing the communication skills you’ll need to be an effective manager.