12 Construction Certifications That Will Boost Your Career

12 construction certifications can obtain and their benefits to your construction company and profession.

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Navigating the Future of Construction: Essential Certifications for 2024

Are you looking for growth in your construction career and want to earn more from your role in the construction industry? Or are you looking to bring in more revenue for your newly-formed construction company?

Construction certifications tell others (your customers, your marketplace) that you know your craft and are well-equipped to work on construction projects. In addition, they are a means of acquiring more knowledge and expertise necessary for fulfilling your role.

These certifications not only help you become the best at what you do, but they also help to develop your career & business by exposing you to several opportunities and resources.

As the construction industry continues to evolve, professionals face new challenges and opportunities shaped by innovative technologies and changing standards. The year 2024 stands as a testament to this evolution, with several key trends influencing the industry:

  1. Technological Advancements: The integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM), Construction Robotics, and Advanced Building Materials is reshaping how projects are planned, executed, and managed. These technologies are enhancing efficiency, precision, and sustainability in construction processes​​​​.
  2. Labor Dynamics and Digitalization: With a persistent labor shortage, the industry is increasingly relying on digital solutions like mobile technology for real-time data collection, workflow management, and enhanced communication between on-site and back-office personnel​​​​.
  3. Sustainability and Green Construction: Sustainability remains a priority, focusing on reducing carbon footprints and integrating eco-friendly practices throughout construction phases. Materials like cross-laminated timber (CLT) are gaining popularity for their sustainable properties​​.
  4. Increased Safety Measures: Innovations in safety equipment, such as wearables, IoT devices, and the use of drones for inspections, are becoming crucial in reducing workplace incidents and enhancing overall safety on construction sites​​.
  5. Emerging Collaboration Technologies: Collaboration tools are becoming more prevalent, facilitating better coordination and communication between field teams and office staff. Workflow automation platforms are streamlining project management, leading to more efficient and error-free operations​​.
  6. Automation and AI: The adoption of automation, AI, and machine learning is transforming the construction landscape, from project planning to execution, while also addressing concerns about job displacement​​​​.
  7. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): These technologies are changing project visualization and execution, offering immersive experiences for design reviews, real-time visualizations, and on-site guidance​​.

In light of these trends, professionals in the construction industry must equip themselves with relevant certifications to stay competitive and proficient.

This article will explore essential certifications for 2024 that align with these emerging trends, ensuring that you are well-prepared to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.

5 Benefits of Construction Certifications

Credentials make you stand out from others and signal some level or status you have attained in an endeavor. Construction certifications are similar as they illuminate your qualities to prospective customers.

Here are some other ways construction certifications can improve your business and career.

  • Increased knowledge and expertise: Obtaining construction certifications keeps you updated on practices in the industry. In addition, certifications prove that you underwent training that has provided you with the knowledge and tools to manage and execute construction projects efficiently. As a result, your clients trust you to deliver quality on time and within budget.
  • Better decision-making: Customers can trust you to make profitable and well-informed project decisions. More so, certificates ensure that clients can be satisfied that you have made these decisions in line with standard industry ethics.
  • Validation of knowledge: Construction certifications are proof of your knowledge and expertise. They give you confidence, inform the marketplace of your quality, and help you charge accordingly.
  • Visibility and marketing: Certifications make you stand out from your peers, exposing you to more opportunities. In addition, some institutions market their products, so you can enjoy increased visibility depending on where you receive your certification.
  • Increased earning power: The more you learn and grow professionally, the higher your worth. By getting certified, you increase the value of your services and consequently increase your income. According to the Project Management Institute, those with PMP certification earn 25% more than those without it.

12 Best Construction Certifications

The following are some of the best construction certifications to boost your construction career and business.

OSHA Training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Its goal is to prevent dangerous working conditions and provide construction and industrial workers with the necessary training to recognize and avoid safety and health hazards in the workplace.

Employers are usually required to train construction workers on safety precautions. However, you can enroll online for an OSHA training course. Depending on your role, you can either take the

  • 10-hour course for entry-level employees
  • The 30-hour course for managers

Other training programs include the OSHA training institute (OTI) Education Center and Outreach Training Program.

OSHA training includes first aid training, machine guarding, OSHA Hazard assessment, gall protection, and fire watch requirements. You don't have to be employed to undergo this training.

The length and setting of your training determine the cost. Online courses are less expensive compared to in-person training. You can get the 10-hour course at $89 and the 40-hour course at $189.

You will receive a 10-hour or 30- hour OSHA DOL card when completing an OSHA outreach training program. The card proves your competency in handling workplace safety and health issues.

The validity of the card varies depending on the industry. Although the card doesn't expire in the construction industry, you may need to take additional training every 4 to 5 years to maintain the validity of your OSHA card.

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)

The NCEES is a non-profit organization established in 1920 that certifies engineers and surveyors. It unifies the engineering and surveying licensing laws among states in the U.S and improves the mobility of these licenses.

Furthermore, it ensures the public's safety by allowing only qualified individuals to practice engineering and surveying.

NCEES organizes, issues, and scores engineering and surveying exams. Other services include exam preparation materials, CPC tracking, credentials evaluation, and a records program.

There are three exams for engineering licensure:

Likewise, land surveyor licensing requires exams such as:

To be certified, you must possess a certain education and experience. You must also take a licensing exam which costs $175 and lasts 6 hours. Only then can you apply for a license.

The requirements for the certification may vary from state to state. So research the qualifications for this certification in the state you plan to practice in.

National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP)

The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) is another professional certification that promotes safety in the workplace.

It is a non-profit organization that provides professionals in construction, petroleum, and general industries with resources, training, and certification in workplace safety.

Compared to OSHA, it has more depth and goes further in its training and requirements. As a result, it is ideal for construction managers as it teaches safety measures that help reduce job-related injuries.

It offers courses that ensure you can safely handle and manage projects. In addition, they provide you with the training and tools to help you maintain safety and reduce hazards on the work site.

Some of these courses include:

You can take these courses online or learn from a Certified Safety Manager or Certified Safety Manager Construction. The price depends on the course you take and your training setting.

The NASP certifícate and card fees range from $20 to $30. The certificate is valid for three years, after which you should renew it. You can do this by taking a recertification/refresher training before the expiration date of your NASP certifícate.

National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)

NACE was founded in 1943 to protect people and the environment from the dangerous impacts of corrosion. They've recently rebranded and renamed the organization AMPP (Association for Materials Protection and Performance).

The organization comprises engineers, researchers, scientists, technicians, and business owners. It provides information on test methods, standard practice, and material requirements through magazines and technical journals. It also provides courses, training, and about 23 certification programs.

The qualifications for NACE certifications include work experience, education, and taking NAEC courses and exams. There are three certification levels, all linked to one another.

For instance, to get to level 3, you must have completed and be certified at level 2. Also, you should expect a peer review at level 3.

The training courses cost about $1600 to $2000 while the two shorter exam courses cost between $1300 to $1600.

NACE certifications are valid for three years and can be renewed online through the NACE portal.

ACI Certification

The American Concrete Institute dispenses essential knowledge about concrete as a material and element in construction projects. This certification will equip you with the proper methods, procedures, codes, and standards of concrete use for site work. It also provides the knowledge to understand and solve construction design challenges.

Many construction projects require ACI-certified personnel on site. So regardless of your role, you can take advantage of more opportunities with an ACI certification.

ACI offers over 30 certification courses focused on concrete testing, inspection, and construction. The prices of these courses vary between $150 and $750, based on the certification.

There are little to no requirements for the program. However, you must take a written and performance exam to become certified. The ACI online training will help you prepare for this exam.

ACI certification is acceptable worldwide. Additionally, it is only valid for five years after the certification date.

Green Business Certification (LEED)

Sustainable buildings are becoming preferred as the world adjusts towards the green initiative.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program aims to promote the design and construction of green buildings. It highlights the benefits of sustainable buildings to the environment and their psychological advantages to us.

It is an excellent way to get started in Green building and construction. You will receive adequate training and knowledge to manage projects while reducing the consumption of resources, waste, and its impact on the environment. Ultimately, getting a LEED certification can help you further your career.

To become certified, you must obtain a Green Associate Certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Then you have to take an exam which lasts for two hours. The USGBC provides resources to help you prepare for the exam.

The price range for this program is between $250-$550. LEED certification is valid for three years. You can renew your certification by submitting your data for review.

Certified Energy Manager (CEM)

The certified energy manager (CEM) designation is the highest level of certification offered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

As a certified energy manager, you will work with various stakeholders to identify energy conservation opportunities, develop and implement energy conservation plans, and monitor and report progress.

You will also be responsible for maintaining accurate records of energy consumption and costs and developing energy budgets.

To become a certified energy manager, you'll need a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field. You'll also need at least five years of experience in energy management or a related field.

Without any education, the requirement is ten years of energy management experience. In addition, you have to pass the Certified Energy Manager exam, administered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). Application and examination cost $400.

Your CEM certification expires on December 31, the third year of accreditation.

American Institute of Constructors

The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) is a professional organization that promotes excellence in the construction industry. In addition, it advocates for the construction industry and works to improve the professional image of constructors. Founded in 1971, AIC has over 4,000 members in the United States and Canada.

The AIC provides educational opportunities for its members, including the Construction Management Certification Program and the Certified Construction Manager designation.

The organization also offers professional development opportunities, such as the AIC Annual Conference and the AIC Webinar Series.

The two levels of the ACI certification are the Associate Constructor (AC) and the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC).

The former is ideal if you're a recent graduate of a Construction Management program. CPC, on the other hand, is for those with many years of field experience.

Once you've established your educational and experience qualifications, you can apply for any of these certifications. Certification will be issued after passing the necessary exams. The AC and CPC exam fees are $165 and $575, respectively.

Both certifications under the AIC program expire after two years. For more information about the AIC, please visit their website at www.aic-net.org.

Certified Construction Manager (CCM)

A certified construction manager (CCM)  is one of the highest certifications in the construction industry and is endorsed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

CCMs are responsible for designing, planning, and executing construction projects. The program trains you to oversee and manage the cost, time, and other resources involved in building construction. In addition, it validates your knowledge of the best construction practices.

The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) oversees the CCM program. It describes the program as the gold standard in construction management.

Requirements for this certification program include a bachelor's degree, a minimum of four years of construction management experience, and passing an exam. Alternatively, if you don't have a bachelor's degree, you must have eight years of experience in construction with four years in management.

Application and exams cost $385.

The certification also requires renewal every three years by finishing training sessions, passing the CCM exams, and paying the recertification fee.

Certified Safety Manager (CSM)

Certified Safety Manager (CSM) trains you to work independently. In other words, it equips you with the skills to manage safety regulations, programs, and procedures without supervision.

You'll also learn how to interpret rules, avoid civil or criminal liability, and incentivize workers. So if you want to build a career in safety management, this certification is for you.

CSM certification requires you to take the CSM exam, which you can only take twice. A 40-hour National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) course will prepare you for this exam. To receive a certificate, you must score at least 80%.

Although there are no requirements for this program, you'll need experience from previous construction jobs to pass the exam.

This certification costs $395 and is valid for three years. After that, you must take a refresher course and exam to renew your CSM certification.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is one of the most popular and respected certifications in project management. Earning your PMP can give you a significant advantage in the job market and help you to stand out from your peers.

The PMP credential is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is recognized internationally. To be eligible for the PMP, you must have a minimum of 4,500 hours of project management experience and pass an exam.

The PMP exam is a multiple-choice, computer-based test that consists of 200 questions. The exam consists of two sections:

  • the PMP Exam Content Outline
  • the PMP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

The PMP Exam Content Outline covers the five project management process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.

On the other hand, the PMP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct establishes ethical principles that guide the professional behavior of PMP credential holders.

Non-members of PMI pay $555 for the certification exams, while members pay $405.

The PMP credential is valid for three years. To maintain your credential, you must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) in those three years.

Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)

The Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) is one of the levels of certification the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) offers. It is also the highest level of accreditation for constructor certification programs.

CPC is an excellent way for you to advance in your career. As a certified professional contractor, you will have the skills and experience to handle a wide range of construction projects. In addition, you'll possess the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right, whether it's home renovation, commercial projects, or significant land developments.

There are no prerequisites for CPC certification. However, having some knowledge and experience in construction management would be helpful.

The certification exam is computer-based and takes place twice a year within two weeks. It costs $575 if you have an Associate constructor credential and $675 if you do not.

The certification is due for renewal every two years.

Bonus: Additional Construction Certifications

  1. Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP): This certification is important for professionals who specialize in the financial management aspect of construction. It demonstrates expertise in accounting principles, legal and regulatory matters, and the unique financial needs of the construction industry.
  2. Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certification: BPI certifications are geared towards individuals working in home performance and energy efficiency improvements. These certifications cover areas like building analyst, envelope professional, and heating professional.
  3. Construction Documents Technology (CDT): Offered by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), this certification is for professionals who deal with writing, managing, or interpreting construction documents.
  4. Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Certification: This certification is for professionals who are involved in design-build projects, which is a method of project delivery that combines design and construction services under one contract.
  5. Certified Access Specialist (CASp): A CASp is a certified professional who specializes in accessibility standards for public buildings and facilities, ensuring compliance with state and federal construction accessibility standards.
  6. Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST): This certification focuses on construction site safety and health. It's aimed at those who manage safety and health programs on construction job sites.
  7. Roadway Construction Safety Technician (RCST): For those involved in roadway construction, this certification focuses on safety measures and best practices specific to roadway construction sites.
  8. Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer (CESCO): This certification is for those who focus on environmental compliance and safety, particularly relevant in projects where environmental impact is a significant concern.

Which Construction Certification is Right for You?

There are construction certifications for many roles in the construction industry. Therefore, to know the proper construction certifications, you must evaluate your career and business goals, target market, competitiveness, etc.

Doing so will help you recognize and choose the certifications that will help you achieve these goals. Cost, schedule, and training sets are other factors to consider when selecting a construction certification program.

You may find that your needs span a large area. In that case, you can opt for multiple certifications to cover them.

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