Looking to transition from Architecture to construction/project management role? Will a Construction Management Degree help me?


Hi Guys,

I am working as an architect for 3 years in a small design-build office. In the design division, I work on the design to detailing majorly on villas design and running around for approvals and stuff. In the build division part of my job, I have to make quantity estimation for many of the projects that come in.

Due to be being solely in the design department I have zero site knowledge and what generally happens on the site. I have visited sites a few times for inspection but have no idea on the day-to-day.

I have been working with a project manager in the company but over time the company has started distancing my job role so now I am only focused on design. During that time I have felt that I am more interested in construction management rather than the designing of buildings.

So now I am currently looking for a master or a diploma in construction management. I will also be doing to outside my country mostly Canada (looking to immigrate).


  • Has any Architect successfully transitioned into a project manager role with a degree? (I know I will have to start a base level and work my way up.)

  • How hard will it be for someone with my experience?

  • How can I prep or learn something on my own prior to going to college?

  • Will the pay be good enough?

Jan 12, 21 12:46 pm

I think you have a good, interesting job

Jan 12, 21 1:31 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

it’s ridiculous to think that someone can be an architect without knowing anything about site... and no degree will replace real experience on site getting your boots dirty. Best to look for opportunities in your current office rather than buying degrees. 

Jan 12, 21 1:35 pm  · 

You don't need a CM degree to manage sites. With a management degree it's unlikely you would step right into the role of a PM managing projects anyway. You'll start in a PE, PC or APM role hopefully getting the experience you need to fulfill the PM role. You come with a unique set of knowledge with an architect's background. If you're not able to get the site experience at your firm, try to look for the above roles with a GC. You don't need certificates or degrees. You need to be good at managing people and staying under budget. 

Jan 12, 21 1:57 pm  · 
1  · 

Normally, you would get some experience in Construction Management while working in an architects or engineer's office. That's how most folks get the experience and end up doing CM for a construction company.

If you are keen on CM, but some office won't help you get there, you move to another. Traditionally, that's how things go. Now, if you are lucky, upon graduation, you may end up working for a construction company in which case you will get all the experience in CM you want or can take.

Having a degree in it will certainly work to your advantage over anyone who does not have such education.

I can guarantee you that two big construction company players in Canada (Ellis-Don, and PCL) would look at you first if you had that degree over someone who does not.

You can help yourself a bit if you get a job with a construction company, example - Site Super Assistant, then move to a higher capacity.

Pay is often times better than working in an architects office, and there won't be any all-nighters without pay. Go for it!

Jan 12, 21 2:35 pm  · 
1  · 

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