How Do You Become A Certified Construction Manager?

Deborah K. Vick

To become a certified construction manager, you will need ample years of experience in the field and qualifications to back it up.

Learning how to become a certified construction manager with the proper certification to enhance your qualifications and grow your career is one consideration when mapping your future in the industry.

In fact, a CCM certification in construction offered by the CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), combined with productive experience in the field, can set you apart from other leading candidates vying for the same job.

Further, a career in the building and construction field is becoming competitive, and the need for qualifications to access the field, set yourself apart, and progress your career is becoming increasingly more important.

Briefly, here are the steps to becoming a certified construction manager from CMAA.  Below the steps are additional questions and answers relevant to achieving the accreditation.

How to become a certified construction manager?

  1. Achieve the required degree and/or construction work experience (see below)
  2. Apply for the CMAA accredited CCM accreditation here
  3. Prepare for the examination
  4. Pass the examination

What are the benefits of a CCM certification?

  • Receive a certificate and digital badge to promote on your resume of knowledge and experience.
  • Set yourself apart at your current company or as a job applicant.
  • Strengthen your job proposals


What is the best way to become certified construction manager?

To become a certified construction manager, consider becoming a member of and applying to an accredited organization such as the CMAA.

The Construction Management Association of America is an industry association dedicated to the practice of professional construction management. CMAA represents more than 16,000 members including federal/state/local government and private sector owners, construction consultants, technology suppliers, academia, and legal organizations all with a common goal: to improve our nation’s infrastructure.

About the CMCI CM Certification Program:

The Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI) has offered its Construction Management (CM) certification program for more than 25 years and continually certifies more qualified CMs than anyone else in the construction industry. Individuals, companies, and owners recognize the CCM certification as a sign of professionalism.

What are the construction management certification requirements?

The requirements for applying for a CCM through CMCI include the following:

  1. 4-year degree with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience, or
  2. 2-year degree with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience, or
  3. 8 years of field experience with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience


what are construction management certification requirements

What construction management certifications are available?

A construction management certification is a program you will need to pay for, but funding options are available. The beauty of these CCM construction certificates is that once you have completed the qualification, you will be seen as a Certified Construction Manager – with the proof to back it up!

Common construction certificates include:

  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
  • Construction Manager in Training Program

How do you apply for a CCM certificate?

Apply online or by mail:

Applicants may apply to become CCM certified by using the application online at or by mailing, emailing, or faxing the application to CMCI.

Applicants must provide phone and email contact information to facilitate email in confirming receipt of the application and any necessary phone contact during or following the application or examination process.

Include references:

Applications will not be processed unless all required information is complete on the application, references are received, and the application fee is paid in full. Applicants must provide references from at least two clients, supervisors, or current CCMs.

These references must be able to confirm the applicant’s experience. Applicants must also submit a professional resume along with educational documentation, such as a copy of a degree or an official transcript.

Provide documentation of experience (if necessary):

Additional documentation will be required if a candidate’s experience is used instead of the educational requirements.

Gain approval from the board of governors:

All applications are subject to audit by the CMCI Board of Governors. Those applicants who meet the criteria will be “advanced to candidacy” and are thereby approved to take the CCM exam. CMCI will email the approved candidates instructions on how they may schedule their exam with PSI.

How long does it take to become a certified construction manager?

You will need a 4-year degree with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience, a 2-year degree with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience, or 8 years of field experience with 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience plus the time it takes to apply for the certificate, study for, and pass the exam to become a CCM. Interested in a skilled-labor role? Learn how long it takes to become an electrician here.

What do employers look for in a qualified construction project manager?

Many employers will look for specific qualifications such as a degree or certification and relevant work experience when considering hiring a construction manager. Experience doesn’t necessarily need to be in a management role, but experience working in the construction field for a few years is typically preferred.

Qualifications aside, you will also need to possess a collection of hard skills and soft skills to be a construction manager. Most employers will seek excellent time management, technical construction, and customer service skills. Thankfully most of these skills can be developed as your career progresses, allowing for success as a construction manager.

What degree do you need to become a construction manager?

You do not have to have a degree to become and construction manager.  If you have one or not, becoming a CCM can help you promote yourself within your company, with potential new employers, and in the business development process.

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as construction management, engineering, or architecture is advantageous, although not necessarily required to become a construction manager. A CCM-certified construction manager is another option that can help prove your knowledge and show your interest in the field. It’s also a great compliment to a degree.

If you are already an experienced construction worker, then your years of employment showcase your experience in the field and put you in good standing for a promotion or to become a manager. A CCM certificate complements your years of experience. Further, if you lack a degree or years of experience, becoming a CCM-certified construction manager can really be beneficial.

How long is a CCM certification construction course?

The courses themselves vary in length, depending on whether you do them full-time or part-time; the CCM, Certified Construction Manager qualification, is the most popular and takes roughly 1-2 years to complete.

You will need to log hours in a management or supervisory role and have evidence of these. It’s best to discuss these with your current employer before undertaking the course so they can make the necessary arrangements and support you.

If you work freelance or run your own business, you will still need proof of these hours, and it’s best to contact the examining body for specific advice tailored to your situation. Once you have completed this experience, you can take the exam.

However, we advise that you also build in some time to revise and prepare for the exam. You can do this while completing your experience or dedicate time to prepare; the choice is yours.

how long does it take to become a ccm certified construction manager
Phases of the CCM Responsible-in-Charge Experience Requirements

We think it helps make notes of your experiences and prepare for the exam while completing your necessary experience. In addition, it means you won’t forget anything and can relate your exam to real-world experiences you have had in a supervisor or management position.

How long is the certified construction manager exam?

The CCM exam takes 4 hours (240 minutes) to complete and covers various topics. You will be expected to answer questions based on the following topics:

  • Cost Management
  • Professional Practice
  • Program and Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Contract Administration
  • Quality Management
  • Safety Management
  • Time management
  • Sustainability

The exam is designed to be very practical and determine that you know all risks and factors that must be considered when undertaking and managing construction work. Depending on your qualification, the time and practical work required will vary, but you can expect these topics to be covered.

We recommend checking out the CMAA Handbook Guide for more information about the CCM exam and how you can best prepare for this! It’s worth noting that once you have passed your exam and been recognized as a certified construction manager, you will need to renew it every few years to remain up to date and certified. Whether you need to and how often will depend on the qualification you are undertaking and will be made clear to you before you undertake your studies.

how hard is the ccm certified construction manager exam

How hard is the certified construction manager exam?

The Certified Construction Manager (CCM) exam is considered to be quite hard. As we saw earlier, you will have 4 hours to answer questions on various topics, all relating to your capabilities as a construction manager.

In addition, you are assessed based on your general knowledge of design and construction, following the norms the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) establishes as the norm. You can find out more information about this by contacting them directly.

To pass the exam, you will need at least 71%. The computer-based test can be quite tricky, and we recommend being extremely well prepared to ensure you pass the first time and begin working as a certified construction manager. You must allow plenty of time to revise and prepare for the long is the certified construction manager exam

What is the best way to prepare for the certified construction manager exam?

An excellent way to prepare for this exam is to read the Handbook Guide the CMAA provides. The guide contains helpful tips that can help you prepare and the guidelines you need to follow. These guidelines are very strict, and you must follow them carefully to ensure you can successfully sit and pass your exam.

It’s worth reading these carefully and raise any questions with your supervisor or exam board in plenty of time; you don’t want to panic at the last minute, do you?

Certified Construction Manager Practice Exam

  • These 200 questions and answers CCM Certified Construction Manager Practice Exam would surely give you an idea and help you pass the exam.
  • This book is a must if you want a feel for the actual exam.

What is required to be a certified construction project manager?

Learning what are the requirements to earn certified construction manager status is an important part of the process. The requirements change per each school’s standards, but most require a certain number of years of experience or course hours.

How do you get your certified construction manager license?

You get your construction project manager certification license by signing up for an accredited CCM course, completing the coursework if applicable, and passing the exam.

Where can I find certified construction manager classes?

Do your research; many courses and certifications can be found online with differing requirements, exams, and credentials.

How do you become a certified construction manager

How to become a construction manager?

You can become a construction manager through experience on a job site coupled with education and applicable degrees and certifications.

How often do you need to get recertified?

You will need to get recertified every 3 years as a CCM.

Need More Help on Becoming a CCM? Check Out These Video Tips

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