Construction management (CNST) is a complete undergraduate degree program available to students within the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction located at Nebraska Hall on the Lincoln City Campus and at the Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) in Omaha. Construction is one of the largest and most diversified industries in the country, accounting for approximately four percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The key professional in this vast enterprise is the “constructor,” a term given to leaders and managers in the construction industry who are responsible for planning, scheduling, and building the projects designed by architects and engineers. These highly-specialized efforts are indispensable in meeting the country’s growing need for new structures, infrastructure, and environmental controls that are of high quality and are cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable.
Construction firms vary in size from large corporations to small proprietorships and partnerships. These are often classified according to the kind of construction work they do: general contractors, heavy and highway contractors, specialty contractors—including mechanical and electrical—and residential builders and developers. Many firms engage in more than one category of work. Some larger companies incorporate the architectural and engineering design functions as part of their role as a design/build firm. Collectively, constructors manufacture our entire built environment—buildings for housing, commerce and industry, highways, railroads, waterways, airports, power plants, energy distribution systems, military bases, and space center complexes. Thus, the construction management field is broad, requiring a unique educational background for its professional practitioners.