Sharpen Your Saw: Training Resources for Construction PMs

Ben Hadick imageBen Hadick  •  


To stay on top of your game and move ahead, you need to keep up-to-date on the latest practices and connect with other industry professionals. And if you have some off-site time on your hands right now, it’s the perfect time to go online and learn something. This guide should help you stay sharp with courses, podcasts (like ours), and certifications to add to your toolbox — of information!

Online learning for construction management

Get educated without the pressure of meeting new people IRL.


An online learning platform that offers online courses, specialized programs, and degrees. Their courses are well-structured and they offer degree programs through top institutions (Stanford, University of Michigan, e.g.). Columbia University, for one, offers a specialization in construction management that includes courses on scheduling, cost estimating, cost control, and finance. Prices for courses and programs vary, ranging from $29 for a single 4-to-6-week course to $25,000 for some 3-year degrees.


An open platform for instructors to create and market their courses. There are 150,000 courses and counting, including one on Primavera P6. Courses are available per diem (varying prices) and can be done at your own pace.

Linkedin Learning

Available by subscription and includes a free month trial. Unlimited access packages start at $20/month. A few of their offerings:

Specific to construction management, they have courses for planning, scheduling, and reading drawings and specifications.


A treasure trove of useful videos. Although you may have to narrow down a search to focus on content posted by trusted companies or resources, you can find valuable videos through dedicated channels — like "Effective construction scheduling, University of Michigan lecture."

BONUS: Fieldwire's YouTube channel can help you and your team get up and running with our field collaboration solution.

Stay in the know with top industry podcasts

With podcasts, you can take experts with you wherever you go (except the active jobsite).

From the Ground Up, the Podcast for Construction Pros

Fieldwire co-founders Yves Frinault and Javed Singha chat with construction leaders about their projects, their challenges, and what it means to them to see the finished products.

The Contech Crew

Features news and current trends from the construction and technology industries and includes interviews with contech leaders.

A Viewpoint on Construction

Innovative ideas, creative voices, and forward-thinking themes that are shaping the industry.

Mass Construction Show

Covers real estate development, code, risk management, technology, and everything else construction.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio: Construction Technology Trends for Contractors Podcast

Field perspectives and stories from construction business owners about their successes, challenges, and more.

Build Better with Anastasia Barnes

Interviews with engineering, construction, and architecture professionals.

Buildings Podcast

The latest developments and practices in facility management, including energy management, lowering operating costs, maintaining commercial buildings, safety and security, sustainability, green issues, project management, and building performance.

The Construction Management Podcast

Tools for new and seasoned construction professionals looking to take their careers to the next level.

Design-Build Delivers

Guests offering real-world project solutions, best practices, and the latest design-build news and innovations.


All the news, views, and interviews relevant to the construction business from the AGC.

Certification prep

NOTE: Although testing centers may presently be closed due to COVID-19, you can still get ready to sit for an exam in the future. Nearly all of these certifications require research, planning, and preparation to pass — which you can do online.

Certified Construction Manager

The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) offers a certification accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Improve your marketability and earning potential while growing your professional network with this industry-standard certificate. You'll also learn to help your project owners mitigate risk by ensuring safety, reducing costs, and delivering projects on time.

Online prep: Exam Prep Tools


  • 48 months of responsible-in-charge experience in construction management
  • For CMAA members, certification costs $325; the exam costs $275
  • The computer-based test (CBT) exam takes three hours

Project Managemment Professional (PMP)

Although the PMP is not specific to construction, project management fundamentals provide a strong basis for further specialization. To become a PMP, you'll need to learn how to lead and direct project teams and successfully execute complex projects as well as how to manage the scope of a project and balance project schedule, quality, and overall cost.

Online prep: PMP Exam Prep (PMI)


  • Five years (60 months) of non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of formal project management education
  • Costs $555 for non-PMI members
  • The computer-based test (CBT) exam takes four hours

LEED Professional Certification

Develop the expertise to build sustainably and achieve LEED certifications for your projects.

Online prep: LEED credential exam prep


  • Documented professional experience on a recent LEED project (within the last three years)
  • Costs: $400 for LEED Green Associate plus LEED Advanced Professional (USGBC members); $550 for non-members
  • Specialty-only exam (for active LEED Green Associates): $250 for USGBC members; $350 non-members
  • The computer-based test (CBT) exam takes three hours

OSHA 10- or 30-Hour Certifications

Learn how to identify, predict, and avoid hazards in the workplace and become a safety champion within your organization. Learn about confined space, crane safety, electrical risks, fire hazards, PPE, and other safety-related topics.

Online certification available for $179.

National Commission for the Certification for Crane Operators

Learn how to be a mobile crane operator, boom truck operator, crane inspector, drill rig operator, overhead crane operator, rigger, and more. This is a nationally recognized and internationally accredited certification program.

Eligibility to qualify varies.

Costs: Check the 2020 CCO Exam Fees for specifics.

American Concrete Institute (ACI)

There is a growing list of organizations requiring these certification credentials. You'll learn concrete field/laboratory testing, concrete construction, anchoring, and specialty concrete (foundations, shotcrete, tilt-up) — to name a few.

Eligibility to qualify varies.

Review the various certifications here.

Cost, time commitment, and testing locations vary by certification.

National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)

There are 23 certifications for a variety of disciplines, including the industry-leading Coating Inspector Program (CIP) endorsement. Certifications include cathodic protection, pipeline, and specialty coating.

Eligibility to qualify varies.

Review certifications here.

Cost, time commitment, and testing locations vary by certification.

National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP)

Become a certified safety manager to oversee and drive safety compliance and monitoring. Employ safety tools and processes for your organization. There is a range of certifications available that will equip you with the tools and resources you need to reduce job-related injuries and illnesses, focusing on human dynamics.

Cost and time commitment vary depending on the certification.

Autodesk Certifications

This certification verifies that you have essential Autodesk software skills and industry knowledge. Increase your marketability with additional expertise in AutoCAD, Civil 3D, REVIT, and others.

The experience needed to earn an ACP certification typically comes from having worked with the software in a professional environment for at least two years, or the equivalent of approximately 400 hours, minimum.

Costs range from $80 to $200.

The two-hour exams can be taken at a Pearson VUE Testing Center or online at OnVUE.

Design-Build Institute of America Certifications

Become a certified facilitator of Design-Build project delivery. Understand how to deliver a project in a unified effort from the designer and contractor, start to finish. You'll also develop an innovative and collaborative problem-solving and project management style.


  • Bachelor’s degree and professional experience
  • Completion of core coursework
  • Completion of a $400 comprehensive exam

Certified Welding Inspector

Certified welding inspectors ensure that welders adhere to strict guidelines and safety rules that keep everyone safe. The American Welding Society offers the only recognized certification for welders.

Preparation courses and seminars available online.

Professional licensure

Whether you're already doing the job and seek recognition or wanting to up your game, a license qualifies you to do the job.

General Contractor

Do you have at least four years of professional construction experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, contractor, or owner-builder? Become your own boss by becoming a Licensed General Contractor through your state’s licensing board. For California builders, for instance, the license criteria is here.

Preparation materials and coursework available online.

Professional Land Surveyor

Requires experience in land surveying and passing a Land Surveyor in Training (LSIT) exam — but the effort will allow you to practice as a professional surveyor and eventually own and operate your own surveying business.

Preparation materials and coursework available online.

Professional Engineer

A PE license requires a bachelor's of science degree in engineering and experience working under a licensed professional engineer as well as passing exams. The license allows you to sign and seal construction documents within your area of expertise. Eventually, you can own and operate your own engineering consulting firm.

Licensing is available through your state’s licensing board.

Preparation materials and coursework available online.

Further education

Not all learning happens in the classroom — but some does.

Engineering Technology

Obtain an online Associates Degree in Civil Engineering Technology. Learn the fundamentals of engineering and construction. Learn to prepare computer-aided drawings (CAD), surveys, estimates, and material testing reports, as well as to develop design criteria for roads.

Trade School

Learning a specialty construction trade in a niche market improves your marketability and ensures your skills are always in demand. Contact your local union to get information on training and apprenticeship programs.

The most useful trades to learn:

Construction Management Degrees

Obtain an online Masters of Science in Construction Management and learn to organize and manage all phases of large construction projects. This education will also prepare you for a managerial position within a construction organization.

Civil Engineering Degree

Obtain a Bachelor's of Science in an engineering discipline related to the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.

Mechanical Engineering

This is a Bachelor of Science degree in an engineering discipline that combines engineering physics and mathematics principles with materials science so you can design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines.

University programs

UC Berkeley offers a certificate program (with online courses) in construction management and leadership. The coursework includes an introduction to BIM (virtual design and construction tech), sustainable construction practices, construction law, and management. Yes, it's expensive — but you'll get access to the UC Berkeley-approved advisory board to go along with that prestigious diploma.

Stanford offers an online certificate program in virtual design and construction. Learn advanced BIM skills and parametric systems design.

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