Types of Construction Certifications

Types of Construction Certifications

There are many types of construction certifications available to professionals, from project management certifications to gold standard engineering and surveying certifications. Whether you’re a general contractor or leading a team in crane operations, training programs and certifications will set you and your team apart in bidding, on worksites, and help you gain respect and market share in the construction industry.

What is a construction certification?

Certifications for construction companies show clients that they are trained in best practices for specific areas of expertise. Some certifications also communicate one’s specific dedication to quality in workmanship, safety, and approach to business. 

There are a wide range of certifications to suit different businesses, from LEED certifications to show your proficiency and expertise in green building, to project management certificates that reflect a dedication to business ethics and good service. 

Advantages of Having a Certified Business

There are many advantages to having a certified construction business, including:

  • Adds credibility to your business. Professional certifications set individuals and companies apart in a competitive marketplace. Clients and developers look to partner with well-respected, certified construction companies, and construction professionals are also keen to hire certified employees.
  • Serve as a marketing tool to attract top-tier clients. Some organizations in the construction industry look to certify their teams to differentiate their business when bidding on projects or in marketing materials.
  • Establish meaningful agency partnerships. Partnerships established through certifications can add accountability to billing and payment processes to keep projects on timeline and budget.

6 Types of Construction Certifications

There are many certifications available to individuals and businesses in the construction industry, from those that offer certification in a specific skill to certificates in a type of construction method. 

Green Business Certification 

A Green Business Certification can be obtained for those who are looking to show they know green building practices and are able to take on projects looking to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The United States Green Building Council offers many different LEED certifications and credentials, including the LEED Associate credential and the more advanced, LEED AP with Specialty credential. 

Outreach Training Program

The U.S. government’s own Outreach Training Program through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) educates companies on occupational health and safety on construction sites. Coursework focuses on recognizing, avoiding, abating, and preventing safety and health hazards in many industries including construction.

Two courses are available and no prerequisites are required. Entry-level training is provided through a 10-hour course, while experienced professionals are recommended to receive a greater depth training through a 30-hour course.

Certified Safety Manager: Construction (CSMC)

A Certified Safety Manager: Construction (CSMC) certification from the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) trains people on all aspects of worksite safety and potential hazards that occur in the construction industry. A Certified Safety Manager oversees safety on construction sites and runs safety trainings for the crew. 

No prerequisites are necessary to become a certified safety manager, but previous knowledge and experience with workplace safety will help. You receive certification after the completion of a 40-hour course offered by the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP).

American Concrete Institute 

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) offers over 25 different certifications, including testing certifications and inspection certifications. Many state and local laws or building codes require ACI-certified personnel on-site during construction for buildings that require concrete, which makes the certifications offered by the ACI necessary for many construction companies. 

There are no prerequisites certification programs offer through the ACI, though they do recommend online training for exam prep.

Certified Construction Manager (CCM)

A construction manager’s role on the job site is to satisfy both project management and hiring duties. A construction manager works to identify and hire well-suited, qualified teams for the job so that it goes smoothly and meets all expectations. A CCM will also manage the timeline and budget, keeping a job on course from beginning to end.

Prerequisites outlined by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) include eight years of construction experience or four years of experience following a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business 

The National Minority Supplier Development Council offers certifications that your construction business is majority-owned by women or people part of a minority group. These certifications can make it easier for small businesses to build relationships in their community and industry. In addition to providing business owners the potential for meaningful mentorships and partnerships, these certifications provide access to valuable training programs to help employees and businesses grow and thrive. Certification criteria and documentation are reviewed by third-party partners who audit qualifications to ensure that the business is at least 51% minority-owned. The certification process can take up to 90-days.

MT Copeland offers video-based online classes that give you a foundation in construction fundamentals with real-world applications, like certifying your business. Classes include professionally produced videos taught by practicing craftspeople, and supplementary downloads like quizzes, blueprints, and other materials to help you master the skills.


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Jennifer Todd

Jennifer Todd is the president of LMS General Contractors, a full-service demolition and environmental contracting business based in South Florida that completes local, state, and federal work across the Southeast and California. She is the youngest Black woman to receive California’s CSLB (A) General Engineering license, and has been recognized by Engineering News-Record as a 2020 Top 25 Newsmaker and a 2021 Top 20 Under 40 Professional. Construction Business Owner Magazine also recognized her as a 2020 Outstanding Women in Construction finalist.  

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