What Can You Do With A Construction Degree?

colleges with construction management programs
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Construction is the art of building a structure to serve a specific purpose. These structures can range from bridges to warehouses, from private homes to strip malls. With a construction degree, the sky is the limit. Literally. In this article, you will find information related to construction including places you can earn your construction degree as well as types of careers related to construction.

The Construction Process

What is involved in constructing a building? What is the proper procedure for building a structure? These are things you learn in trade school while focusing on getting your construction degree. The general process includes the consultation, designing, obtaining necessary legal documents, and executing the design of the structure.

Those involved in the construction of a building are knowledgeable in various subjects, including building rules and regulations of specific areas, advanced math skills, science, and communications.

How to Get a Construction Degree

Many trade schools offer degrees in some related field of construction in order to prepare you to start a career in construction with particularly advanced skills compared to those with no specific education in construction. In middle and high school, you should take wood and metal shop classes. It is also not uncommon for trade schools and colleges to offer joint engineering and construction programs.

The Community College of Philadelphia has a Construction Management Program in which you can earn an associates degree in applied science to prepare you for further education at a four-year college or university. When studying construction management at the Community College of Philadelphia, students learn the basics of drafting, working building equipment, and creating building contracts. Students also develop leadership and team management skills necessary for managing a successful team of contractors.

The University of Houston’s College of Technology offers students the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Construction Management. Classes take place online so that you can learn and work at your own pace while still living out your day-to-day activities with minimal interruption. Classes prepare students for careers in construction engineering, project controls, estimation, and more. Earning a certificate from this college qualifies students for licensing exams necessary for working in specific fields. Refer to the website for more information on whether this certificate program is the best next step for you.

Brigham Young University’s Construction Management Program prepares students for a career in the field of construction while providing them with excellent educational experiences in every course. Some intriguing courses included in the program are International Construction Practices, Trigonometry, Light Structural Systems, Construction Contracts and Law, and more. Students learn the skills and concepts necessary to excel in construction management and leadership during their time earning a bachelors degree in construction management. This private university believes in releasing academic excellence in each and every one of its students.

Careers in Construction

Many career opportunities open up to you once you earn your associates degree, bachelors degree, and/or masters degree in construction management and engineering. Some opportunities that will await you are described in this section.

Entry Level Careers in Construction

With minimal experience and an associate or bachelors degree in construction management or a related field, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described below.

Buying and Purchasing Agent

Buying and purchasing agents are responsible for acquiring necessary supplies and equipment for top performance on the job. They also assist in reviewing contracts and helping to manage finances. It is usually common for a buying and purchasing agent to possess a degree in economics or business management, and to work in the construction field, background knowledge and maybe even a certificate in construction. Buying and purchasing agents are excellent with finances and possess outstanding mathematical and organizational skills.

Buying and purchasing agents can earn over $25,000 annually, depending on the company for which they work and their education and experience levels.

Commercial Carpenters

Commercial carpenters take part in the building and repair of commercial structures, such as strip malls and grocery stores. They also design and construct not only the shells of buildings but also necessities like cabinets and tables. They are particularly crafty and creative with outstanding math skills and good communication skills. Degrees are not always required, as much of the work is physical labor.

Commercial carpenters can earn a salary of around $35,000 annually, often depending mostly on experience.

Project Estimator

construction project estimator
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A project estimator, otherwise known as a cost estimator, is responsible for determining the overall cost of a construction project. To establish an estimated overall cost, a project estimator looks at the cost of labor and supplies and the time frame in which the project is to be completed. They also do on-site visits to determine the availability of resources needed for the project and for the end result. In order to land a job as a project estimator, knowledge in finances is extremely valuable in an applicant as is a bachelors degree in construction management.

Project estimators can earn around $50,000 annually, depending on the company for which they work and their education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Construction

With more experience comes more job opportunities. Check out the descriptions below that may directly relate to your degree in construction or similar field.

Contract Administrator

Contract administrators are responsible for creating and revising contracts involved in the purchasing of materials and equipment and the selling of services provided by the company, consulting with sellers and clients regularly. They have outstanding written and verbal communication skills and are knowledgeable in business writing with bachelor degrees in construction, business management, or other related fields and can also possess master degrees in business or construction management, as well. They also have experience in business writing and construction.

Contract administrators can earn around $60,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.

Project Control Specialist

Project control specialists manage teams of employees on building and engineering job sites. They are also responsible for the planning and financing of specific projects and seeing that those projects are carried through successfully. They possess outstanding leadership qualities, so excellent verbal and written communication are crucial, as are creativity and organizational skills. Many project control specialists have many years of experience in the construction field as well as a masters degree in construction management or similar field.

Project control specialists can earn over $89,000 annually, based on knowledge and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Construction Degrees

Once you earn your associates, bachelors, or masters degree in construction and engineering or construction management, it is time to begin the infamous job hunt. Companies around the globe are constantly looking for people with knowledge and experience in construction, because more and more buildings are being erected on a regular basis. Companies are busy, and they may need more employees to lighten their workloads. Below is a list of some places that hire people with construction degrees.

Hunt, Guillot & Associates, LLC – founded in Ruston, LA, with locations around the world; hires positions for project controls specialists, project managers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, civil designers, etc.

Parametrix, Inc. – locations in ID, MN, OR, and WA; environmental services firm; hires positions for project controls specialists, construction project inspectors, materials testers, civil engineers, etc.

Willbros Group, Inc. – headquarters in Houston, TX; global contractor and engineering company; hires positions for project controls specialists, proposal coordinators, project managers, project engineers, etc.

PPL Corporation – located in Holtwood, PA; hires positions for engineers, project controls managers, plant operators, formen, etc.

A career in construction is perfect for the person who wants to stay physically active and make a difference in the world one building at a time.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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