Do you enjoy working with your hands? Are you a visual thinker who has an intuitive understanding of engineering and construction? If you also have a talent for management, construction technology may be a perfect fit for your abilities and interests.
The construction industry employs over 11 million people in the U.S., and there’s an ongoing demand for construction professionals to enter the field. Do you have what it takes to major in construction technology?
What Does a Construction Technician Do?
Construction technology encompasses a broad range of job positions that each come with distinct responsibilities. Construction technologists manage projects across a broad spectrum of industries — from residential construction to commercial construction to government-funded projects. The versatility of this job is one significant reason to consider entering the field.
Some construction technologists work for construction companies, where they assist with and eventually manage or oversee a whole host of tasks, including site inspection, reviewing building codes, analyzing blueprints, framing, drywalling, and much more. Other construction technologists may find a position in a more specialized company where they can continue to hone their skills in a specific area of construction, such as electrical work or plumbing.
With the right expertise, construction technologists can also take on managerial roles, overseeing diverse crews that may include structural engineers, ironworkers, and other specialized professionals.
The Skills You Need to Succeed as a Construction Technologist
If you are interested in working in the construction technology field, you’ll need a broad range of skills. Some of these relate to aptitude, while others are specific hard skills you’ll develop through courses or on-the-job training. You may want to consider becoming a construction technician if you have an inclination for the following.
- Math and engineering: If math is one of your stronger subjects, this will serve you well in a construction technology program, since you’ll take engineering courses. You’ll also need to take measurements on the job and do the necessary math to determine the right place to cut or position materials.
- Problem-solving: Even with a well-thought-out set of plans, construction projects are notorious for throwing curveballs, making problem-solving a valuable skill. The ability to manage complicated problems and devise safe, cost-effective solutions is especially relevant for a construction manager.
- Visual-spatial reasoning: You’ll also need strong visual-spatial skills in the construction industry. You need to be able to envision how a project will come together and foresee potential problems before building or installing something that may not fit correctly into a space.
- Attention to detail: Especially for specific types of construction, precision is everything. You should have a keen eye for detail to ensure projects meet or exceed clients’ expectations. Attention to detail is essential for specific tasks, like painting or tilework, but it’s a helpful skill across the construction industry.
- Leadership/management skills: Construction technologists who want to advance their careers must also be able to manage workers, subcontractors, and other professionals they interact with on the job site. Being able to coordinate a team through effective communication and organization is essential.
In a construction technician program, you’ll learn specific skills, like how to read and interpret blueprints, how to understand local building codes, and how to closely monitor the results of periodic inspections.
Preparing for Your Career in Construction Technology
If you are planning to major in construction technology, you’ll need to do a little homework first. Not every construction technology program has received certification from the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. You’ll want to determine whether you’re interested in studying the management aspects of construction technology or if you prefer to learn about engineering itself. Review the major syllabus to see what kinds of courses you’ll be taking.
You’ll also want to gain experience early. Working in the construction field while you are earning your degree is an effective way to learn the out-of-classroom skills you’ll need to succeed. Cooperative learning opportunities and internships are some of the ways you can get additional experience. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice, select a program that features the latest technologies and equipment. If possible, tour sites, labs, and shops to see what the workers use.
If you cannot immediately secure a job, internship, or cooperative learning opportunity in construction, don’t give up. The classes in this field usually include multiple hands-on learning opportunities.
Start Your Construction Technology Career at Vista College
Vista College offers a Construction Technology Diploma Program that gives you the classroom learning and the practical experience you need to develop in-demand job skills. You can complete our comprehensive program in as little as 40 weeks.
At Vista College, you will learn how to read construction drawings. You’ll also master exciting new concepts in environmentally friendly design and building practices. You’ll gain experience in wiring, piping, framing, concrete work, and more. We offer our Construction Technology courses at our El Paso campus during daytime and evening hours, making it easy to fit your program into your busy lifestyle. Our instructors include professionals with real-world experience, as well as an impressive breadth of knowledge.
Programs begin every five weeks. Once you’ve completed your studies, our Career Services department can help you transition from student to professional. We’ll help you create a resume and cover letter, provide job interview coaching, and help you devise a search strategy tailored to your specific interests and abilities.
For more information about our Construction Technology Program, contact Vista College today.