Did you know there is a growing demand for hardworking, well-educated workers in the construction field? Fortunately, there are correspondingly more ways to study construction and related fields, and there is an increasing number of employment opportunities for construction graduates.
Pursuing a degree in construction technology or a related field can be a great move that can help launch you into a variety of successful career paths. Many individuals may move directly into jobs in the construction industry, while others may pursue further degrees in more advanced areas, and some may eventually choose to start construction companies.
As a worker in the construction field, you might end up doing any number of things. You could work on building houses, skyscrapers, roads, bridges, or parks. Perhaps you will find yourself working for a private company, or the government. After several years, you could even work your way into a management position.
The construction field is vast, and growing all the time. A recent survey by Associated General Contractors revealed three-quarters of respondents believe their firm will increase their headcount in 2020 to keep up with demand. With a high demand for labor in the construction industry, there is an exciting opportunity for new workers to find their space in the field.
Are you curious if pursuing a degree in this field might be the right choice for you? To help you make your decision, we have put together a helpful list of possible jobs that might naturally stem from a degree in construction technology.
Potential Career Outcomes
A large variety of career options might be open to you with an educational background in this field. As with any industry, every job comes with a different level of educational requirements. Some employers might ask for an associate degree, and others might require a bachelor’s. Regardless of the level of degree required, all these positions will require practical, on-the-job training as well. Consider some of the top construction technology jobs below.
1. Construction Worker
“Construction worker” is an umbrella term covering many specialties. Among construction workers, there is tremendous variety in their areas of expertise. You will need to narrow down which area you would like to focus on.
For example, you might opt to be a cement paver, a drywall installer, a stonemason, or a carpet installer. You might also be an elevator installer, an HVAC tech, or a mechanical and installation worker.
As you can see, the job title “construction worker” spans a range of professions. As is the case with most fields, there are many entry-level and management positions within the industry. One such example might be a project manager, whose job it is to oversee the construction supervisors and ensure the construction is going according to plan and is on schedule.
It is sound advice for prospective construction workers to complete a certification program in building or construction through a community college, a trade school, or a similar institution. These types of programs train students in the technical aspects of construction work and take about a year to complete on average. In courses such as these, the curriculum may focus on areas like blueprint reading, carpentry, roofing, and flooring.
In addition to programs like these, most prospective construction workers decide on an area they are interested in specializing in. They then seek out an apprenticeship or other additional training in that field.
After gaining experience in the field, construction workers can advance to manager-level positions. If a worker is looking to advance to higher positions, it might also be wise to earn a bachelor’s degree in construction science or a similar field. Degrees such as this can provide extra training in the business aspects of construction, architecture, and supervising. In a degree program, you can expect to take courses like Cost Estimating and Management, Construction Materials, Project Planning, etc.
Construction Worker Career Outlook
Becoming a construction worker is one of the best ways you can get a foot in the door of the construction industry. There are so many different kinds of construction workers that you can find a niche that fits your exact needs. Construction workers are some of the most employable workers around, as U.S. News reports that between 2018 and 2028, there will be an employment growth of 10.5 percent increase for construction workers, with just over 148,000 jobs opening up.
2. Construction Manager
This job title represents the next level up from a construction worker within the same field. Most likely, you will begin your career doing hands-on work. You will choose a specialty and spend several years developing your skills and deepening your knowledge in this area.
Becoming a manager is the next step. As a manager, you will be in charge of supervising different aspects of the construction. You might coordinate with the architect or the engineers involved, or consult with the cost estimator. You will likely have to supervise the other construction workers.
While the architect and the engineers will do most of the long-term planning, you might be in charge of more day-to-day operations, supervising the daily process of the building project. You can also be on a team of managers who complete this work.
While it is possible to get promoted to a manager with nothing but years of experience under your belt, many companies are looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree to promote as managers. Either way, earning your bachelor’s degree is likely to put you in the running for promotions.
Even though you are likely to start in a non-management position as you gain experience, put in hard work, and earn a reputation as a good worker, you can begin to gain more responsibilities in the field.
As you consider going into construction management, you will probably want to know if it is an industry that is growing or retracting. The forecast for the field looks exceptionally bright, with U.S. News ranking the position No. 1 on their list of best construction jobs. They report that from 2018 to 2028, there will be an almost 10 percent growth in the employment of construction managers. In this 10-year period, they predict over 46,000 jobs will become available.
3. Building Inspector
A building inspector, also sometimes known as a construction inspector, is responsible for making sure a building project is meeting all the correct safety codes. During the construction process, they will oversee the process to ensure that no code violations occur.
A building inspector might work alone, or they could be a part of a team of inspectors. They will likely spend a significant portion of their time inspecting new and ongoing construction sites.
Because of the nature of their job, they will need to have extensive working knowledge of building codes, safety regulations, and other requirements.
The educational requirements can vary a bit. If you want to pursue this career, you will need to have at least a high school diploma. You will probably also have to complete some on-the-job training, such as an apprenticeship.
Even though a college degree might not always be necessary, it will help provide you with additional training in this field. The skills and knowledge you will gain in college will be sure to guide you as you look to earn more responsibilities and work on more complex projects.
Industry analysts expect building and construction inspector jobs will grow faster than average, with 10 percent job growth from 2016 to 2026. This projected growth is due to the higher public interest in safety and people’s desire to improve their buildings’ quality. It is also essential to note that building inspectors will typically have experience in the construction industry, such as working as an electrician or carpenter.
4. Cost Estimator
The job title of cost estimator is relatively self-explanatory. Individuals in this line of work spend their time collecting data, analyzing it, and using it to create statistics and pricing estimations for a building project. To do this, they must account for material costs, labor, and so on.
Typically, cost estimators specialize in a particular field, becoming experts in the ins and outs of expenses in that area so they are better able to provide price estimates.
This job will most often be an office job, where you sort through prices, statistics, and data. However, it will also include occasional visits to construction sites.
A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for a position like this. You will need lots of field experience and on-the-job training, too. A strong background in mathematics is a must, as well as coursework in the business side of construction.
Between 2018 to 2028, experts expect the cost estimator job to grow by 8.6 percent. This increase equates to around 18,700 new cost estimator positions. The position’s projected growth is likely due to how accurate cost estimates help companies remain profitable and plan for the future.
Architects use a combination of engineering skill, construction knowledge, and artistic sense to design buildings and structures of all kinds. They must have extensive knowledge of design and engineering principles, building codes, safety hazards, and construction costs.
Architects are responsible for designing and planning the building, but their job does not end there. They must also coordinate with the construction workers, the project managers, clients, and any number of other individuals who will be involved in the process.
Because this field of work is more complicated and challenging than basic construction work, the educational requirements tend to be higher.
The requirements are going to vary slightly depending on what state you live in. Generally speaking, you will need to take three standard steps to enter this field.
The first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture from a program and a school that has earned accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board. These programs typically take five years to complete and are available at designated architecture schools, as well as many colleges and universities. If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s in architecture, you will take courses in things like structural design, architectural theory, and building systems.
Second, you will complete an internship or a similar training program. Every state’s laws require these, and they take somewhere around three years to complete. The final step is to pass the Architect Registration Examination to become a licensed architect.
Due to the steady demand for new construction of commercial and residential buildings, U.S. News reports that architectural positions should grow by 8.4 percent between 2018 and 2028. Even though the field is experiencing faster-than-average growth, competition for internships and jobs will still be tight. Regardless, the growth in the field should be encouraging for anyone interested in the career.
6. Civil Engineer
A civil engineer is very similar to an architect in a lot of ways. Their job is to plan and design building projects of all kinds. But while an architect might be a more theoretical dreamer, a civil engineer is the practical planner.
While an architect develops the vision for a new building, the civil engineer is the one who figures out how to make it a reality. Of course, the two jobs often overlap, and the architect and the civil engineer will most likely work very closely with one another.
A civil engineer will need to have extensive knowledge of things like building codes and construction costs. They need to be extremely well-versed in fields like calculus and physics. They will work with many other professionals, but eventually, they are the ones making sure a beautiful and artistic building has the structural support it needs to remain standing.
A civil engineer will almost always need a bachelor’s degree. A degree in civil engineering may include coursework such as construction methods, structural design, and fluid mechanics. You will also need to complete coursework in calculus, physics, and trigonometry. If you are aspiring to thrive in a career as a civil engineer, you will want to be sure to look for a civil engineering program that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
On top of this, civil engineers will need to obtain state licensure. The requirements for this licensure vary by state, but they will generally include a bachelor’s degree, four or more years of training in the field and passing a Principles and Practices of Engineering Exam.
Civil engineer positions look to grow at an average pace, with a growth of 6.3 percent from 2018 to 2028. Due to the nature of the position, it is not surprising that analysts expect the field will continue to grow. As long as there are structures to build, repair, or upgrade, people are going to need a civil engineer to make sure buildings will hold up to the test of time.
Get Started Working Toward Your Construction Technology Degree
If you are excited about creating, engineering, and building new things, pursuing our AAS degree in construction might be the right choice for you. At Vista College, our construction technology coursework will prepare you and supply you with the skills, knowledge, and background you will need to seek out an exciting new career in this growing field.
In our construction technology program, you will take courses in building codes, construction techniques, sustainable construction, and much more. You will learn how to install wiring and plumbing, how to perform brickwork, and how to read and interpret construction drawings.
Students can complete all these courses in as little as 720 hours, meaning you can be on the road to finding your new career without having to spend years earning your degree. Not only that, but classes start every five weeks. That means you do not have to wait until September to get started on your coursework. Whether you want to use our AAS degree to launch you directly into a career or use it as a stepping stone to higher degrees, our construction technology program is an excellent fit for you.
If you are ready to embark on your construction technology degree, Vista College might just be the perfect opportunity for you. To take your next steps, contact an admissions representative to find out more information. Do not forget to ask about any financial aid opportunities that you might qualify for as well.