In an associate's degree program in building technology, students are presented with information on the fundamentals of construction. Some programs may allow students to choose an area of specialization, such as construction management. A high school diploma is usually required for entrance to most associate's degree programs, and some programs will grant academic credit for apprenticeships, prior academic coursework or work experience.
Students wishing to enroll in a master's degree program should hold a bachelor's degree in a related field or a Master of Architecture, including the required state license. Depending on the program, prerequisites may include professional architectural experience or undergraduate coursework in a field such as engineering or architecture. Applicants may also need to have experience with technology. It usually takes two years to complete the work for this master's degree program, and a thesis may be required.
Associate of Applied Science in Building Technology Degree
A two-year degree program leading to an Associate of Applied Science in Building Technology introduces students to building construction, including relevant theories and principles. Building technology is considered from a design standpoint, as well as a physical, logistical and project management perspective. Some degree programs may offer concentrations within a building construction track, such as land surveying or plumbing.
An associate's degree program in building technology often combines general educational requirements like math and science courses with requirements in the major. Course topics include:
- Construction materials
- Construction methods
- Construction site safety
- Legal issues in construction
- Job cost estimation
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Master's Degrees in Building Technology
Graduate level programs with a building technology focus are commonly offered by architecture departments. Degrees available include a Master of Science in Building Technology and a Master of Science in Architecture with a specialization in building technology. Both students who are licensed professional architects and those who possess engineering and technology backgrounds learn how to apply the principles of architecture, lighting and acoustical design, green building practices and related concepts to building design and construction projects.
Computer and physical lab activities in lighting, acoustics, materials and construction may be required. Students in some programs may also perform original research projects. Students often enroll in courses having to do with:
- Advanced building materials
- Advanced concepts in building ecology
- Energy systems in design
- Fluid dynamics in architecture
Popular Career Options
Numerous careers in the construction and building field may be open to graduates of associate's degree programs in building technology. Some possible jobs include:
- Project manager
- Construction estimator
- Assistant construction manager
- Project foreman
- Project estimator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of master's degree programs in building technology may be employed as architects or in careers related to civil engineering and environmental engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 93,720 architects employed in the country in 2015. Their median annual salary was reported as $76,100 at that time.
Civil engineers, some of whom have a background in building technology, earned a median annual salary of $82,220 in 2015, reported the BLS, while environmental engineers, including those with building technology education, earned $84,560. This same report cited that architects, civil engineers and environmental engineers could expect projected employment growth of 7%, 8% and 12%, respectively, from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov).
In some cases, associate's degree credits may be applied toward the completion of a bachelor's degree in a field like construction management or construction technology. Graduates may also pursue certificate study in building technology topics like sustainable design and construction or construction safety specialist.
Those who want to start a career in construction or building technology can learn the basics of building construction from an A.A.S. in Building Technology program. Professionals who have a bachelor's degree in a related field may specialize in building technology by pursuing a master's degree in building technology.