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Construction Safety Degree Program and Career Information

Students looking to train as construction safety professionals can study construction management at the certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree levels. These programs teach students how to assess worksite hazards and prevent accidents.

Essential Information

Individuals interested in construction safety training often enroll in certificate programs, which take a year or less to complete and focus on specific safety practices for various segments of the industry as well as the development of emergency plans. These programs may be taken in conjunction with associate's and bachelor's degree programs in construction management, which also offer instruction in construction safety procedures.


Certificate in Construction Safety

Construction safety certificate programs teach students about inspection protocol, management principles and risk management. These programs are designed for professionals currently working to promote workplace health and safety, as well as students interested in continued studies in construction management.

Certificates take 1-2 semesters to earn; applicants must be high school graduates. Programs may require a certain amount of professional construction site experience. Workplace insurance, ergonomics, accident prevention, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards are all covered in these classes. Additional areas of study include:

  • Electrical systems
  • Emergency preparation plans
  • Environmental issues
  • Field inspections
  • Project management
  • Safety law

Associate of Applied Science in Building Construction Technology

Students learn construction technology and safety through practical projects in remodeling, cabinetry and carpentry. Associate-level construction technology programs examine aspects of various construction technologies, building codes and principles of construction management. Safety training teaches students to prevent construction site injuries by evaluating past accidents and current worksite practices, preparing emergency plans, and training others to comply with recommendations.

Applicants must be high school graduates with a recommended background of science, geometry, and algebra. In addition to job-site safety, students in associate-level degree programs explore building layout, construction planning, materials, and cost estimation. Commonly offered courses may include:

  • Construction methods
  • Masonry
  • Project management
  • Site preparation
  • Scheduling

Bachelor of Science in Construction Management

Students in these programs investigate workplace safety, as well as building codes, quality control, contracts, and compliance with federal safety regulations. Programs offer courses in the fundamentals of engineering, business management, and construction law. Applicants must hold a high school diploma, with a recommended background in algebra, physics, or computer science, in addition to some degree of writing and architectural drawing training.

Construction management majors are trained in quality control, technical communication, and labor relations, which allows them to understand the factors that go into mitigating risks on the job site. Commonly offered courses include:

  • Accounting
  • Drafting
  • Estimating
  • Human resources
  • Risk assessment
  • Trigonometry

Popular Careers

Construction managers held about 239,640 positions as of 2015, reported the BLS. Many of these employees worked for residential and non-residential building construction companies, as well as building equipment contractors. Bachelor's degree holders are qualified for positions such as:

  • Building inspection officers
  • Code enforcement representatives
  • Contractors
  • Construction managers
  • Expediting agents
  • Project managers

The BLS reported that in 2015, there were 887,580 construction laborers employed in the U.S. Entry-level employees could be employed as:

  • Concrete workers
  • Contractors
  • Estimators
  • Finish carpentry specialists
  • Project managers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction laborers were forecast to experience faster-than-average 13% growth in job opportunities from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of 2015, the BLS reported that laborers on construction sites earned a mean annual wage of $36,550.

Students coming into certificate programs as professionals with more work experience may have a job as a construction manager. The BLS reported that construction managers took home an annual mean wage of $97,510 in May 2015. The BLS projected that construction managers were expected to see a jump in employment opportunities of 5% from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as average.

Construction safety training is available at the certificate level, is part of training at the associate's degree level in construction technology and is included in a bachelor's degree program in construction management. Graduates are prepared for employment as code enforcement representatives, building inspection officers and construction managers.


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