Should I Become a Construction Technologist?
Construction technologists may also be referred to as construction technicians or laborers. These workers use their knowledge of design, building, and basic construction on various engineering, architectural, and construction projects. They may work with residential or commercial companies as well as with government agencies and private contractors.
The work required of construction laborers is physically demanding. Construction techs may need to work at great heights, in tunnels, or very dirty conditions in all types of weather. Protective gear, such as earplugs, safety goggles, and helmets, is required. Hours may vary; while many construction laborers work full-time, weather may prevent some work days and overtime - including weekends - may be required to meet deadlines. Individuals who work on roads may do so at night in order to lessen traffic disruption.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Civil Engineering Technology
- Construction Engineering Technologies, General
- General Construction Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Transportation Engineering
- Water Resources Engineering
|Degree Level||High school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary training can be beneficial|
|Degree Field(s)||Trade-related programs|
|Licensure or Certification||Licensure and/or specific certification may be required for some construction workers; voluntary professional certification is available|
|Experience||Varies; at least 2-3 years of related experience common; the majority of construction workers will complete a period of on-the-job training before working with an employer; some roles in the field of construction require specific equipment training|
|Key Skills||Color vision, stamina, physical strength; communication, organizational and problem-solving skills; knowledge of construction methods and technology; ability to use related tools|
|Salary||$38,301 per year (Median salary as of 2015 for construction laborers)|
Sources: Job listings from employers (December 2012), Payscale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Step 1: Complete Postsecondary Training
Although not required, programs like the Associate of Applied Science in Construction Technology or a certificate in building construction, can offer related training to prospective technologists. In these programs, students will cover topics like construction, masonry, roof/ceiling framing, electrical wiring, blueprint reading, basic carpentry and foundations. Courses in software applications, workplace skills preparation and interpersonal communications can also be beneficial and help workers prepare to interact with other construction professionals.
Step 2: Gain Experience
According to job listings from employers in December 2012, at least two years of related construction experience is required or preferred for applicants. Experience can be gained in electronics, metal frame construction or other related construction areas. Prospective technologists may also consider obtaining experience through an apprenticeship program, which can take 2-4 years to complete.
- Research state-specific requirements licensure and certification. In some states, construction technologists who work with hazardous materials will need licensure. They may also need specific certification, such as those required for asbestos removal, energy auditing, welding and construction safety.
Step 3: Get Voluntary Professional Certification
Professional organizations, such as the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) or the Construction Management Association of America, offer a number of certification options for graduates. In the case of the ATMAE, there are three different options for certification, either as a certified manufacturing specialist, technology manager or technical professional. These certifications may create additional opportunities for career advancement and professional growth.