Construction Schools in California with Degree Program Info

Jul 19, 2019

California has about 50 schools that offer construction programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

California has a variety of schools offering programs in construction, including programs in both construction technology and construction management. Most of these schools are 2-year colleges offering certificate and associate's degree programs, though some universities offer graduate level programs. There may be specific tracks within a degree. Students may be able to participated in a co-op experience. Listed below are the ten largest schools offering construction programs.


City College of San Francisco

A 2-year community college located in San Francisco, the City College of San Francisco was established in 1935. Students can gain two of the required four years of professional experience needed to be licensed as a general contractor and an Award of Achievement through the Associate in Science in Construction Management program offered through the School of Science and Mathematics. Program coursework includes topics such as architectural technology, structural detailing, surveying and cost estimating.

El Camino Community College District

Commonly known as El Camino College, this 2-year public school is located in Torrance. El Camino College offers an associate's degree and a certificate program in construction technology. Both programs include a cabinet and fine woodworking option. All students are required to take a building fundamentals course and can choose from courses in formwork, steel framing, rough framing, contract estimating and residential wiring and plumbing. Cooperative education options are available in both programs.

Fresno City College

Known for being the first community college in California, Fresno City College can be found just outside of downtown Fresno. The college offers both a certificate and an associate's degree program in construction. Students get practical experience in these programs through courses in construction materials, residential construction and roof framing. Other courses cover residential finishing and foundations.

Fullerton College

Located in the city of Fullerton, Fullerton College was founded as a junior college in 1913 and is a part of the North Orange County Community College District. Students can pursue an Associate in Science in Construction Management or Construction Technology at this school. Courses for these programs include contractor license law, construction management, residential construction, steel frame construction, blueprint reading, business for the construction industry, remodeling, alternative energy and building codes. A construction technology certificate program is also available.

Los Angeles Valley College

Los Angeles Valley College, located in the town of Valley Glen, was founded in 1949 and was originally located on the Van Nuys High School campus. Students can pursue an Associate of Science in Sustainable Construction Management. Program courses cover topics ranging from architectural drawing, zoning regulations and cost analysis, to environmental geology and construction management systems.

Orange Coast College

Located in Costa Mesa, Orange Coast College originated in 1948 and serves around 25,000 students. Students interested in construction technology can find several different programs here resulting in a certificate or associate's degree. The general construction technology program covers basic building construction, safety and building codes. A residential construction development and a master construction specialist program are also available.

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College is the largest institution in San Diego's Community College District. Students can pursue an Associate in Science in Inspection, a program that includes course topics on construction materials, building inspection, estimating and building codes. Students may also choose to pursue the 29-unit Certificate of Achievement in Inspection.

Sierra College

Rocklin, CA, is home to Sierra College, a 2-year public school with four campuses. Construction technology options at this school include programs leading to certificates and an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Science degree. Degree programs focus on residential building construction, and credits earned through these programs can be applied towards a general contractor's license. A certificate option in residential building construction is also available. Students can expect to learn about green technology in California and Net Zero Energy methods.

Southwestern College

Located in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, Southwestern College is a 2-year community college that began offering classes in 1961. Students can pursue an Associate in Science in Construction Management or a Certificate of Achievement in Construction Management. Program courses cover construction quality controls, architectural structures and building codes.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private, independent research university with a history in Los Angeles dating back to 1880. Through the Viterbi School of Engineering, graduate students can pursue a Master of Construction Management, an interdisciplinary program offered in cooperation with the university's schools of law, policy and planning, business and architecture. Core program courses cover building systems, budgeting and project scheduling controls, as well as courses through one of three program tracks in architecture, engineering and construction technology; real estate development; or finance.

Career Requirements

In the state of California, there are no specific education requirements for a general contractor's license, according to the California Contractors State License Board. To acquire a license, prospective contractors must obtain four years of supervised professional experience, some of which may be replaced by applicable education credits.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Construction Management Programs Offered 2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
City College of San Francisco 2-year public;
Large city
Associate in Science in Construction Management $1,696 (in-state)*,
$10,372 (out-of-state)*
El Camino Community College District 2-year public;
Large suburb
Associate in Science in Construction Technology,
Certificate of Achievement in Construction Technology
$1,144 (in-state)*,
$6,520 (out-of-state)*
Fresno City College 2-year public;
Large city
Associate in Science in Construction,
Certificate of Achievement in Construction
$1,304 (in-state)*,
$7,496 (out-of-state)*
Fullerton College 2-year public;
Large suburb
Associate in Science in Construction Management,
Associate in Science in Construction Technology,
Construction Technology Certificate
$1,138 (in-state)*
$6,010 (out-of-state)*
Los Angeles Valley College 2-year public;
Large city
Associate of Science in Sustainable Construction Management $1,220 (in-state)*,
$7,746 (out-of-state)*
Orange Coast College 2-year public;
Midsize city
Associate in Science in Construction Technology,
Associate in Science in Residential Construction Development,
Associate in Science in Master Construction Specialist,
Certificate of Achievement in Construction Technology,
Certificate of Achievement in Residential Construction Development,
Certificate of Achievement in Master Construction Specialist
$1,186 (in-state)*,
$7,978 (out-of-state)*
San Diego Mesa College 2-year public;
Large city
Associate in Science in Inspection,
Certificate of Achievement in Inspection
$1,144 (in-state)*,
$7,024 (out-of-state)*
Sierra College 2-year public;
Large suburb
Associate in Science or Associate of Arts in Residential Building Construction,
Certificate in Residential Building Construction
$1,144 (in-state)*,
$6,214 (out-of-state)*
Southwestern College 2-year public;
Large suburb
Associate in Science in Construction Management,
Certificate of Achievement in Construction Management
$1,338 (in-state)*,
$6,602 (out-of-state)*
University of Southern California 4-year private not-for-profit;
Large city
Master of Construction Management $56,225 (graduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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