Training in construction and related trades is available through certificate and associate's degree programs at two-year community colleges and technical schools, as well as a few four-year institutions.
Construction Trade Schools
The following schools offer construction trades programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Utah Valley University||Orem, Utah||4-year, Public||Associate's|| $5,386 In-state
|Vincennes University||Vincennes, Indiana||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's|| $5,375 In-state
|SUNY College of Technology at Alfred||Alfred, New York||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's|| $8,057 In-state
|American Samoa Community College||Pago Pago, American Samoa||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Certificate**|| $3,550 In-state
|Oglala Lakota College||Kyle, South Dakota||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's||$2,684|
|Turtle Mountain Community College||Belcourt, North Dakota||4-year, primarily associate's, Private||Associate's**||$2,250|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when choosing a construction trade school:
- When considering certificate programs, it is important to determine whether the program includes a multi-year apprenticeship or just a short series of course. Students can choose between these options based on their academic interests and career goals.
- Individuals who hold full-time construction jobs may want to look for programs that offer online or evening class in order to accommodate the needs of working professionals.
- It can be helpful to find out what the pass rate is for graduates of the program on voluntary certification exams offered by the Laborers' International Union of America.
- Students who are considering full degree programs may want to look for programs that are accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE).
Some certificates for aspiring construction workers are available as part of apprenticeship programs. In these programs, which typically last for two to four years, students gain paid experience working under the supervision of an experienced journeyman. In addition to hands-on training in areas such as building construction, demolition, tunneling, masonry and landscaping, students also take classroom-based courses in relevant topics such as blueprint reading, business math and safety protocols. Alternatively, some schools offer strictly academic certificates that consist of a short series of courses in construction methods and materials or in a particular aspect of construction, such as roofing. These programs take one year or less to complete.
Associate's Degree Programs
Students who are interested in vocational construction training leading to an associate's degree can choose a major in building construction or a closely related field. In these programs, students are introduced to the fundamentals of the construction industry, studying topics such as construction materials and methods, cost estimation, safety and project management. They must also fulfill general education requirements. In total, these programs take two years to complete.
Individuals who have an interest in the construction trades have a variety of options available for certificate or associate's degree programs. Many of these schools offer apprenticeships and hands-on training experiences.