From Classroom to Career: What Does Education Entail in Construction?
Construction is an excellent career choice because it offers so many areas for advancement. You could refine your carpentry skills, go into management or become a surveyor. But not without spending some time in the classroom.
So what education do you need for a construction career? This guide explains the most valuable ways to learn everything you can about the world of construction.
1. Enroll for Your Associate Degree
When you catch yourself wondering what education you need for a construction career, check out your local community college. It may offer a degree program relevant to the construction industry, like an Associate of Applied Science (AAS). For a fraction of what you’d pay at a university, you’ll get experience in classes that cover topics like hand tools, masonry and power tools.
You could also sign up for specialized classes that review skills for wiring, plumbing, and blueprint reading. The average associate’s degree only takes two years to complete, so it’s the fast-track way to start construction careers.
2. Earn Industry-Specific Credentials
Credentials are the first stepping stone within industry-specific training programs. Every time you earn a credential, it gets you one step closer to valuable certifications that prove your comprehensive knowledge of a specific discipline.
After completing the entry-level training courses, you could finish courses related to skills you’d like to develop or refine. Think about whether you want to learn more about becoming an electrician, boilermaker or welder.
Credentials form the foundation of your education and make you a more valuable job candidate. The construction industry currently has a shortage of 200,000 workers, so employers are looking to fill positions. Stand out from the crowd by earning credentials and listing them on your resume alongside other notable accomplishments like your degree, specialized training or experience.
3. Get an Undergraduate Degree
Most people plan to go to a university because it’s the most common way to launch a career. Anyone with big plans for the construction industry shouldn’t feel left out. Enroll in your dream university and sign up for a major like:
• Civil engineering
• Residential construction technology
They’ll each have unique construction education requirements, depending on how you’ll use the degree. Compare the course subjects and estimated program lengths to find the right major for your professional interests.
4. Sign Up for Certifications
Certifications can also satisfy education and training requirements for the construction industry. You can take them online or as provided through your employer if they host a training class. The lessons will cover the specialized skills you’ll need to succeed, such as:
• Inspecting a site
• Reviewing building codes
• Checking electrical wiring
Look for certifications that tailor to your career interests. You might enjoy learning about construction technician hard skills like visual-spatial reasoning. Take something related to what you do every day or what you’d like to do in the future so you feel prepared for your ongoing professional journey.
5. Seek an Internship
Internships are always an option for anyone switching from the classroom to their career. Even though many interns don’t receive a paycheck, you’ll get many other perks for your time and efforts.
You could fill your resume and put your classroom lessons into action. When it’s time to apply for jobs after graduation, you’ll be one of the most competitive candidates and land a job much faster than someone who spent all of their time in the library.
6. Start a Paid Apprenticeship
Someone who already started their career can start a paid apprenticeship. Apprentices usually work as employees for a few years and master specific skills. You’ll cover more than the basic education and training requirements for the construction industry and finish with specialized skills that could take your career to the next level.
You may also finish with new industry-recognized credentials, which set apprenticeships apart from internships.
Get Your Education in Construction
There are many ways to fulfill your construction education requirements. Look into options like getting different degrees or certifications, or signing up for real-life industry experience. You’ll learn everything you need to know about life in construction so you can find the best professional fit for your career dreams.