Construction trade programs are considered trade or technical programs and are under the guise of these departments at colleges. The nature of the construction field dictates the way in which students learn about it. Generally, students spend equal parts of their time receiving hands-on training and learning about the field in the classroom.
There are a number of positions in the construction industry which require different skill sets. Depending on the topic that the student chooses to pursue for a construction trades degree, their courses will vary. Many of the courses encountered throughout various construction trades degree programs include:
Construction trades degrees are available at all levels of the educational spectrum, depending on what that student decides to study. Most degrees, however, are earned as Associate's degrees in construction trades or certificate programs. These degree levels are for those seeking to work in the industry with their hands as builders, carpenters, or other similar professions.
More advanced degrees are available in the field of construction management. This major is available at the Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, and Doctorate degree levels. These degrees take around four, two, and two to three years respectively to complete. A degree in construction management allows graduates to enter the construction industry as supervisors and managers of other workers.
A construction trades degree teaches students many different skills. Some of these skills are unique to the field of construction, while others can be applied to other professions and life situations. Some of the skills that a construction trades degree program teaches to students are:
Construction trades degrees are offered through a number of different sources and institutions. They can be earned at community colleges and four-year universities. Most construction trades degrees, however, are obtained through vocational schools and technical colleges as certificates or Associate's degrees. Some construction firms also offer apprenticeship programs which may last up to four years, but pay the student while they learn on the job.
Graduates of construction trades degree programs will find a favorable job market upon entering the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is expected to grow 19 percent through 2018, compared with the 11 percent growth rate of all industries. Graduates may find employment as masons, carpenters, construction managers, plumbers, roofers, steel workers, and many other occupations.