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2023 Construction Trades Degree Guide

Studying in the field of Construction Trades you teach you the technical knowledge and skills that are required to build, inspect, and maintain structures and properties. There are a few different majors in this field students can choose from. Some options are Electrical and Power Transmission Installers, or Building & Construction Management. While studying in this field, you will be taking courses in blueprint reading, electrical and mechanical systems, building codes, power distribution, electrical theory, and computerized estimating. These majors are commonly offered as a Certificate, however can be earned as an Associate's or Bachelor's degree at some schools.

Construction Trades Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#34 Most Popular Major
35.8k Degrees Awarded
-4.9% Increase in Graduates

Construction Trades was the 34th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 35,794 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 4.9% reduction in construction trades degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 37,535.

Our 2023 Best Construction Trades Schools ranking analyzes 62 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for construction trades students. Explore this or one of our many other custom construction trades rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Construction Trades
2023 Overall Best Construction Trades Colleges >

Best Construction Trades Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Construction Trades
Bachelor's Degrees in Construction Trades


Construction Trades Degree Requirements

This major is ideal for students who like to work with their hands and are logical problem solvers. Skills in math and measurement will be used daily on a building site. Communication skills will also help you in your classes as well as in a career as you interact with clients, co-workers, and management.

Most programs require student to acquire an apprenticeships in order to gain work experience and to learn the fundamentals first hand. You will work alongside a professional within the field, in addition to hours in the classroom.

Prior Education for a Construction Trades Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most construction trades degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific construction trades careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Construction Trades Degrees

There are many different construction trades degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in construction trades to something that takes less time like a . How long it takes to complete some common construction trades degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to construction trades, with approximately 4.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for construction trades workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 41.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate 23.2%
Less than a High School Diploma 18.6%
Some College Courses 8.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.9%

View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in construction trades careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the construction trades career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Construction Trades Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$38.1k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Constructional Trade have many different career opportunities within the construction field. If you are interested in management, you can find a job as a construction manager, construction and building inspector, property manager, or first-line supervisors of installers. These careers all involve managing and overseeing construction sites.

If you are not interested in management, you could also find work as a drafter, electrical power-line installer, construction and building inspector, or insulator. These professionals work on one aspect of the construction, whereas the managers oversee the entire site.

Solid Growth Projected for Construction Trades Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your construction trades degree? Construction Trades careers are expected to grow 9.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to construction trades.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Maintenance and Repair Workers 1,545,100 7.9%
Carpenters 1,109,400 8.2%
Electricians 726,500 8.9%
Construction Trades and Extraction Worker Supervisors 678,300 12.6%
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 555,800 15.6%

How Much Money Do People With a Construction Trades Degree Make?

Recently graduated construction trades students earned an average of $38,149 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $12,942 to as high as $132,456. As you might expect, salaries for construction trades graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Construction Trades Careers

Salaries for construction trades graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers construction trades grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Construction Trades and Extraction Worker Supervisors $70,540
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers $70,240
Mechanic, and Repairer Supervisors $69,320
Signal and Track Switch Repairers $67,800
Construction and Building Inspectors $63,150

Getting Your Construction Trades Degree

With over 2,859 different construction trades degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased construction trades school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Construction Trades

Construction Trades Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Electrical & Power Transmission Installers 23,527
Building Management & Inspection 4,511
Carpentry 3,273
Plumbing & Water Supply 2,617
Construction 1,435

View All Construction Trades Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Personal & Culinary Services 130,328
Mechanic & Repair Technologies 96,336
Precision Production 52,913
Transportation & Materials Moving 29,084

View All Construction Trades Related Majors >


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