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 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.
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
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.
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.
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%|
|Less than a High School Diploma||18.6%|
|Some College Courses||8.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||4.9%|
The education level required is different depending on the construction trades career you are seeking.
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.
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%|
|Construction Trades and Extraction Worker Supervisors||678,300||12.6%|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||555,800||15.6%|
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.
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|
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.
|Electrical & Power Transmission Installers||23,527|
|Building Management & Inspection||4,511|
|Plumbing & Water Supply||2,617|
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Personal & Culinary Services||130,328|
|Mechanic & Repair Technologies||96,336|
|Transportation & Materials Moving||29,084|
More about our data sources and methodologies.