Construction Trades

2022 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.

Rapid Growth in Construction Trades Degrees Awarded

#34 Most Popular Major
37.5k Degrees Awarded
84.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2019-2020, construction trades was the 34th most popular major nationwide with 37,535 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 31,625 over the prior year, a growth of 84.3%.

There are 441 schools offering degrees in construction trades in the United States. Our 2022 Best Construction Trades Schools ranking analyzes 112 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.

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.

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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
$32.3k 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?

Construction Trades graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $32,313 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,100 to as high as $80,100. As you might expect, salaries for construction trades graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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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 2,748 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 22,624
Building Management & Inspection 5,016
Carpentry 4,262
Construction 2,597
Plumbing & Water Supply 2,429

View All Construction Trades Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Personal & Culinary Services 119,853
Mechanic & Repair Technologies 100,894
Precision Production 52,005
Transportation & Materials Moving 26,683

View All Construction Trades Related Majors >

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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