What is Building Construction Technology?
Building Construction Technology is a field in business focused on the use of resources and technology to complete construction projects. Construction resources can include labor pool management, operations design, materials resource management, systems design, and overall management of individual and multi-unit construction projects.
On the other hand, technology tools help effectively optimize the use of resources used in construction projects. Examples of technology in building projects include systems engineering, budget analysis, computer aided design, data analysis, and lean manufacturing software.
What Will Building Construction Majors Learn?
A building construction major will benefit from pragmatic, experiential learning along with classroom knowledge while in school. Key skills and projects will help students perform vital construction tasks after graduation.
Students earning a building construction major will be prepared to understand and navigate business activities such as: site safety, project management, construction documentation, personnel management, diversity training, labor relations, materials resource management, budgeting, cost control, bid strategies, scheduling, loss mitigation, licensing, construction insurance, construction laws, bonding policies, building codes, building regulations, and communication skills.
Types of Building Construction
The building construction technology degree will help prepare students by building key skills requisite for construction trades. Students will learn how to 1) supervise, 2) manage, 3) inspect, and 4) communicate milestones to key stakeholders. Projects can vary in size and scope to include various construction jobs:
- Residential Housing Construction: single family dwellings, multi-unit apartment buildings, high-rise apartments, high-rise condominiums
- Industrial Construction: chemical processing plants, refineries, nuclear power plants, steel mills
- Infrastructure Construction: mass transit systems, bridges, highways, pipelines, tunnels, water treatment plants
- Commercial Construction: Commercial tenant improvements, schools, hospitals, medical clinics, shopping malls, hotels, manufacturing plants
Top Degrees in Building Construction Technology
Degree programs in building construction technology can prepare students for a number of career tracks. Degrees in building construction can be general in nature or highly focused on a specific area of study in construction.
Degree specialties can include curriculum to support students interested in becoming a site foreman, building supervisor, mason, general contractor, inspector, contractor, estimator, job-site supervisor, construction technician, construction superintendent, quality control specialist, or building inspector.
As a substantive part of our national economy, construction provides nearly $600 billion in economic heft employing some 6 million people. As such, college programs in construction continue to evolve and expand. A summary of certificate programs and degree programs are below with a simple means to connect with accredited colleges and universities. Start your research today to find the best college degree for you.
Certificate Programs in Building Construction Technology
Certificate programs building construction technology can be found in course catalogs in a number of variations. For example, a general certificate in building construction technology provides a broad range of classes that may take 2-3 years to complete while other certificate programs focus on a specific construction trade and may last a few weeks.
Students looking to enroll in a comprehensive certificate program will find a cross-section of classes like: estimating, planning, construction fundamentals, plumbing, HVAC, scheduling, LEED certifications, law, solar design, business management, IBC codes, sustainable buildings, home energy ratings, residential codes, and computer aided design.
Associate Degrees in Building Construction Technology
Associate’s degrees in building construction technology are conferred as an Associate of Science (AS) given the emphasis on science and math. Associate degrees will take 2-years of full-time work to complete.
Part-time students can expect the program to last longer dependent upon the number of classes taken and the overall requirements of the program. AS degrees will blend general education courses with core construction classes to provide a well-rounded education for students. General education courses will typically include philosophy, communications, psychology, and history.
Classes found in the core program will depend on the school’s course design and resources. However, students can expect to see a set of similar classes to build critical thinking skills, decision making capabilities, and industry knowledge.
Typical courses found in a construction technology program are construction basics, architectural drawings, blueprint reading, legal aspects of construction, scheduling, materials planning, materials management, logistics, supply chain management, finish carpentry, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, solar thermal design, building science, AutoCAD, LEED, sustainable buildings, photovoltaic science, CAD, building codes, architectural building design, structural engineering, and emerging technologies.
Bachelor Degrees in Building Construction Technology
A bachelor degree in building construction technology will be conferred as a Bachelor of Science (BS) at most colleges with some listed as a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). Degrees at this level will take approximately 4-years to complete based on full-time matriculation. As the most popular college degree, a bachelor’s degree is held by approximately 77% of construction managers.
Bachelor degrees mix liberal arts education with construction technology. Blending both together provides students with a set of holistic skills and helps process information effectively with integrative thinking. Coursework will help students understand the construction trade from top to bottom.
Classes found in a course catalog will generally include: algebra, blueprints, framing basics, site preparation, construction materials, technology in construction, interior finishes, architectural drawings, concrete finishes, roof structures, physics, electrical systems, estimating, mechanical systems, building regulations, computer aided design, scheduling, property development, and advanced building systems.
Employment & Careers in Building Construction
Investing time and resources to earn a building construction degree will help launch an exciting career. Building construction and construction technology is a massive part of our overall economy. Given the importance of construction and the value it adds, job options will be plentiful. Your work experience, knowledge, effort, skills, and mobility will help drive results for your career.
Graduates in construction may be equipped to pursue careers as a site superintendent, specialty contractor, general contractor, structural engineer, civil engineer, cost estimator, budget analyst, licensed electrician, equipment repair manager, architect, engineering manager, landscape architect, or project manager. Some trades may allow for students to join an apprenticeship program while others additional education and/or certifications.
Building Construction Job Outlook
Job prospects in building construction will ebb and flow with regional, national, and local economies. However, the BLS expects certain jobs to grow at a more brisk rate than others. Electricians, for example, are expected to see a 14% job growth in the coming decade. As a comparison, construction managers are forecast to add 44,800 new jobs in the coming decade and grow at an 11% clip.
The median income for a building construction manager is $91,370 per year which is $43.93 per hour. States employing the most construction managers are California and Texas with Florida and New York close behind.
Building Construction Resources
Additional career insights can be obtained by researching top-tier associations in the field such as the GBCA and the BTA. Such organizations provide unique discounts and membership benefits not found elsewhere in addition to career opportunities and learning modules to help advance the construction trade.