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Construction Major

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Construction

436 Associate's Degrees Annually
#37 in Popularity (Associate's)
$70,540 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Construction Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many construction graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 1,543
Associate’s Degree 436
Undergraduate Certificate 313

What Construction Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, construction majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Construction Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in construction should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills for Construction Majors

A major in construction prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Abilities for Construction Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a construction student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Can You Do With a Construction Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with construction:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 12.6% $65,230

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Construction?

436 Associate's Degrees Annually
12% Percent Women
64% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Construction runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #37 out of all the trade school majors we track. In 2019, about 436 graduates completed their associate’s degree in this field. This major tends to be male dominated. About 88% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of construction majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 91
Black or African American 14
Hispanic or Latino 43
White 124
International Students 3
Other Races/Ethnicities 161

Geographic Diversity

Construction appeals to people across the globe. About 0.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Construction Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Construction majors often go into careers with median salaries of $70,540. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Construction Major  70,540
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with construction may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to construction have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 6.3%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 39.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 21.3%
Some College Courses 32.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.8%

Online Construction Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 113 schools offered some type of construction program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 55 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 57 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 63 5
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 55 1
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Construction Worth It?

The median salary for a construction grad is $70,540 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 77% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $612,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to construction.

Major Number of Grads
Electrical & Power Transmission Installers 21,360
Building Management & Inspection 4,950
Carpentry 4,066
Plumbing & Water Supply 2,606
Masonry 462
Other Construction 267

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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