How to Prepare for a Career in the Construction Industry

Apr, 22 2022

Image of a female construction worker how appears in focus with a male construction in the foreground

Working in the construction industry provides a chance for you to build things that matter to the people in your community. Whether it’s a road, a home, or a school, it’s an amazing feeling to use both your mind and your hands to conquer projects that improve life in your neighborhood.

The U.S. economy’s strength is tightly linked to the construction industry, providing critical jobs that keep the country moving forward. So many job opportunities exist, you just need to decide what route works for you, whether it’s entry-level, administrative, management, or any of the other endless opportunities.

How to get into the industry
Enrolling at Maricopa Community Colleges to earn a certificate of completion or an associate degree is the first step to your new career in the construction industry. You'll gain the expertise needed to be part of a team that makes a difference.

1.  Construction Management
The Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Construction Trades: Construction Management
Colleges Offered at: GateWay Community College and Mesa Community College
This certificate provides individuals with work-ready skills in problem-solving, scheduling, cost awareness, management, OSHA safety, and more. Successful completion of this certificate will provide you with the experience to work in the construction industry as a foreman, manager, project manager, and owner. It's a pathway for entry into the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Management.

Salary: Varies depending on the job. A foreman can make $27.44+ per hour; a construction superintendent can make $38,384 annually.

2. Construction Trades
Certificates of Completion in Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing
Colleges offered at: Mesa Community College and South Mountain Community College 
These certificates introduce students to codes, safety, tools, and materials pertaining to carpentry, electrical, and plumbing trades. Obtaining these certificates can be the first step toward employment on commercial job sites. You may choose to additionally earn an associate degree.
Salary: Varies, but carpenters can make $42,000+ annually, plumbers $32,350+ annually, and electrical power-line installers and repairers can make $86,110+ annually.

3. Construction Technology
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Technology
Colleges Offered at: Mesa Community college and South Mountain Community College 

The Associate in Applied Science in Construction Technology includes both the theoretical and practical aspects of the construction trade as well as technical knowledge and skills. NOTE: Certificates of completion in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing are also available and embedded in this AAS.

Salary: Varies, but salaries start from $32,710 yearly as a plumber or pipefitter helper to $55,780+ annually for electrical repairers working on commercial and industrial equipment.

How to increase your pay
If you are already employed, how do you increase your pay in the construction trades/management industry? Earn an associate degree at MCCCD. You can continue to work and go to classes at the same time with our flexible learning options and affordable tuition.

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Management
Colleges Offered At: Mesa Community College

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Management provides instruction in management skills, construction planning, design and OSHA 30 safety. Coursework also prepares graduates for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associates exam. This is an excellent way to prepare yourself for transfer to a four-year bachelor's program in Construction.

Salary: A construction manager can make $38.51+ hourly or as much as $80,113+ annually.

Women in construction
The traditionally male-dominated world of construction has seen a trend toward the hiring of more women in the trenches managing construction projects. Currently, there are 5,000 construction job vacancies in Arizona and more than 300,000 nationwide. Of the more than 10 million construction workers in the U.S., only 9% are women. (2020 stats) according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

There are so many construction occupations it may be hard to choose your path, but rest assured you can find the appropriate educational opportunities at MCCCD. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information as you begin to "build" your future!


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