Directory of Construction Schools

Skilled labor equals higher wages and better jobs

When it comes to traditional schools in industries like construction, on-the-job training is important. But the truth is nothing beats a formal education when it comes to moving up in the construction world.

Know what skills you'll need

In the case of carpentry, workers may wish to eventually move up to a position as supervisor or contractor. In many areas, increasing numbers of Spanish workers will require a boss that knows the language. Taking a Spanish language course for a career in construction might not seem like the obvious choice but it may pay off in the long run.

In a similar vein, if you plan to become your own boss, taking business courses now can make the transition much easier. You'll have the freedom to work and save money without worrying about taking time off to do it later.

Seek education recommendations

If you want to make sure you're getting the best education, why not contact a trade association representing your industry of choice? For instance, if you want to become a contractor, check the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Associations or unions may be able to help students get into apprenticeship programs or provide other useful tools such as resume posting or job search.

Things to consider when choosing a program:

  • Do you want to take courses part-time or full-time?
  • Is the program or school accredited by a reputable body?
  • Do you want a steady year-round job or one that offers more than full-time hours some months and only part time some other months? Some construction jobs don't offer much stability.
  • Do you want to work for a small or large company or would you rather be your own manager?

The right training

Many construction workers choose to forgo schooling and start working right away, learning as they go. Others are lucky enough to get into an apprenticeship program where they can do both.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with learning informally while you work and earn money, it's an unfortunate fact that formally trained workers make more money and have greater chances for advancement. Even programs that keep you from entering the job pool immediately can be beneficial since you're likely to be hired at higher wage and advance faster.