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What Are the Different Types of Construction Degree Programs?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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There is a wide variety of different construction degree programs, including coursework that offers an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctorate degree. The majority of programs are taken at colleges and universities, but some are offered online. Each degree level offers different employment opportunities for qualified graduates.

Construction degree programs that offer an associate's degree, or a two year certification, typically ready the worker for an entry level position. Common employment choices can include project estimation and construction aides; most associate level graduates must be supervised by experienced personnel to prevent any incorrect construction techniques that can lead to a weak structure. Coursework usually involves basic construction techniques, from building codes to reading a building schematic.

A bachelor's degree in construction expands the information offered by a two year certification. Most coursework involves quality assurance, financial basics, and management theories. Four year construction degree programs ready the worker for a management position, rather than an assistant or manual labor career offered by the two year degree.

Graduate or master's degree programs center on more abstract portions of construction, such as modeling a project plan and analyzing project costs for profitability. This coursework also includes construction law; understanding the legalities surrounding a project is highly desired by employers to prevent lawsuits and to improve safety regulations. These workers may visit job sites periodically, but most employees work within offices to analyze project data.

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Doctorate coursework within construction degree programs normally centers on researching project parameters and the costs associated with the entire plan. These workers are in charge of keeping a project within, or under, budget while retaining safety of the structure and surrounding employees. For example, a more inexpensive floor joist material may be available for purchase, but the worker with the doctorate must determine if the cheaper material will compromise the structure's overall integrity or enhance it.

Many associate's and bachelor's degree programs are offered as online choices, rather than attending a typical classroom setting. Many people that do not have access to a nearby college can still obtain a degree through the Internet. Aspiring construction personnel should note that higher degrees for a master's and doctorate are not usually offered online; he or she must attend a physical college degree program at a local university. Although all construction degree programs offer different courses, each degree still stresses safety, as employees must be aware of all regulations regarding material use and handling; deviation from these safety parameters can result in injury or death.

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