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Construction Trades


Programs in construction trades prepare people to build, inspect, or repair structures. They also learn to use tools, read blueprints, and inspect their work.


Construction trades programs allow students to specialize in a specific trade such as:

Many construction trade programs include apprenticeship training. Apprentices complete a set number of classroom hours and receive training on the job from experienced workers.


Many career and technical schools as well as many community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in construction trades. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years to complete.

An apprenticeship program may require one to four additional years of on-the-job training with experienced workers.

In addition, some high schools coordinate vocational programs with community colleges. This allows high school students to take construction courses before they graduate. In some cases, they are prepared for entry-level work after they receive their high school diploma.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program of study by getting your high school diploma or GED.

Most apprenticeship programs require that you be at least 18. In addition, some training programs require that applicants take aptitude and physical fitness tests.

Apprenticeship requirements vary by area and local committee. Most committees require that apprentices be at least 18. Some will take younger apprentices who have permission from their parents or high school principal.

Some training programs require that applicants take aptitude tests and physical activity tests. They may require some related work experience.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

Each construction trade has on-the-job training and course requirements that are specific to the skills and knowledge you need to work in that trade. Typically, students and apprentices take courses such as the following:

Each year, an apprentice completes about 2,000 hours of work in supervised, on-the-job training.

Things to Know

Most programs require that students and apprentices purchase tools. In addition, some programs require you to buy your own safety equipment. This usually includes gloves, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses, ear and eye protection, and a hard hat.

Electricians need to have good color vision.

Many construction workers are union members.

Employers and unions prefer applicants who have some work experience. For information about apprenticeships and other training opportunities, call or visit websites of local contractors, union offices, apprenticeship agencies, or your nearest employment service office.

Some programs offer day or evening classes.


East Side Area

Job Corps - Columbia Basin

Job Corps - Curlew

King-Snohomish Area

Construction Industry Training Council (CITC)

Divers Institute of Technology

Everett Community College


Pacific Northwest Ironworkers Apprenticeship Committee - Tukwila

Seattle Central College

Seattle Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee

Washington Cement Masons and Plasterers Apprenticeship

Western Washington Masonry Trades Apprenticeship Committee

Kitsap Area

Northwest Laborers-Employers Training Trust Fund

Spokane Area

Pacific Northwest Ironworkers Apprenticeship Committee - Spokane

Spokane Community College

Western States Operating Engineers Institute of Training

Tacoma Area

Clover Park Technical College

Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

West Coast Training

West Side Area

Bellingham Technical College

Centralia College

Grays Harbor College

Lower Columbia College

Yakima Area

Job Corps - Fort Simcoe