How to Choose a Construction Education Program

Students in a Construction Education Program

Now is a fantastic time to enroll in a construction education program. With the ongoing shortage of skilled trades professionals, construction companies and trades contractors are eager to hire individuals with training.

But where should you get that training? And how should you choose a program with all of the options at your disposal?

Let’s take a look at how to choose a construction education program. We’ll consider what it means to be truly ready for the challenge. In addition, we’ll look at practical matters, such as the cost and time commitment involved.

1. Be sure you’re mentally prepared for a construction education program

Entering a new field can be daunting. There’s always a learning curve, and there may be a  period of time where your brain seems to be working overtime (even if you aren’t working overtime) as it tries to absorb new concepts and skills.

You have to be ready for a new challenge. Even better, you should be eager for a new challenge.

A good construction education program isn’t an easy breezy affair. Whether you do a generalist program in construction or a more specialized course of study in plumbing, HVAC, or welding, you’ll have a lot to learn.

Just be sure you’re ready to truly dedicate yourself to your education so you can finish the training and move ahead in your career!

2. Find out where graduates work

This is really important. You want to be sure that graduates of any program you enter are:

  1. Getting jobs in construction after completing the program
  2. Working at the kinds of companies where you would like to work

Reputable programs will prioritize placing graduates in good jobs with good employers. If they can’t do that, consider it a red flag.

At Construction Ready, we place 97% of our graduates before they even finish their training. That’s because we include employer interviews as part of the training process, so every trainee has the opportunity to meet with hiring managers and others at established, reputable construction companies.

In any case, ask officials at the school or training organization whether you can speak to any of their graduates. Do they have video testimonials from graduates who are employed? Can they provide a list of employers that hire their graduates and describe the kinds of jobs those graduates hold?

All of these factors are extremely important! Completing this step is how you ensure you’re attending a reputable construction education program that’s worth what it costs.

Speaking of costs…

3. Consider all of the costs

Notice the word “all” up there? We underlined it on purpose.

That’s because there are three different kinds of costs to consider when entering a construction training program. The first is pretty obvious. It’s the actual monetary cost of attendance. In other words, it’s what the organization or school charges you to get trained.

Another cost to consider is the interest you’ll have to pay on any loans you take out to pay for your education or your living expenses while you commit to training.

The final other cost is more difficult to quantify. It involves how much time you’re out of the workforce while you get trained.

Basically, you need to add up all of the money you would have made if you were working instead of attending training and add that to the total cost of the training. This is the opportunity cost of enrolling in a construction education program.

That means the longer the program, the greater your opportunity cost. In many cases, the opportunity cost will be worth it. You just need to be sure.

Get a sense of what your likely construction pay will be right after graduation and in the years following graduation as you advance in your career. This will help you determine whether the cost is worth it.

At Construction Ready, we don’t charge our trainees anything. That’s because all of the funding for our construction training program comes from private donations and/or government grants. We’re very unique in this regard! The short time commitment for Construction Ready also keeps your opportunity cost to a minimum. Our program lasts just 20 days!

4. Consider the time commitment

This is similar to the point about opportunity cost, but it’s so important that we wanted to call it out in a separate section. Be absolutely sure you can handle the time commitment!

Community and technical college programs probably last several months for a certificate in a certain trade. If you want to earn an associate’s degree with coursework in the skilled trades, you could be looking at a two-year commitment. Is it worth it? Possibly! Just be sure you’re able to leave the workforce for that long.

Construction Ready’s flagship program lasts just 20 days! The time commitment is minimal, as are the costs ($0.00). Many of our graduates enrolled in Construction Ready because it was the most cost effective option compared to all of the alternatives they considered.

Why wait to start your construction education?

If Construction Ready offers training in your area, we’d love to talk to you! Contact us today to request more information or to attend an info session!

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