Construction projects need leaders. People who are able to command attention, direct others to action, and think quickly to produce results – no matter what the project. Do you have the drive it takes to get the job done?

UW-Stout’s Construction program is designed to help you develop the organizational, analytical, technical, and communication skills you need to direct even the most complicated operations. Classes in structural systems, site engineering, construction methods and materials, estimating, architectural technology, and environmental systems prepare you for the technical side of developing construction projects. The program is unique because it not only focuses on the technical process, but also the business, marketing, and management end of construction as well.

The Construction program curriculum provides a blend of coursework covering:

  • Management
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Science
  • Math
  • Liberal studies
  • Architecture
  • Engineering  
  • Construction

These courses prepare you for the many different career options in construction. Professional opportunities for construction graduates include:

  • Project management
  • Estimating
  • Scheduling
  • Safety
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Project supervision

Modern and well-equipped construction, design, and computer laboratories provide you with hands-on experience in learning the construction industry. In addition, a required cooperative education or field experience will give you practical real-world training that will be a plus when looking for a job. Your instructors include professional architects, engineers, builders, and construction managers who will share with you the experiences they have gained from working in the field. In addition, the program is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE).

Preparing for UW-Stout

High school preparation is important if you want to study construction at UW-Stout. Since the construction curriculum requires calculus and physics, we recommend that you take as many math and science classes as possible. Students with a limited math background may have to take preparatory classes to reach the calculus competency level. Courses in English and communications are also highly recommended because you must know how to write and communicate if you are to succeed. High school business and general education courses are also recommended.

Starting Out

In your first two years of study, you’ll find a strong balance between general education and professional requirements. Courses the first year include English, sociology, geology, architectural graphics, speech, calculus, light construction methods, and psychology. An “orientation to construction industry” class will acquaint you with career opportunities and professional organizations.

Sophomore year courses include accounting, economics, architectural technology, heavy construction methods and equipment, concrete and masonry technology, physics, government, and principles of management.

Membership in the Student Construction Association (SCA) will help prepare you to compete with others looking for jobs in the construction industry. Employers look for membership in the SCA because it shows a commitment to the construction industry.

Instructors will assist you with your academic plan and career choices. Assistance is also available through the Advisement and Career Centers, the Counseling Center, and Career Services.

As You Progress

Employers look for people with the ability to solve problems. This is what the upper-level courses will teach you. Classes that prepare you to understand the construction process include: structural systems, writing, environmental systems, estimating, construction safety, organizational leadership, project scheduling and cost control, human resource management, and management of construction.

The Student Construction Association sponsors local projects that provide you with experience in constructing garages and home additions, as well as small projects such as installing windows, siding, and insulation.

A cooperative education or field experience must be completed before you can graduate. UW-Stout requires this experience because employers nearly always look for this when hiring — it shows them that you have a feel for what is happening in the field. People with the most field experience get hired first and generally receive the highest salary.

Entry Positions

Most Construction program graduates will enter the industry in assistant positions as project engineers or managers, field engineers, estimators, or schedulers. Some graduates may enter the trades and serve an apprenticeship or they may start their own companies and become professional contractors. Job opportunities are excellent, particularly for people from the Midwest because of the strong work ethic associated with the region.

Economic cycles do play a role, especially in housing, but less so in commercial, industrial, institutional or heavy construction. Grade point average is a factor, but what matters more is field experience, work ethic, and personal integrity. The average beginning salary for 2015–16 construction graduates was $55,000. The employment rate of program graduates was 100 percent.

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