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Young guy trying to decide on a BS

takeitsleazy | Posted in General Questions on

Hey all,

I’ve been tossing the idea of what BS I should pursue that would be complimentary to me as a (potential) builder.

Some background- I’ve been in the Air Force for 5 years as a structural journeyman, doing carpentry, masonry, welding, and concrete. Specific experience being building maintenance, demolition, cmu construction, and 2 years of tilt up construction. I want to continue building, whether it’s in the AF or not (preferably homebuilding), but I feel it would be foolish not to get my BS while I’m in. As stated, I’m just wondering what fields I can look into that would best compliment my experience when the time comes for me to look for a job in the private sector. I have started some classes towards a Construction Management BS, but after discovering GBA, I’m wondering if there is something else I should be looking at.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Take it Sleazy,
    Construction management.
    Mechanical engineering.
    Civil engineering.
    Structural engineering.
    Physics (for a career in building science).

  2. Anon3 | | #2

    You don't need a BS, just work in project management for GC who does insurance restoration. You'll be scheduling trades to do anything from small repair to entire house rebuilds. They may not even hire you if you have a BS, overqualified.

    Builder is all about subcontracting and connections to the trades. Oh, and they go out of business periodically to wipe out old liabilities, then you start another one.

  3. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #3

    Adding to Martin's list, lets not forget...


  4. user-2310254 | | #4

    While you are young and have the opportunity, earn your degree. It is true you do not need a degree to work in construction, but there is risk in thinking that you can rely on physical ability and on-the-job training to cope with a rapidly changing job market.

    There is no downside to investing in any of the programs mentioned by Martin and Dana. Studying for a degree could even open up a pathway to a commission (if you want it).

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    Thanks, Dana. The architects aren't going to let me off the hook for my omission, I'll bet...

  6. takeitsleazy | | #6

    Thank you all for the words of wisdom. Architecture would actually have been my first choice, but as my experience grew I couldn't see myself doing anything else. Martin, I'm actually listening to your feature on the FHB podcast- it's what prompted me to check out GBA, and I'm glad I did. Hope to be at the same level of knowledge as you gents one day!

  7. Expert Member

    Architects have gotten off fairly lightly in this discussion. Better than builders anyway - who have been described as having rather suspect business morals.

    On balance, I'd probably rather be forgotten than insulted.

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