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G.I. Bill: The Degrees and Certificates That Can Get You Employed in Construction

Recent military veterans who are interested in joining the construction industry can take advantage the G.I. Bill to pursue education or training in a number of areas that relate to the field.

Fri May 19, 2017 - National Edition
Megan Wild

Originally created in 1944 and known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, the G.I. Bill's primary purpose was to provide access to academic services, affordable mortgages and hospitals throughout a post-World War II country. Recent military veterans who are interested in joining the construction industry can take advantage the G.I. Bill to pursue education or training in a number of areas that relate to the field.

Here's a look at some of the options:

1. Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management

This is a great option if you're interested in starting your career as soon as possible. As this is a two-year degree, many veterans see it as a highly accessible means of securing their future. Most construction managers with an AAS degree can expect to earn upward of $70,000 per year.

2. Bachelor of Science in Construction Management

If you are interested in pursuing the full academic experience prior to starting your professional career, you might consider this four-year option. Construction managers with this level of education earn approximately $90,000 per year.

3. Bachelor of Science in Construction Technology

Technology is taking over the spotlight in many industries, and construction is no exception. Depending on your familiarity with computer software and hardware systems, you might consider an education in construction technology. Construction workers who specialize in construction technology typically make $90,000 or more on an annual basis.

4. Associate of Science in Construction Project Management

Project management is a role that is well-suited for most military veterans. With a focus on leadership, team-building and general organization, the role is a natural fit. At approximately $75,000 per year, this two-year degree can also be rather rewarding.

5. Bachelor of Science in Construction Project Management

Construction project management is another four-year degree. The typical job of the construction project manager involves supervising and controlling individual construction projects. With a bachelor's degree in the position, you can expect to make more than $90,000 annually.

6. Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

Every business needs a dedicated finance professional to keep track of spending, invoicing and general financial bookkeeping. The two-year program, which provides graduates with an associate's degree, typically pays upward of $40,000 per year.

7. Bachelor of Science in Accounting

As expected, the four-year accounting degree is worth substantially more than the two-year counterpart. Construction accountants who have a bachelor's degree can expect a starting salary of nearly $50,000, but this should increase with time and experience.

8. Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD)

With CAD software more popular than ever before, even the smallest of construction companies are beginning to see the value in creating digital models, mockups and designs. As such, you can expect to bring home approximately $50,000 per year with an associate's degree in this niche.

9. Construction Health and Safety Technician Certification

The health and safety of workers is the topmost concern of any reputable and successful construction company, which means roles in jobsite safety and inspection are always in demand. Annual pay for safety technicians, directors and managers ranges from $45,000 to $100,000.

10. Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology

If you'd rather participate in the design and construction of roadways and city infrastructure, you might consider a background in civil engineering. A two-year associate's program is enough for an entry-level position in the field, which pays approximately $60,000 per year.

11. Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology

To make the big bucks through civil engineering, you'll need to complete a four-year program and earn your bachelor's degree. Successful graduates of these programs can expect to earn at least $100,000 annually, and have a lucrative career upon graduation..

12. Associate's Degree in Human Resources

Although it might not be necessary in a small business that maintains a limited staff, larger construction companies almost always employ a qualified professional in their human resources department. An associate's degree in the field can earn you approximately $60,000 on a yearly basis.

13. Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources

The position of human resources director, which is typically only available via a bachelor's degree, is the top of the HR command chain. As such, you can expect to bring home upward of $100,000 per year in the role.

14. Land Surveying Certificate

All 50 of the United States currently require land surveyors to be properly trained and certified before working in the field. While the training is rather brief when compared to other degrees and certificates, usually only lasting one or two semesters, entry-level surveyors can expect an annual salary between $40,000 and $60,000.

15. Real Estate Licensure

It's not a requirement by any means, but those who are able to promote and sell the very homes they build can set themselves up for a lucrative career in the future. The annual salary for Realtors varies greatly, but the median income is currently just under $50,000 annually.

Making the Most of the G.I. Bill and its Benefits

Although it's seen a number of revisions and modifications since its inception, the G.I. Bill has been providing much-needed tuition assistance ever since. There are plenty of academic options currently available to veterans like you. It's just a matter of taking advantage of them.

This is the third installation in a 3-part series about veteran education resources.

Click Here for Part 1

Click Here for Part 2

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