The Fort Hays Department of Applied Science offers students a lucrative career in construction management. Through the program, many students have forged a successful path helping others realize their dreams of homeownership and developing new business sites.
Fort Hays' program prepares students to take on impressive roles such as project managers and field engineers and perhaps later start their own construction companies. U.S. labor statistics show that graduates who achieve a career as field engineers earn as much as $98,000 each year. Construction project managers can see top salaries of around $130,000 yearly.
Fort Hays junior Garron Champoux is close to entering his senior year and aspires to start his career as a field engineer with expectations of later becoming a project manager or superintendent. This next year, Champoux will participate in the construction management degree program.
The CAD program offers hands-on training in construction and gives students the real-world experience they need after graduation. These practical skills enable them to build homes for buyers and follow complex blueprints for commercial developments for local businesses and major corporations.
In an interview, Garron credited Fort Hays with offering more than expected and showing him how invaluable a formal education is to his dreams of working in construction. Garron discussed how Fort Hays is not only an affordable school but also provides the amenities and program quality that are well worth the cost of tuition. When asked what he’d say to a student considering the program, he replied, "What I’d try to tell them is the money and the quality just can’t be matched really anywhere else.”
Throughout his construction classes, he learned construction management fundamentals, starting with material selection, estimating, and scheduling complex developments. Fort Hays offers practical skills in CAD and other construction graphics programs.
The skill set helps supervisory workers create 3D models of buildings and developments to show clients in the field and streamline mechanical and electrical systems throughout these properties. Like other successful Fort Hays students, Garron has also discovered how to prepare construction sites and foundations and see these plans from inception to fruition.
In his interview, Garron discussed how he enjoyed the small-town feel of the campus and surrounding areas and how he has felt at home during his years at the school. Having met local youths and making friends with kids in local Christian organizations, he intends to work within a community to help families.
With these new connections, Garron has discovered that his interest in construction projects has gravitated more toward residential developments than commercial ones. He wants to build extraordinary homes to help families create cherished memories and cultivate lifelong friendships with others in the community.
With the Applied Science degree in Construction Management, students like Garron will also learn more about business law and how it pertains to their careers and helping clients. In addition, they’ll discover how to run a business, mitigate liabilities, and ensure that all projects adhere to federal and state safety standards.
In management principles courses in the program, students develop the leadership skills necessary to supervise and direct construction crews and remain on task with deliverables and project milestones. These skills are vital to students who aspire to become organizational leaders.
Students like Garron who complete the summer internship also have opportunities to participate in career fairs and connect with industry leaders. Connections they make while networking give them increased chances to get full-time employment with top employers.
With these connections, students can forge a career path that is lucrative and rewarding. And students like junior Garron Champoux can gain the credibility, skills, and work experience to achieve their dreams of becoming the construction superintendents or business leaders of tomorrow.
Fort Hays State University