Surry Community College students learn hands-on skills in the Construction Management Technology and Carpentry programs. Students have many opportunities to further their education in this area. A degree is offered in Construction Management Technology along with a diploma and certificate in Carpentry.
Hello, I am Michael Wall, and I teach Construction Management here at Surry Community College in Dobson. From installing joists to nailing on shingles, Construction students learn how to build a project from the ground up. The students stay busy on actual job sites throughout the semester. We do many home builds and other community-service work that gives the students practical job experience. Students work on every aspect of construction from putting in the foundation to building walls to the final finish.We have students that range from high school students to students that’s 60 years old and have retired and want to just come back and learn a career.
The students do all the project work with me being their supervisor. Students in our program are able to gain life skills that will help them to work in supervisor type positions throughout the different community jobs that’s available. We have several that go residential, and several that go into the commercial side. Our commercial students have worked with companies in the area like Shelco, Omega, Landmark and several companies that we have made contacts with to where they are working full-time at this time. We try to teach our students here at Surry to be leaders, not laborers. We want them all to succeed and be successful in life. Throughout the program, students take classes in print reading, carpentry, project supervision, construction materials and methods, safety procedures, residential wiring, green building concepts, codes and inspections. They also take several classes including management, economics, computer, math and human relations skills that graduates will need to be successful.
Students in the Carpentry 111 class receive OSHA 10 cards, and second year students in the Construction management program receive OSHA 30 cards. Our construction teacher, he’s really related to the program. He has a lot of experience. So our teachers have had experience. Some of our other business teachers, they can relate to what we are doing just by things they have done in the past. Right now the job market looks good especially in residential. You know the buildings, there’s a lot of people wanting it to be done right now. Houses are in high demand, I think, or at least additions or remodels. A salary range if you are working for yourself, you should easily be able to clear $50,000 to $60,000, and if you go commercial and get with the right company, it should get at least $80,000 or better. This program, it shows you things that you can learn and be able to work with where you live at. I live in Mount Airy. I grew up in Mount Airy. I like it. It’s a small town. It’s not a big city, and I think, that you know, working for myself, I can make a living and stay here in Mount Airy, from where I grew up at, and enjoy living here. I chose Construction Management because you get to go out and build stuff actually and get your hands dirty. I really don’t like sitting in a classroom all day. By building a house, we really got to experience everything. It’s really going to help us when we graduate college.
We got to see all the things you put into it – all the errors you can make and have to go back and fix. My grandpa was a carpenter and growing up, I got experienced to it a lot, and he would tell me how in the future there was going to be a need and demand for it, so I decided to go to college and make a career out of it for myself. The job market – it looks pretty good in the future. All the older carpenters are starting to retire, and the younger people are going to start being becoming superintendents in their place. After I graduate from Surry Community College, I plan on going to work for a commercial company, Shelco. I think what I like most about the Construction Management program is that it is a lot of hands on work, and rather than just sitting around and doing a bunch of bookwork all day, you actually get to go out and you get to do stuff and make a difference in the community I just enjoy just getting to do something kind of different every day in class.
When I get done with college here at Surry Community, I plan on trying to get a job with a commercial company. I would like to be a project manager and get experience on how to run job sites, and then hopefully in the future, I could progress to getting my own company and get my contractor’s license and be able to work for myself. I think the job market in the construction field is really good for the future. There’s a lot changing, and they’re needing new people that know the new regulations and new building codes, stuff like that. And a lot of companies are always looking for new, younger people to hire that can come in bring that new age of workers in. Students who earn a degree in Construction Management Technology at Surry Community College can become project managers, superintendents, foremen or estimators in a variety of fields including architecture, engineering, and government. The average salary for graduates is around $84,000 per year.
The knowledge that students gain from the Construction Management Technology program will help them when they go to take the contractor license exam. Students can also decide to earn a diploma or certificate in the Carpentry program and learn how to construct, erect, install or repair structures and fixtures made of wood including installation of cabinets, siding and drywall.