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Building Construction Technology Opens Doors to Careers

web posted May 9, 2014

JOHNSTON – The Building Construction Program is designed to prepare students to perform entry level carpentry tasks under the supervision of an experienced carpenter. Building Construction students receive instruction in framing, construction material, blueprint reading, and safety. Also included are instructions in site preparation, using power and hand tools, and applied mathematics.

South Carolina employers prefer applicants who have carpentry experience. This experience can be from an apprenticeship, the military, Job Corps or Building Construction Technology School Programs. Many employers prefer applicants who have at least a high school diploma or GED. Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 17 years old and meet local requirements. Requirements include:
•    Performing work safety practices
•    Demonstrating cutting, shaping, and fastening skills
•    Demonstrating basic building site preparation skills
•    Demonstrating skills necessary to construct and set concrete forms
•    Demonstrating floor framing skills
•    Demonstrating wall framing skills

Carpenters can specialize in constructing foundations, general carpentry and supervision. All of these requirements and specialties are taught by Mr. Lewis Burt, Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center’s Building Construction Technology Teacher. Mr. Burt has been a residential home builder for over 45 years. He has taught at Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center for 20 years.

Mr. Burt stresses to his students that the outlook for carpentry jobs are in high demand and varies from region to region. The number of Americans is growing as more children are born and more people move to this country. As a result, we need more houses and more or larger businesses to meet society’s needs. Currently, in South Carolina future job openings in building construction are around 406 annually. Growth in this occupation is around 12.4% with all occupations being 13.9%. About 39 % of carpenters are self-employed. Major employers for this occupation are:
•    House construction companies
•    Office and industrial building construction companies
•    Framing contractors
•    Finish carpentry contractors

The average salary for this occupation in South Carolina is between $26,000-$47,370 annually and $11.37-$22.27 an hour. The highest rate of pay in South Carolina centers around the Florence area.

Mr. Burt has averaged about 5-8 annual completers in his program over the past 5 years. Their plans for the next 2 years include building a house on the front lawn of the Career and Technology Center.

For more information about the building construction program at STCTC please call (803-275-1767) or email Mr. Lewis Burt (lburt@edgefield.k12.sc.us).







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