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Prepare for a career in Residential and Commercial Construction or Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair.

“Give any child a hammer and they’re gonna love it.”

Michelle Maher
Duncan Preschool Teacher


Pathways in the Building and Construction Trades sector prepare graduates to work in construction as carpenters, construction laborers and managers, HVAC installers, and more.

Students may have the opportunity to receive college credit and industry recognized certifications as well as participate in paid and unpaid internships.

Building and Construction Trades

Sample Construction Courses

Agricultural Engineering builds and expands upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the Agriculture Mechanics course. This course also offers a step-by-step instruction in the use of the principal operations of the SolidWorks CAD system. Students will learn how to model and design three-dimensional solid objects using gold-standard industry software used for rapid prototyping and production, as well as animation and computer-generated scenery. Students will engage in individual and group assignments and projects using demonstrations, presentations, and written expositions. Students will design, engineer, and prototype solutions to real-world challenges in agriculture.

Agriculture Mechanics is an academically engaging course that integrates mathematics, science, writing, and mechanics. Students will focus on understanding theory and application of the following topics: using the ag mechanics shop, measurement, project planning, electricity and electronics, plumbing systems and water use, concrete and masonry, arc welding, power mechanics, and industry related careers.

Concepts of Design is a course that allows students to apply principles of design through integrated academic and technical labs and projects. The purpose of this course is to provide tenth grade students with a solid foundation in design principles and procedures that include California State Standards for Career Technical Education. Students will apply their understanding of industry-recognized processes through the design and creation of various projects. Topics include Safety, Problem-Solving and the Design Process, Measurement Systems, Tools and Math, Drafting and Computer-Aided Design, and Basic Electricity. Additional topics including Career Exploration and Employability Skills will help students be successful in their future pathway concentrator and capstone classes.

Construction Technology I is a yearlong course where students discover and develop their skills in the craft and trade of Carpentry. This course will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skill level by fabricating basic to more complex carpentry projects and assessing the projects by rubric. Students will be required to use basic and advanced tools and equipment, as well as special materials. Students work individually and in teams or groups, where they will apply effective leadership skills as they complete the assigned objects. This course meets the requirements for knowledge and performance anchor standards and cabinetry, millwork, and woodworking pathway standards or the building trades and construction industry sector.

This course provides an introductory overview of the various materials used in exterior construction. Common construction methods are introduced and building details are explored. Students have the opportunity to experience material capacity and behavior as well as construction methods in demonstrations and lab experiments. Furthermore, material applications and detailing in structural and nonstructural building components are explored. Resulting from this course, students will gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and possible applications in construction and architecture. Students will also be eligible to receive college credit through Dual Enrollment.

WBL Construction Technology Interior is the capstone level course for the Construction Technology pathway. This course reinforces and builds upon the skills students have learned in the Concentrator course: WBL Construction Exterior. This course provides individualized instruction in developing for the competency skills and knowledge necessary to enter the field of residential and light commercial construction. Through classroom instruction, hands-on activities, and jobsite placement, students will have the opportunity to learn basic skills, terminology, materials, and tools used in each of the building trades covered. Selection of construction methods, materials and supplies used in industry, and equipment are discussed. Students have the opportunity to develop skills in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing processes. The development of leadership and employability skills is emphasized throughout the course.

In Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Refrigeration Technology Introduction, students will gain knowledge and skills needed to enter the industry as technicians in the HVAC and refrigeration industry or building maintenance industry, prepare for a postsecondary degree in a specified field of construction management, or pursue an approved apprenticeship program. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in safety, principles of HVAC theory, use of tools, codes, and installation of HVAC and refrigeration equipment.

This course will expose students to the career readiness skills needed for a successful internship and prepare them for the world of work. An internship is a work-based learning experience that provides students the opportunity to apply their technical and academic skills in a professional setting. Students will develop and practice an understanding of the duties and responsibilities of high-skilled career areas, including terminology, climate, protocol, and other information that will enable them to analyze and revise their meaningful future plans. This course will expose students to the career readiness skills needed for a successful internship and prepare them for the world of work. The internship is supported with activities and assignments to deepen and enhance the experience. The structure of the internship aligns with local policy and program expectations for internships.

Note: Course availability varies by school and program.

Examples of Construction Careers

OccupationEducation LevelMedian Annual Earnings in CA
Brickmason and BlockmasonHigh school diploma or equivalent$66,000
CarpenterHigh school diploma or equivalent$61,430
Construction and Building InspectorHigh school diploma or equivalent$91,200
Construction LaborerHigh school diploma or equivalent$47,190
Construction ManagerBachelor's degree$118,100
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and InstallerPostsecondary certificate$59,800
Plumber, Pipefitter, and SteamfitterHigh school diploma or equivalent$61,520
Tile and Stone SetterHigh school diploma or equivalent$52,110

Source: US Dept of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics for California

Building and Construction Trades Pathways and Programs

Click here for an accessible list of the programs on the map, including links to school site pathway pages.

Pathway Certifications

Linked Learning Silver Certification

Linked Learning Silver Certification is a standard of excellence for college and career preparation. We have achieved Silver Certification by demonstrating that our pathways have integrated academics with career-themed coursework, feature meaningful work-based learning, and include effective supports for students.

Linked Learning Silver Seal

Duncan Innovative Design and Applied Technology Academy (IDATA)

Sunnyside Agriscience and Technology

NAF Certified

NAF academies are structured as small, focused learning communities that fit within and enhance high school systems.

NAF Logo

Fresno Construction, Design, and Architecture Technology (CDAT)

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