Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog


Building Trades, Diploma

Location(s): Ankeny

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The Building Trades program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter either residential or commercial construction fields. Classroom work focuses on familiarizing the students with basic knowledge of construction materials. Laboratory activities emphasize practical, hands-on skills needed in the building trades.

The last semester is devoted to applying classroom theory and lab skills in an actual construction job, either residential or commercial.

Program Details

Pathway: Building Trades & Transportation

More information on this Pathway.

Students start Fall semester

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Building Trades diploma, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Semester 2

Semester 3

Total Credits Required to Complete the Diploma - 48

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$193.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2
Books (approximate) 125 200
Supplies  30  
Tools 350  

Approximate total for program: $9,969**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Measure and cut the materials to proper size and place them.
  • Construct the framework of buildings, apply sheathing, house wrap, exterior applications and also install interior trim work, as well as cabinetry.
  • Install windows, interior and exterior doors and stairs.
  • Apply roofing materials.
  • Be concerned with the appearance as well as the accuracy of the work.
  • Build forms needed for concrete slabs, steps and walls.
  • Read and use tapes, levels and other measuring instruments.
  • Use a variety of tools including hammers, saws, chisels and planes, as well as power tools such as power saws, drills and air nailers and staplers.
  • Experience concrete flatwork.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Read and understand blueprints.
  • Analyze a job, decide what to do, how to do it and what materials and tools to use.
  • Skillfully use many kinds of hand and power tools.
  • Climb, stoop, grasp and crouch while working.
  • Work above the ground without fear.
  • Have good eye-hand coordination.
  • Talk about and demonstrate your building trades skills and knowledge.
  • Punctuality, responsibility and willingness to work with others.
  • Practice safe work habits as an individual and in a group.
  • Basic computer skills or a willingness to develop them.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Classes for students who start Fall term have a Spring term that is divided into 10 weeks and 5 weeks. During the 10 weeks, the students complete studies in forming, trim, drafting and CAD. The 5-week session of the Spring term is when construction of our house project begins and will end at the completion of the Summer session.
  • There may be much satisfaction from producing a finished product.
  • You should be prepared to work outside in good and bad weather.
  • Your work is often seasonal.
  • Construction work is sometimes dangerous and often noisy and dirty.
  • Opportunities for self-employment are very good.
  • Students must provide their own transportation to the construction sites.
  • There is a DMACC-Carpenter’s Union Labor agreement that will allow a graduate of the program to drop one year from the apprenticeship program.
  • Average hourly wage: $22.16 (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Program Competencies

  1. Demonstrate the ability to measure accurately using a tape, speed square and determine plub and level.  
  2. Demonstrate knowledge needed to operate safely stationary machines/equipment and hand and/or power tools.
  3. Estimate materials needed to construct a structure from working drawings.
  4. Describe the proper application of various common building materials.
  5. Practice safety procedures on the job site.
  6. Select materials, layout, and construct: a) floor systems, b) wall systems, c) ceiling/roof systems.
  7. Demonstrate the following skills: job seeking, problem-solving, listening, writing, time management, positive interpersonal relationships, punctual and leadership skills. 


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Executive Campus Dean’s office, the Executive Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at Academic Pathway website.(2024)

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