May 22, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Building Trades Diploma

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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.

For more information about the Building Trades program, please visit our website at

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall semester.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Attend any required information/registration session.

Graduation Requirements

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

Required Courses

Total Credits Required to Complete the Diploma - 46

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

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

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2
Books (approximate) 125 40
Supplies  30  
Tools 520 55

Approximate total for program: $7,348*

*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 starting salary $24,960 (2010-2011 Placement Report)

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. 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 Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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