Sounds like you pretty much already covered the pros and cons of both approaches. :whistling
Thanks. I guess what I would really like is input and opinions on which route I should take from actual contractors who do this for a living and deal with customers.Sounds like you pretty much already covered the pros and cons of both approaches. :whistling
I currently am stationed in Oklahoma. It's a toss up between Texas and Wisconsin as to where I will end up. Being that I don't really much about Texas, I am leaning towards residing in SW WI/Madison WI area. I am going to attend UW-Platteville for their CM program, mostly because the program incorporates a hands on project every year where students are involved in every aspect of a home build, from design to completion. My older brother (M.D.) has agreed to let me build a home for him when I complete my studies and am confident in my abilities. I know it will be a headache at times building for family, but he is willing to put my name out to his network.I would suggest the degree program at a school with a good CM program, and work for a custom home builder part time. Find a good builder who is willing to share, teach, and mentor to you. If available, join a local home builders association and use their resources as well as NAHB. Desire, smarts, and hard work go a long way. When I started my building company in 1974 (age 23) I was determined to become a home builder, nothing was going to stop me. As soon as you can, find someone who will let you build their house or work as project manager. If you have to cut them a deal so you can get the experience.
Where are you or where will you be located?
There are some really good new home markets in Texas, all the large cities are doing well. And for a CM Texas A&M is one of the best. As far as advertising to a builder, I think it might be as simple as just asking several builders and telling them your story. I suspect many would be willing to help someone wanting to break into the business.Being as I have little experience, how would I best advertise myself to a established home builder? What would best persuade someone to take me on as an "apprentice" GC?
Sounds like you have some great strengths for the residential construction field. If you're aiming to become your own boss and run a home building company, both a 4-year degree in Construction Management (CM) and a trade apprenticeship have their merits.Hello,
I am currently in the Army and am close to discharge. I have decided to enter the residential construction field but am conflicted about which path to choose. My overall goal is to become my own boss and run a residential home building company. I am planning on building a wide variety of homes, with an emphasis on energy efficient homes. (I don't like the term "GREEN" because it tends to be a misnomer) I have listed my strengths and weakness (IMO)
VERY QUICK LEARNER and "SMART"-I don't mean to brag, just posting scores to reinforced my opinion: 98 ASVAB with 136 GT and all other line scores above 140 (Army testing), 29 ACT with 32 in Math portion.
POSESS COMMON SENSE - A lot of "smart" people I know have no common sense, I have been known by peers and leaders to posess this virtue.
I am a "What can I do for you" person - I think it's a stength, because I think that working as a contractor involves pleasing your customers.
EFFICIENT WORKER - I am a hard worker who always tries to figure out ways to do things better and faster, thus efficient and not just hard.
LEADER/MANAGER - I have no problem telling people what to do and am very straightfoward as demonstrated by my being placed in charge of other soldiers for roughly 3 years.
BIG PICTURE GUY: I have the ability to look beyond the current situation and handle multiple tasks without losing sight of the end state
INEXPERIENCED: Although I have done some remodeling ie demo, drywall, framing, painting, siding, I consider myself a novice DIYer.
Not a DETAIL person: I am a jack of all trades guy, I can do everything yet I preferto leave all the intricate work requiring fine motor skills (I am far from clumsy, but sometimes my fingers are not able to do what my mind wants them to do) to the experts in their trade.
I am planning on creating my business immediately after completing school. With no kids and a spouse making decent money and helpful parents, finances will not be a big factor in starting up my business. I am not planning on working for anybody, and with the market the way it is, I probably wouldn't find a residential construction firm willing to hire a GC with no experience anyways.
Now the Question: Should I get my 4 yr Degree in CM or complete a trade apprenticeship (carpentry, electrical, plumbing)? If suggesting the Apprenticeship route, which trade will be most helpful?
Arguments for the 4 year program:
I already have college credits. It will only take me 2.5 years to complete the degree, whereas the apprenticeship will take at least 4 years.
The 4 year CM program DOES have students building a home (to include all planning phases) every year as part of the curriculum, so I will at least get some hands on work. I am also going to get as much part time work as I can get.
I will be able to advertise my 4 year degree to attract higher end customers. That piece of paper seems to mean a lot to professional type customers. It gives them the impression that you are "educated" like them.
Arguments for Apprenticeship:
I get real world experience by going to work everyday. I know experience is the most important thing most people look for.
I get to network. It is not what you know, but who you know.
I learn a trade which I can use. I can do part of the actual build myself, thus saving money by not having to hire a sub.
Please provide me with your comments