Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Building Construction, associate degree

Student hammering in a nail

Hands-on building construction technology

The best hands-on training in Oregon also delivers a degree: our associate degree in Building Construction Technology combines realistic training with excellent classroom instruction in the latest materials, methods, and sustainable building practices.

We split our time between our fully-equipped woodworking shop, which contains all the tools, large and small, that any carpenter or cabinet maker would put on their list. Whether it’s learning how to operate our industrial-grade planers, our joiners, our state of the art SawStop table saws, or the litany of handheld power tools in our tool room, there is no limit to what we can build in this facility. When we build big, we head outdoors to our construction yard, a fully serviced exterior classroom big enough to have several “houses” in foundations, and several more in finish work, or being remodeled.

If you have very little construction experience, you won’t be the only one entering our program. Within two years you can develop professional skills in:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Construction mathematics
  • Foundation forms
  • Framing floors, walls, and roofs
  • Interior and exterior finishes on a typical wood-framed house

Award information

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Building Construction Technology2 years

Learn more about Building Construction and all 4 awards available »


What will you do?

Graduates of the Building Construction program may go into business for themselves or may seek employment in the construction industry for rough and finish carpentry in new construction and remodeling, cabinetmaking, estimating, and building maintenance. Graduates of the Construction Management program may pursue entry-level management and supervisory positions in residential and commercial construction.


Course listing for the 2023-2024 catalog year.

Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
BCT 102 Residential Printreading 3
BCT 103 Residential Materials and Methods 3
BCT 104 Construction Math § 3
BCT 106 Hand Tool/Power Tool Use and Safety 3
General Education: 1 course
Second Term
ARCH 110 Introduction to Architectural Drawing 2
BCT 127 Residential Concrete 6
BCT 135
or ARCH 132
Residential Building Codes
or Residential Building Codes
COMM 215
or COMM 111
Communicating in Teams and Small Groups *,Z
or Public Speaking (COMM111=COMM111Z)
BCT Degree Electives 3
Third Term
BCT 118 Introduction to Space Planning and Design 2
BCT 120 Floor Framing 3
BCT 121 Wall Framing 3
BCT 122 Roof Framing I 3
BCT 123 Roof Framing II 3
General Education: 1 course 3
Fourth Term
BCT 128 Exterior Finish 6
BCT 129 Mechanical Planning for Kitchens and Baths 4
BCT 223 Finished Stair Construction 3
BCT 229 Introduction to Kitchens and Baths 4
Fifth Term
BCT 203 Interior Finish 6
BCT 219 Cabinetmaking I 6
General Education: 1 course
Sixth Term
BCT 204B Construction Estimating - Residential 3
BCT 206 Sustainable Construction Practices 3
BCT 211 Remodeling 6
WR 227
or WR 122
Technical Writing (WR227=WR227Z) Z
or Composition II (WR122=WR122Z)
 Total Credits97

Could be used as General Education


Course cannot be substituted for another course


This course is part of Oregon Common Course Numbering. The following courses are equivalent: 

COMM 111 and COMM 111Z

WR 122 and WR 122Z 

WR 227 and WR 227Z


BCT 106 Tool Safety must be taken before beginning any other hands-on classes unless the instructor provides permission to take the classes concurrently.

Morning classes

Most hands-on classes start at right about the same time you might show up for work on a home building project, 7am. We work indoors and out, rain or shine, until we break for lunch at 12:50pm. A full-time student is usually attending class 4 days per week, Monday – Thursday. Exceptions include general education, writing, and speech classes that are offered on multiple campuses and online.


Given our size, nearly all courses are offered only once per year, so planning your courses with an advisor is important for students to complete on time. A course planner is available from a BCT faculty member. Students typically graduate in 2-2.5 years. And don’t be afraid if you never really found school worked for you in the past. This is a whole different ball game than high school and compared to your standard college classes. Hands-on classes make it real. Real fast.

Next steps

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