• Career Pathway

Start Your Own journey

While You're in High School

Looking for opportunities to get started before you graduate? There are lots of options right here in the Ozarks.

Interested in learning more about area partners? Check out the online Construction Workforce Development Directory here! The Google Document is available for download, and you’re able to check back for the most recently updated version anytime.

Build My Future

Build My Future is a one-day construction showcase for high school students. Students throughout Southwest Missouri are invited to learn about all areas of the construction and design industry. Regardless of where you begin your career path, Build My Future gives hands on opportunities to learn about the vast variety of opportunities in the industry.

Build U

Build U is a brand new four-day summer program designed to give students age 16-18 a comprehensive overview of trade opportunities. Combined with learning labs and job site tours, Build U allows students to discover which trade is the best fit for them while making connections in the industry. 

ACE Mentor Program

The ACE Mentor Program is an afterschool program designed to give high school students a deeper look into careers in the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering industry, including skilled trades. 

Vo-Tech Classes

Many area high schools offer vocational technical classes. If a school doesn’t offer an in-house program, most will partner with a community college like OTC to offer classes. Vo-Tech classes can help you decide on a trade and gain experience to stand out before you graduate from high school. Ask your counselor if there are options for you today! 

Want to learn more? Check out our interactive Career Pathway Model! If you want to hear perspectives from local people in the industry, you’ll find them in our video archive. And if you’re curious which trade fits your personality, you can take a few minutes to find out here.

Interested in seeing national averages for salaries? BYF has a great resource to learn more about the ins and outs of responsibilities and salaries for each career here


Immediate payoffs

Entry Level Jobs

Want to hit the ground running and start earning money as soon as you graduate? Lots of local employers offer on-the-job training. It’s a great opportunity if you’re a self-starter who’s willing to work hard to create your own path. Some employers will even pay for classes at a local technical or community college or university.

Starting your career out with an entry level job allows you to learn the ins and outs of the whole company before building your own career path. Many employers offer apprenticeship programs for existing employees that wouldn’t be open to someone new. This is a great opportunity for someone who is willing to work hard and show they want to take on more responsibilities in their own way. 

To see open positions in this area, check out the Springfield Contractors Association job board or call the SCA office at 417-862-1313.

Combine work and education

With an Apprenticeship Program

Several local organizations combine education with work by providing apprenticeships. If you want to learn a specific skill while earning a paycheck, check out some of these options in our area.

Continue your education

Certifications, Community College, or Trade School

Interested in kickstarting your career with a certification or associates degree from a community college or trade school? Most programs can be completed in six months to two years. If your high school offers an A+ Scholarship Program, you can usually utilize funding to pay for these schools. Ask your counselor if you are eligible. 

Midwest Technical Institute

Options: Journeyman Welder, Journeyman Welder II, HVAC/R-Major Appliance Repair Technician

Ozarks Technical Community College
OTC Website

Options: Construction Technology, Drafting & Design, Electrical, Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Machine Tool Technology, and Welding

OTC Center for Workforce Development
Center for Workforce Development Website

Options: Construction, Electrical Troubleshooting, Forklift Operation, Hydraulics & Pneumatics, and Welding

State Tech

Options: Civil Construction Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Drafting and Design Engineering Technology, Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning Technology, Heavy Equipment Operations, Electrical Technology, Welding Technology, Electrical Power Generation Technology, Lineman/Utility Technician, Power Generation Technology 

North Arkansas Community College

Options: Construction Equipment Operation, Construction Technology, Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning, Welding Technology

Continue your education

Bachelor's & Master's Degree Programs

If you’re interested in design or management, pursuing a four-year or graduate degree may be the right choice for you! Check out these options.

Drury University
Hammons School of Architecture Website

Options: Architecture, Architectural Studies, Architecture & Design, Design in Society, and Environment & Sustainability

Missouri State University
Technology & Construction Management Website

Options: Construction Management, Interior Design, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Project Management

Missouri S&T
Website (Undergraduate Programs)

Options: Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering