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Construction associations As a construction professional, you work hard. You probably don’t want to add any more activities to your busy schedule. But before you decide your plate is full, you might want to consider joining a professional association. These groups offer numerous ways to enhance your career and your social life.

Reasons to Join

Here are some reasons to consider joining an association:

  • Expand your knowledge: Gain access to courses, seminars and educational materials to stay up to date on industry trends.
  • Advance your career: Develop professional skills by participating in organizational activities, as well as learn about job opportunities and ways to expand your experience.
  • Network: Make connections for professional and social purposes.
  • Improve your profession: Discuss challenges and benefits of your work with others and share ideas on how to improve the field.
  • Other benefits: Some associations provide financial benefits, such as discounts to car rentals, insurance, supplies and other items.

General Interest Construction Associations

Here are some established construction-related organizations that can provide some of the above advantages. These are general associations, not necessarily focused on any specific discipline. (For those, see the subsequent list of specialty organizations.) Union organizations are not listed here, but also provide many similar benefits to members. Most of the following are national organizations with local chapters in major cities.

  • Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC): A trade association based on the merit shop philosophy, ABC helps members develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably.
  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC): An organization of construction contractors and industry-related companies, AGC provides advocacy, education, and research services geared to the needs and concerns of its members, striving to improve construction quality and protect the public interest.
  • American Institute of Constructors (AIC): A society of construction professionals that seeks to provide the individual professional constructor with the same status as architecture and engineering professionals in the AEC Industry. AIC members serve the construction industry through professionalism and a commitment to high ethical standards.
  • American Subcontractors Association (ASA): A united voice of subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers that promotes the rights and interests of subcontractors, specialty contractors and suppliers through education, advocacy, networking and professional growth.
  • Construction Management Association of America (CMAA): An organization dedicated to the interests of professional construction and program management. It includes government and private sector owners, construction consultants, technology suppliers, academia, and legal organizations.
  • National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS): An independent organization that supports advances in building science and technology and serves as an interface between government and the private sector.
  • Project Management Institute (PMI): A professional association for project management professionals, providing advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education services. Not exclusive to construction, the PMI offers construction PMs the opportunity to network with PMs outside the industry.

Specialty Organizations

Here are some additional organizations that focus on specific disciplines or specialty areas.

Consider joining one or more of these associations to enhance your individual career or the standing of your firm. If multiple organizations are attractive, consider dividing memberships among multiple firm members within your firm. Individually and collectively, you may find the benefits far outweigh the costs.

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Andrew Roe is a civil engineer and technical writer based in Minneapolis, MN. He is president of AGR Associates, Inc., and writes regularly for Fieldwire and various industry publications on construction, engineering, and other technology topics.

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