Construction associations operate to help business owners connect and provide valuable information to their participants. These associations also represent the diverse members and businesses that make up the construction industry and those associated with the construction industry without directly working on projects. Associations can be local, regional, statewide, and even bigger. Some of the common objectives of an association include:
- Provide industry conferences
- Give seminars on industry updates
- Provide opportunities for networking
- Post job listings
- Provide advocacy and link representation
- Offer training and classes
- Provide certification and accreditation
- Help market an industry to customers
- Market the industry to up-and-coming workers
- Provide PR for an industry breakthrough
There are a couple of different types of construction associations you should be aware of:
General Construction Associations: These associations are for most, if not all, of the construction industry. You can join these associations if you work in any part of construction.
Specialized Construction Associations: These associations are focused on a specific subset of the construction industry. Such as an association geared toward geared towards sustainable building.
Trade-Specific Construction Associations: These associations are focused on a specific trade within the construction industry. Think plumbers, woodworkers, masonry, etc.
While there isn’t a specific name for the next type of association, there are associations based on identity such as women-based associations or other organizations that are built around gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Best Construction Associations You Should Know!
- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
- Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
- American Institute of Constructors (AIC)
- National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
- State Associations
- National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)
With over 22,000 registered members, ABC is one of the most valuable resources for those in the construction industry. For starters, members gain access to discounts on some of the biggest companies like Verizon, Lowe’s, Dell, FedEx, and more! ABC prides itself on allowing members to succeed using the “merit shop” philosophy, which is about rewarding people for the skills they bring to the table rather than how long they’ve been in the industry. ABC represents all facets of the construction industry.
ABC’s main goals are focused on providing workforce education, networking, advocacy, employee benefits, and business development. With the number of members and locations, it’s an easy way to expand your network and connect. ABC is focused on helping drive the construction industry forward and providing a platform for contractors to excel based on skill and talent.
Yearly dues for the lowest members can start at $1112 according to this application.
The AGC is one of the biggest and most expansive construction associations that companies can join. They have multiple sectors as a part of AGC, some of the biggest sectors include philanthropy, advocacy and lobbying, awards programs, educational classes, diversity & inclusion, as well as workplace safety.
AGC is continuously investing in its members with educational training, awarding over $60,000 in annual scholarships. They’ve been able to help members save money, around $145 million dollars in member discounts. AGC routinely hosts live events and meetings with around 3500 members connecting during live meetings and almost 5,000 members connecting over live webinars. Started in 1918, AGC has become a pillar of the construction community and has 89 local offices across the country for members to interact with.
If you’re looking to join a large organization with robust classes, meetings, and access to different members of different trades, then AGC could be a good fit for you!
Yearly dues for general members: $1150 along with an application fee.
The AIC is focused on three main sectors Architects, Engineers, and Constructors. The AIC has been around for 50 years and has provided training and certifications to trained professionals to help them level up their skills. If you join, you’ll be able to have free/discount to their AIC University and be able to receive certifications for completing courses. These classes can help you run a smarter business from how to market yourself to finding the right accounting software.
With 700 members, and 2,500 participants that have completed the Constructor Certification Program, there is a wide net to network and meet other professionals like you. Possible members can join their local AIC and can connect with members locally or on the community forums. AIC is also well-connected in the construction industry with corporate sponsors like Bailey & Harris Construction, Dynamic, Hall Construction, and more! If you are looking for rigorous certifications with a wide range of classes and instructors, consider AIC.
Yearly dues for general members: $290
This organization serves a small section of the construction industry; however, it is still vitally important. If you are a woman and run a construction company, the NAWIC can offer a ton of benefits to you. Most importantly, the organization focuses on advocating for women in the spaces and offering a space for women to come together. The NAWIC offers regional events to network, mentorships, educational courses, career/job postings, and more!
One of the best benefits is not only that you get to network, but you’ll be able to work with other professional women who have been able to craft a space in the construction industry. You can gain that insider knowledge on how to navigate a male-dominated field as a woman and even thrive! You’ll gain access to member benefits average around $5000, and you’ll be able to participate in community events to give back to your community.
Yearly dues for general members: Between $420-$520
While not specifically about just construction, we all know that in order to be successful at construction, you also need to be great at project management. PMI certifications are becoming highly sought after as customers want contractors who can deliver projects on time and on budget. The strongest reason to join the PMI is that you can receive discounts on certifications and access to documents and templates to make project management easier.
However, that's not all PMI offers. They also offer a community of workshops, classes, meetups, and live events. PMI also hosts global events that you can access digitally or go in-person.
Yearly dues for general members: $129
While this isn't a specific association, we still feel the need to include it on this list. These associations provide a forum for networking with local industry colleagues, resulting in collaborations and partnerships that can lead to new projects and business growth. They also provide access to state-specific legal and regulatory updates, which help businesses keep compliant and informed about changes that may affect their operations. State associations frequently offer educational materials, training programs, and workshops targeted to the specific demands and challenges of the local building sector.
Furthermore, these organizations advocate for the sector at the state level by defending their members' interests in legislative and policy talks. This advocacy is critical in creating a business-friendly atmosphere and addressing state-specific issues. Finally, many state construction associations provide group purchasing programs and other cost-saving benefits to member companies, lowering their operational expenses.
Yearly dues for general members: Varies
The NIBS is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization that is focused on improving the technology and science of building. Started by Congress in 1973, NIBS has built a community that is focused on pushing the construction industry forward with connecting industry experts and government officials. NIBS is focused on a couple of different areas, mainly:
- Integration of cross-discipline expertise
- Developing subject matter expertise
- Facilitation expertise
- Education and training
- Develop performance criteria
- Review and validation of programs
- Development of tools
The NIBS is a strong and historic organization that many industry leaders are a part of.
Yearly dues for general members: $1,000 for an organization
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