Breaking the Mold: Vicki King, Building Construction Technology

May 11, 2023


Presque Isle – Northern Maine Community College building construction technology student, Vicki King, is a retired music teacher with a desire to continue learning. After inheriting many of her late father’s tools, Vicki wanted to know more about building construction and decided that NMCC would provide a great opportunity to do so.

In the program, Vicki says she has “Learned which tools are the best tools for the job, and there are different ways of achieving the same outcome.” She adds, “It’s not a disaster if you make a mistake. You can usually fix things. Sometimes you have to take things apart and start over, but you can usually repair the damage.” Whether drafting floor plans, putting on roofing, or creating a charcuterie board, Vicki has found a satisfying sense of accomplishment in the work she and her classmates complete.

Vicki hopes to combine her love of music and her new skills in construction to create a custom piano bench. Her plans include a bench long enough for both Vicki and her grandson to sit on during his piano lessons. The new piano bench will also be sturdier and have a deeper storage unit to fit plenty of music books. Vicki adds that she will have plenty of opportunities to use her new skills to repair and restore various parts of her older farmhouse.

As a woman in this trades program, Vicki encourages others to choose programs based on their interests. “As long as it’s something that you’re truly interested in, I don’t think it matters what field you go into,” Vicki starts, “If you’re willing to learn, and you put the time in, you can do anything.” While Vicki mentioned that physical strength is a helpful attribute, her gender and her age have not stopped her yet. “Even though there aren’t that many women in this field, women can do this job,” Vicki states with conviction.

Vicki earns her Building Construction Technology Certificate this month and found NMCC a comfortable and affordable option. She’s discovered several connections with her instructor, Matt Cole, and has enjoyed working with him. Vicki also noted that the financial aid office is a beneficial resource for students to help relieve financial barriers. Regardless of someone’s current level of education, Vicki inspires others to pursue their interests in the trades. She says, “Don’t sell yourself short. There’s always something to learn.”

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 Quick FactsBuilding Construction Technology

Job Duties

  • Assemble and fasten materials to make frameworks or props, using hand tools and wood screws, nails, dowel pins, or glue.
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches, or building plans to prepare project layouts and determine the dimensions and materials required.
  • Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations and maintain a safe and clean environment.

Skills Needed

  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Coordination
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis

2021 National Average Pay:  $23.20 hourly, $48,260 annual

Projected Job Openings (2021-2031):  91,200-143,200

Source: O’NET Online (2022)