Four Year Degree Option Available for Working Trade Professionals

Apr 5, 2019 | Source: Hermanson Marketing | Company News

Imagine arriving at your office to find the shades adjusted to the perfect angle to avoid computer screen glare, the overhead lights change automatically according to the amount of ambient sunlight and the building temperature remains consistently comfortable in every season.

“With the arrival of smart buildings, an office that adjusts to its surroundings is not a dream of the future, it is the reality of today.” Alison Plough, an instructor at South Seattle College told a crowd of potential students at a recent Sustainable Building Science Technology Program Open House, “And skilled technicians are needed to operate that smart building technology.”

Over 6 quarters of online and Saturday in-person classes, students can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Building Science Technology (SBST) while still working full-time jobs. Classes are held in the Hermanson Sustainable Building Science Technology Center, located at South Seattle College's Georgetown Campus. The center is named after construction industry trailblazer, Jerry Hermanson, who has long supported the college. The SBST degree is based on a 2+2 model, students apply their existing AA/AAS degree and relevant work experience toward earning their four-year degree.

A few of the career opportunities available to SBST graduates include operation maintenance, facilities project management, energy management and corporate real estate finance and are sought after by organizations like Tesla, Seattle City Light, Hines, CBRE, King County and healthcare agencies.Graduates of the SBST program hold one of the only academic certificates recognized by the City of Seattle to perform building tune-ups required by city code.

In addition to having the potential to earn a six-figure salary, students pursuing a SBST degree site the triple bottom line of economic development, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship as reasons to enter the program. “Professionals who understand building function and project finance can maintain buildings in ways that make them healthier and more durable, efficient, economical and sustainable,” notes Plough.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2019 SBST cohort. The priority application deadline is May 1st, but applications will be accepted until all spots are filled. Financial assistance (including a Jerry & Linda Hermanson sponsored scholarship) is available. More information about the program can be found at:

The group of over twenty-five potential students who attended the Open House included sheet metal, piping and electrical apprentices as well as individuals with legal, real estate and sustainability backgrounds.“This degree is recession-proof,” said SBST Education Committee Chair and Hermanson employee, Brad Sharp, “during economic downturns, building owners need to make their investments as energy efficient as possible. If you started your training now, you would be in an ideal position when the next recession hits the construction industry.”