Paid Construction Industry Internships Available

Attention A/E/C industry majors!

• Construction Engineering (Con E)
Construction Management (CM)
• Other A/E/C (Structural, Civil, Architecture, Industrial, CAD)
• Bachelor's or Associate's degree program students welcome!

If you are a college student in a field such as construction management, construction engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering or industrial technology and are interested in a career in industrial and commercial construction, a summer or winter internship at Carl A. Nelson & Company will enable you to expand your education beyond the classroom. 

Our interns do meaningful work in the field and in the office — and they get paid for doing it. Construction management and other A/E/C internships are available in our offices in Burlington and Cedar Falls. Field leadership interns work on CANCO jobsites.

Students in two-year and four-year programs are eligible.

Experiences for interns will differ depending on career path and available work. Regardless of whether the intern plans to go the project manager or superintendent route, we feel it’s important for all employees to get a fundamental hands-on knowledge of building construction. Some things a college intern can expect from a summer or winter break with CANCO would be:

  • Hands-on experience working with tools on commercial/industrial projects;
  • Working side-by-side with skilled craftsmen/women to better understand the specifics of building;
  • Opportunity to spend time with a Superintendent/Project Manager to see first-hand what their jobs entail;
  • Witness the responsibilities of a general contractor including interaction with owners, subcontractors and suppliers;
  • Introduction to construction technology and how modern job sites are operated;
  • A potential for on-site or in-office work.

At the end of their school day, Burlington High School seniors Dimitri Donald, left, and Max Hartman, are getting real-world commercial construction experience with Carl A. Nelson & Company.

High school and non-construction internships also available

In addition to field and office internships for college students majoring in fields such as construction engineering and construction management, Carl A. Nelson & Company also offers high school internships. Warehouse-based experiences are available for students who are not yet 18, while those who are 18 can go into the field to work alongside our project supervisors and craftsmen.

And although the majority of our collegiate interns have been in the engineering and construction management fields of study, we do welcome students from other majors related to aspects of the construction industry, such as accounting and business.

Carl A. Nelson & Company frequently welcomes Project Management and Field Supervisory interns from:
  • Iowa State University, Construction Engineering
  • University of Northern Iowa, Construction Management
  • Western Illinois University, Construction Management
  • Kirkwood Community College, Construction Management
  • Hawkeye Community College, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology
  • Southeastern Community College, Construction Technology, Management

Arrange your CANCO internship

To inquire about internship opportunities at Carl A. Nelson & Company, contact Brandi Marshall in our Burlington office. You may call or text her at (319) 753-8785, or send email to

Recent CANCO interns share their most valuable experience:

"I would say that my most valuable experience as a CANCO intern would have to be being thrust into a lot of projects all at once; being an intern provides a lot of useful knowledge and experience, in many different aspects of what a PM does, in a very short time period."

— Samuel D., Con E, Iowa State University

"For me, it has been as simple as sitting through meetings with subcontractors and the owners. These meetings have shown me how important being able to lead a meeting can be and giving a clear explanation of a problem to find a solution. The other lesson I have learned through the meetings is the importance of teamwork not only with people from the same company but also with people from other companies."

— Jose H., Con E, Iowa State University

Start as an intern, stay for a career

It is not uncommon for CANCO interns to become full-time members of our team, both in the office and in the field — in project management, field supervisory and construction craftsman roles. Among them are Vice President of Operations (Cedar Falls) Jamie Stanley, and Project Manager Jordan Hutcheson. Accounts of their internship experiences are below:

Jamie Stanley, Vice President of Operations (CANCO Cedar Falls)

Before interning at Carl A. Nelson & Company, Jamie Stanley was a construction engineering student at Iowa State University who discovered he needed some real-world experience to apply to the classroom.

In what would become two internships with CANCO, Jamie had the opportunity to learn about how a construction company functions, and to be hands-on with industry-specific computer applications. The result when he returned to campus was a stronger performance academically.

Following his junior year, Stanley returned to CANCO, where he was exposed to estimating and project management. Working with oversight from an experienced project manager, he was able to manage a project from start to finish, including everything from subcontract preparation and review of shop drawings to tracking project cost and contract closeout.

Upon graduation, Jamie went to work full-time at Carl A. Nelson & Company, and helped to establish the firm’s new office in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He now manages that office as Vice President of Operations (Cedar Falls), leads our industrial building projects and oversees Nelson Plant Services. Jamie is a major shareholder and member of the Board of Directors.

Jordan Hutcheson, Project Manager

Jordan Hutcheson interned with Carl A. Nelson & Company the summer following his sophomore year in Construction Engineering at Iowa State University. On CANCO’s Klein Center replacement project for Great River Health System, he was introduced to a range of construction tasks that included steel framing, running a jack-hammer and millwork. He also was exposed to the flow of work on a construction site, and working with a variety of trades.

Over winter break of his junior year, Jordan was invited back to work on closeout of the Klein Center project, where he helped to develop punch lists. Although he interned elsewhere, and interviewed with other firms, he chose to begin his career as a field engineer for Carl A. Nelson & Company.

Today, Jordan is a project manager and shareholder.

Preparing for an internship

While we believe in the value of completing an internship, it is important for students to understand how they can benefit from on-the-job training while still engaged in school. To help with that understanding, we've assembled some resources from around the web: