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Program Description

Just the Facts

Carpentry/Carpenter. A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to lay out, cut, fabricate, erect, install, and repair wooden structures and fixtures, using hand and power tools. Includes instruction in technical mathematics, framing, construction materials and selection, job estimating, blueprint reading, foundations and roughing-in, finish carpentry techniques, and applicable codes and standards.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Carpentry programs train students to become some of the most versatile people in the construction industry. Carpenters must work from blueprints, measure layouts, cut a variety of materials and do final checks to make sure everything has been done properly.

An apprenticeship is the ideal way to build a career in carpentry. Many schools offer four-year programs where students study for four to eight weeks and then work for the remainder of the year.

Apprenticeship programs are administered by local committees made up of members from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Associated General Contractors or the National Association of Home Builders.

Usually, applicants must be at least 17 years old. They are often required to undergo a carpentry aptitude test.

Many carpenters learn their trade through informal on-the-job training. Smaller firms might only be able to train someone in rough framing. A larger company can provide instruction in several skills.

At work, fledgling carpenters learn basic structural design. They become acquainted with the tools, equipment and materials of the trade.

In the classroom, apprentices study safety measures, blueprint reading, free-hand sketching (transferring an idea to paper without visual aids) and alternative carpentry techniques.

Instructor Tim Lynch says carpentry hopefuls should concentrate on shop classes in high school. They should also focus on math, trigonometry and geometry.

According to Lynch, program coordinators look for specific qualities in apprenticeship applicants. They seek things like forward personalities, good hand-eye coordination, critical thinking skills and prior carpentry knowledge.

Textbooks for apprentices are usually supplied free of charge. However, you must buy your own tools.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Carpenters

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