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Carpentry programs prepare people to build, maintain, and repair structures.

Carpentry programs prepare people to read blueprints, choose materials, and use tools to build and repair structures. Students study building codes and learn to estimate costs.

In carpentry programs students learn to:

Many carpentry programs include paid apprenticeships. As an apprentice, students learn skills of the trade while working with experienced workers.


Some career and technical schools offer certificate programs in carpentry. Many community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in carpentry. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years to complete.

An apprenticeship program may require one to four additional years of on-the-job training.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program of study by getting your high school diploma or GED.

Apprenticeship requirements vary by area and local committee. Most committees require that apprentices be at least 18. Some will take younger apprentices who have permission from their parents or high school principal.

Some training programs require that applicants take aptitude and physical activity tests. They may also require related work or volunteer experience.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Some programs offer a cooperative education program. This means that you are required to work in the carpentry field as part of your program's curriculum. In some cases, a cooperative education allows you to complete an apprenticeship and this program of study at the same time. In other cases, it gives you a "pre-apprenticeship" that prepares you for your apprenticeship.

Other programs may not require cooperative education. But instead, they may offer "labs" or an on-site "practicum." These are opportunities to work with your classmates on building a structure such as a house or mock-ups of parts of a structure.

In all of these situations, you benefit from the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced carpenter.

Things to Know

Most programs require that students purchase their own tools, safety equipment, and work clothes.

Employers and unions prefer applicants who have already done some work in the construction trades. An apprenticeship fulfills this preference.

Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, students can get trade certification or licensing.

For information about apprenticeships and other training opportunities in your area, call or visit local contractors, union offices, apprenticeship agencies, or your nearest employment service office.


East Side Area

Job Corps - Columbia Basin

Job Corps - Curlew

Walla Walla Community College

King-Snohomish Area

Construction Industry Training Council (CITC)

Green River College

Seattle Central College

Kitsap Area

Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

Spokane Area

Inland Northwest AGC Apprenticeship Programs

Tacoma Area

Bates Technical College (South Campus)

Clover Park Technical College

West Side Area

Grays Harbor College

Peninsula College

Yakima Area

Job Corps - Fort Simcoe