Carpentry College Program Information
Carpentry college programs are designed for individuals wishing to enter the construction industry as carpenters and carpenters' helpers. Certificate and associate's degrees in carpentry are offered at some community and technical colleges. Those wishing to obtain a more advanced degree can pursue a bachelor's degree in construction management or building construction management.
Certificate in Carpentry
Programs leading to a certificate in carpentry prepare students to use a variety of tools, read blueprints and develop skills in rough framing of walls, floors and roofs. Carpentry certificate programs generally take between 25 and 30 credit hours to complete.
The curriculum of a carpentry certificate program focuses on fundamental concepts and techniques. Program coursework will include:
- Basic carpentry practices
- Basic finish carpentry
- Framing fundamentals
- Use of basic hand and power tools
- Carpentry safety
- Blueprint reading
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a carpentry certificate program are qualified to begin work as carpenters' helpers or apprentices for construction companies, government agencies, manufacturing companies or for self-employed carpenters. One can specialize in a particular area of carpentry, such as:
- Cabinet making
- Furniture making
- Finish carpentry
Associate's Degree in Carpentry
Associate's degree programs in carpentry are 2-year degree plans that teach various theories, techniques and applications used in the building trades. These programs typically lead to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs as carpenters, finish carpenters, home remodelers, framers and woodworkers.
The program coursework for an associate's degree program in carpentry helps students to increase their carpentry, framing, siding, finishing and roofing skills. In addition to more advanced courses in some of the carpentry topics found in a certificate program, the curriculum might include:
- Building materials
- Remodeling theories
- Small business management
- Carpentry mathematics
- Building codes
- Carpentry practicum
- Carpentry internship or co-op work experience
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
An expected steady demand for home remodeling and other construction projects will result in a 20% increase in the employment of carpenters between 2010 and 2020, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is faster than average. In May 2012, carpenters earned a median hourly wage of $19.20.
Continuing Education Information
While there are currently no advanced programs in carpentry available, students seeking to obtain a bachelor's degree can major in construction management. These programs focus on carpentry and construction methods, analysis and design. Courses in project management, staffing, cost estimating and site preparation are part of some 4-year degree programs. Some colleges and universities also offer a master's degree in this field.
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