Carpentry School: Degree and Certificate Program Overviews

Get details about carpentry certificate and degree programs. Find out about common coursework at each program level, and learn about continuing education options. Take a look at employment outlook and salary data for carpenters.

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Essential Information

Many community colleges, trade schools and vocational schools offer certificate or associate's degree programs in carpentry wherein students can learn skills in remodeling, construction techniques and code compliance. While both certificate and associate's degree programs cover core carpentry topics, associate's programs have additional general education coursework. Some of these postsecondary programs are linked to 3-year or 4-year apprenticeships offered through unions or labor organizations; completing an apprenticeship is the standard path to a career as a carpenter.


Certificate in Carpentry

Certificate programs in carpentry provide students with the necessary skills for entry-level careers in the carpentry trade. They emphasize proper tool use, job site safety and basic construction practices. Some programs provide opportunities for students to enter journeyman apprenticeship programs. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission.

Program Coursework

The curriculum in certificate programs focuses specifically on skills necessary for the carpentry trade, although a basic math course may also be required. Courses include the following:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Framing
  • Interior finishing
  • Cabinet making
  • Construction methods
  • Estimating
  • Construction materials
  • Safety

Popular Career Options

Carpenters may take on specialized roles, such as framer or finish carpenter. They can also work in general carpentry. Those with more experience and additional training may work as general contractors or operate their own small carpentry businesses. Other job outcomes might include the following:

  • Cabinet maker
  • Construction foreman
  • Building superintendent
  • Construction estimator
  • Project manager

Associate's Degree in Carpentry

Associate's degree programs in carpentry provide the technical skills necessary for a carpentry job, as well as general education courses that can be beneficial in any work environment. The program covers carpentry techniques, construction theories, workplace safety and business principles as related to the carpentry industry. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required to enter the program.

Program Coursework

Courses cover the specific skills used in carpentry along with general education coursework, such as technical math, writing and computers. Carpentry topics include the following:

  • Alternative construction materials
  • Basic welding
  • Roofing, floors and walls
  • Stair systems
  • Concrete work
  • Metal framing
  • Contracting laws
  • Environmental issues and solar construction

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected a 20% job growth rate during 2010-2020 for carpenters (www.bls.gov). Carpenters in areas of the U.S. with large populations were expected to see good job opportunities. As of May 2012, the median annual salary for carpenters was $39,940, according to the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

Carpenters who complete formal apprenticeship programs become certified journeymen. Continuing education opportunities are offered by a number of professional trade organizations, such as the Home Builders Institute, the Associated General Contractors of America and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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Popular School

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Ohio (1 campus)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Construction Management
    • Associate
        • Associate in Construction Technology

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Carpentry
        • Property Management and Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Carpentry
        • Electrician
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northern Michigan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Carpentry
        • Electrical Systems Lineworker
        • Property Management and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Carpentry
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Cabinetmaking
        • Carpentry
        • Concrete Finishing
        • Drywall Installation
        • Electrical Systems Lineworker
        • Electrician
        • Glazier
        • House Painting and Wall Paper
        • Masonry
        • Metal Building Assembly
        • Pipefitting
        • Roofer
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Business Economics
      • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
      • Human Resource Management

Popular Schools

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