The Best Training for
Carpentry in 2021

Carpenters are responsible for much of the furniture you’ve encountered. If you admire this trade skill and want to join the fold, this guide is for you. The first step to learning carpentry is choosing a college or trade school. The best carpentry schools and programs can help you get an apprenticeship.

These carpentry training programs are affordable and accessible. They can help you gain the knowledge you need to turn your passion into profit.

Rundown: The Top 10 Carpentry Programs in 2021

This table contains details about the best carpentry schools in the United States. You will learn about the cost, program type, location, and, where applicable, the certification options.

All tuition statistics were collected from the schools’ websites. They are subject to change when you apply for admission.

School State Programs and Cost Certifications
Cerritos College CA Woodworking Manufacturing
Technologies Certificate
$10,206 total
Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Woodworking Certificate
$10,206 total
Furniture Making Certificate
$10,206 total
Cabinetmaking Certificate
$10,206 total
None
College of Southern Nevada NV Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry
$109.75 per credit (in-state)
$120.75 per credit (out-of-state)
None
Green River College WA Associate of Applied Science in
Carpentry Technology -Residential and
Light Commercial
$184.54 per credit (residents)
$199.50 per credit (non-residents)
$362.78 per credit (undetermined residency)
$362.78 per credit (international students)
Carpentry Technology Certificate
$184.54 per credit (residents)
$199.50 per credit (non-residents)
$362.78 per credit (undetermined residency)
$362.78 per credit (international students)
None
Ivy Tech Community College IN Carpentry Specialist Certificate
$4,785.60 total
Carpentry Specialist Technical Certificate
$4,785.60 total
National Center for Construction Education
and Research (NCCER) certifications
University of Montana MT Carpentry Certificate
$110 per credit (in-state)
$450 per credit (out-of-state)
None
University of Alaska Fairbanks AK Construction Trades
Technology Certificate
$234 per credit (in-state)
$800 per credit (out-of-state)
None
Utah Valley University UT Cabinetry & Architectural
Woodworking Diploma
$407 per credit hour
Cabinetry & Architectural
Woodworking Certificate
$407 per credit hour
Associate of Science in Cabinetry
& Architectural Woodworking
$407 per credit hour
Associate of Applied Science in Cabinetry
& Architectural Woodworking
$407 per credit hour
None
Southern Crescent Technical College GA Framing Carpenter Certificate
$395 per credit
Cabinet Making Assistant Certificate
$395 per credit
Carpentry Diploma
$395 per credit
None
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center OK Construction Technology
Certificate – Carpentry
$2.50 per credit (in-district)
$5.00 per credit (in-state)
$7.50 per credit (out-of-state)
National Occupational Competency
Testing Institute (NOCTI) Carpentry
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology PA Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry
$308 per credit
None
How to Pick the Best Carpentry School for You

How to Pick the Best Carpentry School for You

To become a carpenter, you need to be creative and good with your hands. A school can teach you the skills to turn your ideas into reality. Your school should teach you how to manipulate fiberglass, drywall, and even plastic while making furniture. Read below to learn more about what to look for in a carpentry program.

Specialization Options

The two major categories of carpentry are rough carpentry and finish carpentry. However, there are several subcategories. The best carpentry schools can teach you trim, rough, commercial, residential, and green carpentry. Even if you eventually want to focus on one specialization, knowing every aspect of carpentry will help.

Tuition Cost and Financial Aid

Education can be expensive. While trade schools are typically more affordable than universities, you still need to check the tuition cost. Also, find out if you can get financial aid through payment plans or federal loans. However, the availability of financial aid shouldn’t cloud your judgment when you’re picking a school.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement

Your school should offer apprenticeships and job opportunities. The length of the program and the quality of training during these apprenticeships is crucial. You should also find out if there are job placement options available. The best schools for carpentry place students at different companies for paid, hands-on experience.

The Best Carpentry Schools of 2021

For more details about the top 10 schools for carpentry, read the list below.

Cerritos College

Programs

Woodworking Manufacturing Technologies Certificate, CNC Woodworking Certificate, Furniture Making Certificate, Cabinetmaking Certificate

Accreditation

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-ACCJC)

Online Options

None available

Cerritos College is known across southern Los Angeles as one of the best carpentry schools. The critical programs at this school are cabinetmaking, woodworking, and furniture making. The school’s facility includes over 100 state-of-the-art machines available for students. You can experience face-to-face lessons and hands-on projects.

Woodworking Manufacturing Technologies Certificate Curriculum

Architectural millwork

Woodturning and veneering

Faceframe cabinetmaking

College of Southern Nevada

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Online Options

None available

This community college is a great choice because it offers a mandatory apprenticeship. Afterward, you will be able to join the Carpenters Union as a journeyman. Along with carpentry, you will take general electives and academic credits throughout your education. This gives you a well-rounded experience.

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry Curriculum

Running a woodworking business

Mathematics for carpentry

Carpentry tools and techniques

Green River College

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry Technology – Residential and Light Commercial, Carpentry Technology Certificate

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Online Options

None available

This is an excellent option for people who want to choose from a range of carpentry specializations. Green River College offers five certificate programs and one associate degree in carpentry. While all classes are on-site, the scheduling is flexible. For example, you can opt for evening classes as opposed to regular morning sessions.

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry Technology - Residential and Light Commercial Curriculum

Interior and exterior finish carpentry

Wall and roof framing

Concrete and foundation placement

Ivy Tech Community College

Programs

Carpentry Specialist Certificate, Carpentry Specialist Technical Certificate

Accreditation

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)

Online Options

None available

This public school has a carpentry program that is part of its building construction technology department. Ivy Tech is a great choice because it offers the opportunity to gain professional certifications. You can get multiple NCCER certifications, including Carpentry Forms, Carpentry Framing & Finish, and Electrical.

Carpentry Specialist Certificate Curriculum

Applied technical mathematics

Workplace communications

Carpentry framing and finishing

University of Montana

Programs

Carpentry Certificate

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Online Options

None available

This is a public research university that is popularly known for having the second-largest campus in Montana. The carpentry program is also state-of-the-art. It covers all the subjects you need for a career in commercial and residential carpentry. Beyond furniture making, you will learn about roofing, window installation, and drywall.

Carpentry Certificate Curriculum

Frontline supervision

Carpentry basics

Intermediate carpentry lab

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Programs

Construction Trades Technology Certificate

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Online Options

None available

This public university awards technical certificates for people interested in crafts like carpentry. If you want to dive into different trades along with carpentry, the Construction Trades Technology Certificate is a great choice. You can also enter the Occupational Endorsement Program, which can help you get a job in the field later on.

Construction Trades Technology Certificate Curriculum

Windows and exterior doors

Residential carpentry

Construction technology core

Utah Valley University

Programs

Cabinetry & Architectural Woodworking Diploma, Cabinetry & Architectural Woodworking Certificate, Associate of Science in Cabinetry & Architectural Woodworking, Associate of Applied Science in Cabinetry & Architectural Woodworking

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Online Options

None available

Utah Valley University has a carpentry program as part of its construction department. There are degrees at different levels of education, including an associate degree and a certificate program. Each option has unique requirements and completion times. You will be able to find jobs in many different areas of construction.

Cabinetry & Architectural Woodworking Diploma Curriculum

Cabinetry installation

Customized commercial cabinetry

Milling setup

Southern Crescent Technical College

Programs

Carpentry Diploma, Cabinet Making Assistant Certificate, Framing Carpenter Certificate

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Online Options

None available

At Southern Crescent Technical College, you can join thousands of craftspeople in the carpentry program. The public school offers three different carpentry programs, and you can choose which one suits your career goals. Each one promotes hands-on training through on-site and off-site apprenticeships.

Carpentry Diploma Curriculum

Blueprint reading and estimating

Roof, floor, and wall framing

Introduction to power tools

Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

Programs

Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

Accreditation

Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education

Online Options

None available

Popularly known as SouthernTech, this school offers a range of technical and crafts training. The carpentry program is part of its construction technology department. It runs for about ten months. The free education and affordable tuition make this program a fantastic choice if you don’t want to break the bank on school.

Construction Technology Certificate - Carpentry Curriculum

Structural framing

Exterior and interior finishing

Cabinet construction

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry, Carpentry Technology Certificate

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Online Options

None available

This school offers a range of programs for carpentry, including associate degrees and certificates. This associate degree runs for two years, but the certificate programs can help you save time. The program focuses on the best technologies used by professional carpenters and woodworkers. You can also study to become a construction manager.

Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry Curriculum

Drywall installation and finish

Hand tools and power tools

Writing technical reports

How Much Can You Earn as a Carpenter?

How Much Can You Earn as a Carpenter?

Carpenters earn an average of $43,023 in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter. Variables like location, job title, and experience will influence the total amount you make every year. Most carpenters can work flexible hours, which affects the amount you will earn. It could be as high as $60,500 or as low as $22,000.

The jobs listed below are the highest-paying carpentry jobs in the United States.

The Highest-Paying Carpentry Roles

Role Required Education Average Salary
Head of Finish Carpenter High school diploma $77,628
Director Carpenter High school diploma $70,675
Work From Home Set Carpenter High school diploma $69,235
Carpenter Foreman High school diploma $52,518
Carpenter Supervisor High school diploma $45,313

Why You Should Be a Carpenter in 2021

You should become a carpenter in 2021 because it is a reliable trade job. You can be a carpenter without any post-secondary education. In some cases, you may be fortunate enough to get the training you need without any formal education, but it is always better to go to school.

Before you start your training as a carpenter, keep in mind that there is a high risk of injury compared to other professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates that there will be little to no change in carpenter job opportunities by 2029. Although carpentry is not the most lucrative or glamorous job out there, it can still be a great choice.

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