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How to Prepare for a Career in Carpentry

Looking to start a career in carpentry?  Carpenters work with wood and are often employed in the construction industry.  Some carpenters are able to make it on their own making custom furniture.   If you would like to pursue a career as a carpenter, consider these five tips that we've adapted from the article How to Become a Carpenter.

1.  High school students can prepare for a job as a carpenter by taking courses like: english, algebra, geometry, business mathematics, physics, technology, and physical education.  Gaining access to vocational programs allows students to participate in courses like mechanical drawing, blueprint reading, and general shop.  Working as a carpenter's helper through part time employment allows individuals to gain hands on work experience increasing chances of acceptance into future training programs.

2.  Entering an apprenticeship program allows individuals to gain work experience by working closely with a more experienced carpenter to learn the use of power tools, basic tasks, some class room instruction, and hands on training of the trade. Most apprenticeship programs consist of three to four years of training and are in high demand with few vacancies.  

3.  Career diploma programs allow students to learn the basics of carpentry including technical mathematics, interpersonal relations, mechanical drawing, surveying, blueprint reading, on the job safety, and general shop.  Students work with a variety of materials following supervisor or blueprint instruction to gain skills necessary to the trade.  Students may enter the work for upon completion or advance to college degree training programs.

4.  Future carpenters may enroll in a 2 or 4 year degree program to increase educational and career opportunities.  Students study courses like: safety, introduction to microcomputers, interpersonal relations and professional development, cabinet making, stair design, roofing, residential remodeling, residential framing, materials estimation, basic carpentry math, materials selection, job estimating, blueprint reading, foundations, finish carpentry techniques, interpersonal relationships, finish work, and building codes and standards.   


5.  A graduate degree program allows carpentry students to specialize education and advance to internship programs under the supervision of master carpenters.  Master degree courses require students to hone carpentry skills in areas like home renovation, remodeling, antique restoration,  and commercial building to certify for licensing in  scaffold building, high torque bolting, or pump work through the Associated General Contractors, the Associated Builders and Contractors, and the National Association of Home Builders.

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