As a carpentry student, you have the option of attending a technical school or community college to get a degree, or just enrolling directly in an apprenticeship program. If you choose to get a degree or certificate first, you will take a variety of courses, both occupational and general education. This post reviews the main types of courses you will take on your way to earning an associate’s degree in carpentry.
General education courses
All associate’s degree students must take some general education courses. At a minimum, carpentry students take basic English and math courses, and get to choose among a variety of social and natural science courses. Subjects like psychology, communications, and economics are recommended for carpenters, especially those who may one day want to become general contractors or start their own business. As part of your associate’s degree, you may also be required to take some courses in the humanities, such as history.
Foundational skills courses
Foundational skills for carpenters include reading blueprints and architectural drawings, doing technical math, and understanding building codes. As a carpentry student, you will also take courses in tool use and safety, materials and equipment, and introduction to the construction trade. Finally, many degree programs include an introductory course on using computers.
Technical or occupational skills courses
The majority of your courses in carpentry school will focus on the technical skills you will use every day on the job. You will learn about building foundations; framing floors, walls, ceilings, and roofs; and interior and exterior finishes. After completing the standard requirements, you may have the opportunity to pick a specialization, such as residential or commercial carpentry. To practice your skills in these areas, you will spend time in woodshops and on job sites, working under the supervision of master carpenters. If your school is associated with a union or a contractor that offers an apprenticeship, you might be able to count at least some of your apprenticeship hours toward your technical and occupational skills credits.
Business skills are essential for carpenters. Tradespeople in general can benefit from having excellent communication and customer service skills. Carpentry students may also have the opportunity to take courses in leadership, human relations, accounting, and so on. If you think you might one day want to start your own carpentry business, you should definitely consider signing up for these courses.
As you can see, there is a wide range of skills required to become a carpenter. However, the most important aspect of your training is the practical portion. When evaluating the programs offered by your local technical school or community college, make sure you will get to spend plenty of time practicing your skills.
Central Georgia Technical College. Carpentry associate degree.
Walla Walla Community College. Carpentry.