15 Best Carpentry Schools – 2024

January 15, 2024

best carpentry schools

Finding your path after high school can be a challenge. For some students, attending four-year universities may not be the right fit. In this case, students might be looking to practice and hone a specific skill set and want more hands-on experience. Therefore, they might explore their options at a trade school. A trade school typically offers more specialized courses for graduates looking to develop a vocational skill set. Usually, these courses offer more hands-on experience and may not take as long to complete as a 4-year degree. There are many fields to pursue and study at trade schools. For example, carpentry schools could be a good fit for many students. Continue for our list of the best carpentry trade schools.

What is Carpentry?

Carpentry is a physically active, construction-related line of work which involves shaping, cutting, designing, and installing wood. Carpenters can work either large-scale projects in commercial buildings or in smaller homes or individualized spaces. Additionally, carpenters can work indoors or outdoors on a wide variety of projects.

Carpenters can install items, such as cabinets or staircases, or create more free-standing projects, like decks. Carpenters can work on a structure’s roof, walls, or floors to create quality installation.

In this line of work, carpenters can interpret blueprints for their customers, provide advice for clients, work with construction companies to execute a home renovation, and more.

Best Carpentry Schools (Continued)

Additionally, carpenters must be familiar with certain tools. For example, carpenters may work with hand tools, like hammers, chisels, and mallets. As well, carpenters must be familiar with power tools, like power drillers and sanders.

There are several different types of carpentry jobs to pursue after a student graduates from their prospective carpentry schools. Typically, a carpenter will learn a specialized trade, like roofing or framing, and work in this specific discipline. However, a carpentry trade school can also teach students to become familiar with a variety of skill sets, if they would like to be more versatile.

Average Carpenter Salary

As of January 2024, a carpenter in the United States makes $25 per hour, on average. However, this amount can vary based on a carpenter’s skillset, experience, and accreditation from certain carpentry schools. As well, location may also factor into how much a carpenter is paid.

For example, at just shy of $60,000, Wisconsin currently has the highest average annual salary for carpenters in the United States. Surprisingly, Alaska is a close second at $55,000/per year. Finally, Massachusetts is the third-highest-earning state for carpentry. In this state, the average salary is also about $55,000/per year.

Interested in a Carpentry School?

If you are interested in attending a carpentry trade school, then you have come to the right place. While there are many wonderful schools to choose from, below we have assembled a list of 15 carpentry schools in the United States.

Each carpentry school promises great opportunities for prospective students. Some factors you may consider before you choose is location, accreditation, and offered programs. Duration of the program may also be an important consideration if you are looking to go on the job market more quickly.

15 Best Carpentry Schools

1) Fox Valley Technical College

At this carpentry trade school, students have the opportunity to study residential, commercial, or industrial construction. Additionally, students have the chance to take advantage of apprenticeships alongside their certificate programs for further hands-on experience.

With a 96% graduate employment rate, Fox Valley trains high-quality carpenters for any field of work. Fox Valley has several locations in Wisconsin, including campuses in Appleton and Oshkosh.

2) Williamson College of the Trades

Throughout their time in the program, students receive a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, shop exercises, and more for real-world preparation. At this carpentry school, the focus is primarily on residential-commercial carpentry.

Additionally, students take courses in technical, business, and logistical management aspects. For students looking to eventually run their own business or manage at a higher level, this program may be a good fit. Following completion of this course, students will have earned an Associate in Specialized Technology degree.

Williamson College of the Trades is located in Media, Pennsylvania.

3) Ivy Tech Community College

At this carpentry school, students enroll in the Building Construction Technology program. With an emphasis on hands-on experience, students are prepared for national certification. Interestingly, students have the opportunity to build mock-ups of houses in Ivy Tech’s construction laboratory.

There are several degree types students can earn, including an Associate of Applied Science and several short-term certificates and workplace certifications.

Ivy Tech is located in Indiana and has over 44 locations of their carpentry schools throughout the state.

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4) Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

With the most up-to-date equipment and technology, students at this carpentry trade school receive the opportunity for professional experience. At the conclusion of the Carpentry Technology program, students will be able to analyze specifications, prepare plans, and demonstrate basic manipulative skills of the trade.

The length of this program is two years, after which students will be prepared for residential and light commercial construction. Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

5) Cloud Technical & Community College

Following completion of this program, students will be prepared for residential light and heavy commercial, highway and heavy bridgework, cabinetry, and millwork. So, for students looking to experience a wide variety of carpentry, this program may be a good fit.

This program consists of 33 credits which most students complete in a little over two years. At 15 credit hours, students will be considered a full-time student.

The campus is located in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

6) Lakeshore Technical College

At this carpentry school, students can take the Construction Trades Fundamentals Pathway. This program provides students with a certificate upon completion which signifies the student has basic construction knowledge.

Not only will students learn basic safety regulations, but also they will learn how to interpret documents and wood frame layout and assembly.

This certificate program can be completed in four months, and classes take place during the fall term. Lakeshore Technical College is located in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

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7) Western Iowa Tech Community College

Students in this program will learn residential and commercial construction techniques and methods. Additionally, students can train to become either a carpenter or concrete specialist. Some examples of coursework include drywall installation, wall framing, and more.

It is important to note that all students are required to have their own personal toolset for classroom projects.

Western Iowa Tech is located in Sioux City, Iowa.

8) Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

With hands-on experience and preparation, students are equipped with the fundamental skills to make them successful graduates. Students learn a variety of skills in their classes. For example, students can learn planning and estimating, framing, finish carpentry, and more.

The program consists of a total of 29 credit hours divided over two, 16-week semesters. In their first semester, students take 14 credit hours. In their second semester, students take 15 credit hours, including a carpentry internship.

This campus is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

9) Atlantic Technical College

This program prepares students in the industries of Construction and Manufacturing. In addition to learning practical skills like trim and framing, students will also learn management and finance skills.

Additionally, the focus on the program is also more global, with discussions around community, labor, safety, and environmental issues.

Some students may be eligible to attend an apprenticeship at a higher level after completing their certification. The main campus is located in Coconut Creek, Florida.

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10) Hutchinson Community College

At this carpentry trade school, students will be prepared for a career in the home and building construction industries. With emphasis on hands-on learning, students will actively participate in the construction of one structure each year.

This campus is located in Hutchinson, Kansas.

11) Washburn Institute of Technology

During this program, students are equipped to practice carpentry, framing, and masonry. Additionally, students have the opportunity to complete the program in two semesters. After these two semesters, students earn a technical certificate following their 25 hours of coursework.

This campus is located in Topeka, Kansas.

12) Green River College

With the option of day and evening classes, Green River may be a good choice of carpentry school for students looking for flexible classes. In this curriculum, students are prepared for every major area of the carpentry trade. This includes wall and roof framing, finish carpentry, and more.

For training, students build projects, like full-size mock-ups. There is the option to earn 5 different training certificates or an Applied Arts and Science Degree.

This campus is located in Auburn, Washington.

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13) Ranken Technical College

At this carpentry trade school, students participate in at least 15 hours of weekly hands-on training. Between the campus’s modern shop space or on a real job site, students at this institution are focused on practical knowledge. Additionally, students learn blueprint reading and estimation.

This campus is located in St. Louis, Missouri.

14) Rochester Community and Technical College

In the carpentry program, students are prepared for careers as carpenters in residential and commercial construction, factories, cabinet shops, and more. Students learn the foundations of building layout, foundations, rough framing, installing drywall, and more.

There are three options for accreditation. Students can earn a carpentry diploma, an accessory dwelling unit certificate, or a trade readiness certificate.

This campus is located in Rochester, Minnesota.

15) Bismarck State College

Over the course of this nine-month program, students will learn the foundations of residential carpentry. Students will have the opportunity to help build single-family homes in Bismarck. Students will also learn a wide variety of skills, including blueprint reading, construction math, sustainable/green building, and more.

This campus is located in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Carpentry Schools – In Review

Overall, high school students have a lot of choices regarding the type of institution they attend post-graduation. For students who know that hands-on job training, working outdoors, and experiencing a variety of projects is the right path for them, carpentry schools may be a good fit.

As some programs can take about two years to complete, students will be ready for real-world experience quickly. Plus, with a variety of locations and program offerings, there are a lot of wonderful opportunities to choose from.

For even more information on trade schools and ideas for more trade-specific careers, please view these additional resources: