Carpentry – Workforce Credential

Program Details
Industry Certification
Academic Division: 
Workforce Development - Manufacturing & Construction Trades

The Carpentry program provides training to students in all aspects of residential construction. Students will acquire a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in the areas of safe use of hand and power tools, measuring and cutting, accuracy with levels, rulers, and squares, interpreting drawings and blueprints, and door, window, kitchen, and bath installations. Students will also erect concrete forms, wood frame structures, floor joists, stud wall partitions, subflooring, sheathing, stairs, rafter installation, roofing, and siding.

One unique aspect of this program is the ongoing project of building a tiny smart home, which allows students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting. By participating in this project, students will gain valuable experience in carpentry, as well as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

Certifications earned during this training include OSHA-10 and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

Course Content

  • Safe use of hand and power tools
  • Scaffold, ladder, personal protective equipment training
  • Measuring and cutting materials
  • Identify house construction materials
  • Demonstrate concrete foundation methods
  • Read and interpret construction blueprints, working drawings and building codes
  • Layout floor joists, stud walls, ceiling joist, rafters, stair stringers
  • Estimate material costs associated with building construction
  • Apply interior/exterior wall finishes
  • Install interior casing and mill work
  • Install door/window units and build basic stair system

Location: Trades Center, 236 Industrial Blvd, Toano, Virginia

Cost: (Please call to determine eligibility for funding)

Full Tuition

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Length/Hours: 240 hours/15 weeks plus 40 hours for NCCER Core

Prerequisites for enrollment: Physical Ability to Do Work

Fast Forward

Accelerating and Enhancing Career Education Programs (AECE) is a $2,050,925 project; $1,686,258 (82%) funded through a Federal USDOL-ETA grant and $364,667(18%) through non-federal resources.

Duties of Carpenters

Carpenters typically do the following:

  • Follow blueprints and building plans to meet the needs of clients
  • Install structures and fixtures, such as windows and molding
  • Measure, cut, and shape wood, plastic, and other materials
  • Construct building frameworks, including walls, floors, and doorframes
  • Erect, level, and install building framework with the aid of rigging hardware and cranes
  • Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
  • Instruct and direct laborers and other construction helpers

Carpenters are a versatile occupation in the construction industry, with workers usually doing many different tasks. For example, some carpenters insulate office buildings and others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes. Those who help construct tall buildings or bridges often install wooden concrete forms for cement footings or pillars and are commonly referred to as rough carpenters. Rough carpenters also erect shoring and scaffolding for buildings.

Carpenters use many different tools to cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall. They commonly use hand tools, including squares, levels, and chisels, as well as many power tools, such as sanders, circular saws, nail guns, and welding machines.

Carpenters fasten materials together with nails, screws, staples, and adhesives, and check their work to ensure that it is precisely completed. They use tape measures on nearly every project to quickly measure distances. Many employers require applicants to supply their own tools.

The following are examples of types of carpenters:

Construction carpenters construct, install, and repair structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, and wallboard, using carpenter's hand tools and power tools.

Rough carpenters build rough wooden structures, such as concrete forms; scaffolds; tunnels, bridge, or sewer supports; and temporary frame shelters, according to sketches, blueprints, or oral instructions.

Advancement for Carpenters

Carpenters are involved in many phases of construction and may have opportunities to become first-line supervisors, independent contractors, or general construction supervisors.

Carpenters are exposed to most of the construction process, so they may have more advancement opportunities. These advancement opportunities include becoming independent contractors or general construction supervisors. Carpenters who are interested in advancing their careers should seek additional training provided by unions, associations, or employers.

Carpenter Salaries

The median annual wage for carpenters is $48,260. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount, and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $80,940.

The median annual wages for carpenters in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Nonresidential building construction


Building finishing contractors


Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors


Residential building construction


The starting pay for apprentices is less than what fully trained carpenters make. As apprentices gain experience, they receive more pay.

Most carpenters work full time, which may include working evenings and weekends. Extreme temperatures or inclement weather can adversely impact building construction, in which case carpenters' hours may be affected.

Register Online

Register for classes online using the Virginia Peninsula Workforce Development registration system.

Register Online

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