Certification in carpentry is the best way to identify specific skill areas to potential employers and to market those skills to enhance job prospects. Carpentry certification programs offer general training in preparation for the workplace, as well as areas of specialization, such as framing or cabinetry.
Our list of the top ten affordable college certificates in carpentry began with a list of over 85 programs with costs under $7,000 (based on tuition reported to College Navigator). These programs were then ranked according to the quality of the program (based on graduation rate and student-to-teacher ratio).
Based on this search, the top ten affordable carpentry certificates are:
- Tulsa Technology Center
- Manatee Technical College
- Metro Technology Centers
- Moore Norman Technology Center
- Southwestern Community College
- Ogeechee Technical College
- Bates Technical College
- Gordon Cooper Technology Center
- Peninsula College
- Southern Crescent Technical Center
Reviewing the Most Affordable Carpentry Trade School Programs
10. Southern Crescent Technical College
At Southern Crescent Technical College, students can earn a carpentry diploma in just three terms of study. This flexible 42-credit program allows for entry three times a year, and provides a sequence of courses that prepares students for careers in the carpentry industry. The curriculum emphasizes a combination of carpentry theory and practical application. Graduates will have the qualifications of an entry-level residential carpenter or entry-level commercial carpenter.
9. Peninsula College
Port Angeles, Washington
Construction Technology Carpentry Certificate
Peninsula College offers a 53-credit skilled trade certificate program in construction technology that can be completed in three quarters of study. The program’s hands-on training meets the current industry standards, and the courses are developed with input from local employers who are active in the field. Courses include woodworking, blueprint reading, industrial first aid and various basic carpentry courses. Additionally, the school offers a Short Term Construction Technology Cabinetry and Finish Carpentry Certificate.
8. Gordon Cooper Technology Center
Carpentry/Masonry Trade Certificate
The Carpentry/Masonry certificate program at Gordon Cooper Technology Center is a career pathway program available to both adults and high school students. The program is designed for job placement in one of the following fields: carpenter, form carpenter, frame carpenter, brick block and stone mason, concrete finisher, roofing, drywall, ceramic tile, cabinet making, or finish carpenter. Students have options of six specialized certificate programs ranging from 28 weeks to 48 weeks in length, all of which will develop proficiency in the necessary skills to succeed in the field.
7. Bates Technical College
Bates Technical College offers a certificate in carpentry designed specifically to prepare students for apprenticeship employment in the construction industry. Through six quarters of study, students will benefit from classroom instruction as well as off-campus building and remodeling projects that provide opportunity for practical training through all phases of construction. The certificate program also functions as a pre-apprenticeship program for the South Puget Sound Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.
6. Ogeechee Technical College
Carpentry Fundamentals Certificate
The Carpentry Fundamentals program at Ogeechee Technical College introduces students to basic levels of carpentry skills. This highly affordable, 17 credit program generally takes two semesters to complete, and students graduate with the qualifications of an entry level framing carpenter. The program emphasizes a combination of carpentry theory and practical application necessary for successful employment. The curriculum includes safety training, hand and power tool usage, site layout, structural framing, building envelope systems, and exterior finishes.
5. Southwestern Community College
Sylva, North Carolina
Southwestern Community College offers a certificate in carpentry program designed to train students to construct residential structures using standard building materials and hand power tools. The 16-credit certificate program uses hands-on participation as students learn both carpentry skills and residential construction skills. The coursework includes footing and foundations, framework, interior and exterior trim, cabinetry, blueprint reading, and project planning and estimating. The school also offers a diploma program in carpentry.
4. Moore Norman Technology Center
The carpentry certificate program at Moore Norman Technology Center prepares its graduates for work as a cabinetmaker, frame carpenter, or residential carpenter. This affordable, 1,050-hour program is offered to both high schoolers and adults. Students will learn to estimate and order building materials as well as prepare, assemble, and install materials using hand and power tools. Students will also work to construct a custom-project home. Graduates of the program have a positive placement rate of 100%.
3. Metro Technology Centers
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Finish Carpenter, Frame Carpenter, or Residential Carpenter Certificate
Metro Technology Center offers three affordable certificate options in carpentry. Students can choose between finish, frame, or residential carpenter programs, which fully prepare them for immediate employment, advanced certifications, or further education. Programs are offered for both high school students and adults, and they range from 600 to 1000 total hours of study. Graduates of the program will be able to create, manage, and build construction projects from idea to completion, as well as perform all of the necessary skills in their respective area of carpentry.
2. Manatee Technical College
At Manatee Technical College, students can earn an affordable certificate in carpentry in just 10 months. Students are prepared to work as form, frame, and trim carpenters, as well as in the aluminum, roofing, drywall, and maintenance industries. Students will learn skills such as the use of hand and power tools, material selection, estimating, blueprint reading, and building codes. Dual enrollment is available, and the program courses may be eligible for college credit.
1. Tulsa Technology Center
Tulsa Technology Center offers the top affordable carpentry certificate program. The program is offered to both high school students and adults, and can be completed in as little as five months. The curriculum prepares students to operate a wide range of professional hand, power, and pneumatic tools. Additionally, students will learn to interpret and use blueprints, sketches, and building plans as well as how to construct, build, install or repair structures or fixtures made of wood. Tulsa Tech maintains a partnership with businesses in the Tulsa area, allowing for easy job placement.
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 cheapest carpentry school programs for 2021.