What to expect from a career as a Carpenter

The construction industry is always in need of skilled carpenters – furniture, houses and businesses are built, renovated and finished using a wide range of carpentry techniques. Being a successful carpenter demands hard work and precision; Ontario college carpentry programs can provide you with these skills and many others, preparing you to jump into your career.

If you like working with your hands and are interested in a career as a carpenter, here’s what you need to know.

Carpentry Courses

In carpentry programs at Ontario colleges, students learn to use a variety of carpentry tools (both hand and stationary) while following plans, specifications and codes for the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Construction safety will also be emphasized.

Though focus areas will differ, construction courses may include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Structural framework
  • Interior and exterior wall finishing
  • Blueprint reading and drafting
  • Site surveying
  • Energy efficient construction

Some carpentry programs have a specific area of specialization, such as historical restoration and preservation. Students may also choose to pursue a General Carpenter apprenticeship, though an apprenticeship is not needed to work in this field.

General Carpentry Program Requirements

Carpentry programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. A grade 12 math credit may also be required for some programs.

Note: If your carpentry training is through an apprenticeship program or you wish to start your apprenticeship after graduation, you will need to be registered with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Carpentry Jobs and Salaries

Ontario college carpentry programs provide students with the hands-on experience needed to enter the workforce, through ample time spent practising in workshops and on real projects.

Carpentry jobs can be found in residential, commercial and industrial construction and renovation, as well as with heritage restoration specialists and specialty woodworking shops.

Many graduates find positions as general construction labourers or carpenters, where they perform a variety of duties like frame construction, finishing and job estimating.

Salaries in the field vary depending on the employer, job responsibilities and area of specialization. Carpenters usually make from around $30,000 to $65,000 per year, with an average starting salary of $35,000 for graduates of Ontario college carpentry programs.

Ontario Colleges Offering Carpentry Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of carpentry programs at Ontario colleges.

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