Although there is a high demand for carpenters in the construction sector, the lack of interest in skilled trades has limited the workforce. As a result, the construction sector has been functioning at less than optimal capacity. The upside is higher pay and great benefits for tradesmen. If carpentry is your calling, there are two places you can start. The first option is to search out carpentry schools and choose the one with modern facilities, low student-to-instructor ratio, expert faculty, affordable tuition, and lots of hands-on training since the practical exercises provide might be the best way to learn.
Apprenticeship programs are another way to prepare for a career in carpentry. An apprenticeship could be as short as 12 weeks or as long as 2 years. It will give you the opportunity to build essential skills under the direction of an experienced mentor. A major benefit is a low student-to-instructor ratio as compared to the classroom setting. Another benefit is that some apprenticeship programs may disburse a small stipend to trainees.
There are no licensure requirements for carpenters in Illinois, which eliminates a major barrier to entry. There are various organizations that certify carpenters that you might want to consider to improve your employment prospects. Some organizations include the National Association of Home Builders, the National Wood Flooring Association, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
City Colleges of Chicago – Kennedy-King College
The Basic Certificate in Construction Carpentry offered by Kennedy King College prepares students for an entry-level position with a construction contractor. The curriculum covers tool safety, usage, safety on the worksite, reading blueprints, construction materials, and mathematical concepts. An introduction to basic ARC welding will also be included. Course modules will include Construction Safety, Vocational Physical Training, Basic Mathematics and Specifications, Basic Hand Tools, Business and Commercial Technology, Concrete Framing, Basic ARC welding, Blueprint Reading, Residential Carpentry, and Interior Construction. Graduates will receive OSHA Construction Safety and Health 10-hour certification and Scaffold Certification.
Construction Carpentry – Basic Certificate
Duration: 1 semester
Semester credit hours: 20
- Must be 18 years or older
- Provide documentation of completing high school or equivalent – high school transcript or GED certificate
- Submit a completed application online
- Complete and sign an Enrollment Agreement
Tuition costs $146 per credit for in-district students and $384 per credit for out-of-district students. Expenses for textbooks, fees, and supplies must be added to the total cost.
Address: 6301 South Halsted St Chicago, IL 60621
Phone: (773) 602-5000
Through a partnership with the Illinois Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC-IL) and Preservation of Affordable Housing’s Woodlawn Resource Center (POAH), Project H.O.O.D. (PH) trains up to 20 young men and women to enter the construction sector. The pre-apprenticeship training covers Core and Carpentry Level 1 and is conducted by ABC-IL instructors. Anyone who is interested in a career in construction is invited to apply to the program. Placement into entry-level or apprenticeship positions with local construction companies is offered to all graduates.
Carpentry Level 1 Certificate
Duration: 12 weeks
Semester credit hours: 60
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old
- Complete an application on-site and attend an interview
The training is free for eligible persons.
Address: 6330 South King Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Students enrolled in the carpentry program at Chicago Vocational Career Academy will acquire skills and knowledge for a successful career in construction technology. The program is mostly hands-on, giving students the opportunity to develop skills in the preparation of construction materials, building housing foundations, installing frames, and building and repairing porches, cabinets, and much more.
Duration: 1 year
- Must be enrolled in high school
- Adults must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent
Training is free for high school students.
Address: 2100 East 87th Street, Chicago, IL 60617
Phone: (773) 535-6100
Fax: (773) 535-6633