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What classes should I take for carpentry?

My school has a few carpentry classes but I took them all and was wandering if there were any carpentry classes after high school.
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William’s Answer

I've answered a few questions from Grundy Center but Cedar Rapids may have what your looking for. Here a link to an apprenticeship program
https://carpentersunionapprenticeship.com/
If you have any questions about the apprenticeship program, please call 319-365-9519. To enroll in the program, fill out the apprenticeship program application and send it to Five Rivers Carpenters JATC.
There are so many other trades! I started out painting walls in peoples homes. The transformation from painting a wall a different color was amazing to me, it looked so much better. It turned out to be a lifelong trade, and I got paid every Friday for it! It was a decent living as far as the money goes. Years go by and just putting a new color on the walls started to get boring. I started to learn about other painting techniques called Faux finishes. Faux is a French term for "fake." The techniques uses sponges and rags to apply colors over other colors. Painting became fun again! I started painting skies on ceilings, columns on walls, faux brick, wood graining, etc.. Painting murals became a passion until I saw a painting of a boy coming out of a painting, it was called, "Escaping Criticism". The artist was Pere Borrell del Caso. I realized I had never painted on a canvas, walls were my canvas. My interest in art evolved from there. I took a mail in course at Pittsburgh Institute of Art. I started to learn how to draw in ink and pencil using shading practices such as, cross hatching, and the light and dark of the pencil. I continue to make a living painting peoples homes and business but also sell my paintings.

William recommends the following next steps:

Find a job in one of the trades such as, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, HVAC, electrician, etc. One you may like the most.
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Schroeder Construction and Meyers Home Improvement are two local companies around Grundy Center.
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Tell what ever construction company you work, your plans for a degree. Maybe they will be able to help you with that. Only if you earn it with, showing up everyday and quality production
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Wynter’s Answer

I am unsure how to directly answer your question but I can give you some overarching information on the steps it is advised for someone to take in pursuit of a career in carpentry.

During my research, I found this website that give detailed instructions on the best way to become a carpenter.
Here is the link: https://study.com/how_to_become_a_carpenter.html

I have also provided some of the top carpenter schools, if you are interested in further education.
https://www.universities.com/find/us/best/trades-and-careers/carpentry

Here is a list of carpentry programs in Iowa:
https://www.universities.com/find/iowa/best/trades-and-careers/carpentry

I would look through the first link and see what applies to you and which route is best for you. If you choose to pursue further education, I would look into some of these programs and ask questions to the advisors at these schools to receive the best information on your next steps. I would also talk to some local carpenters in your area and see what they suggest!

I hope this helps!

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William’s Answer

Kirkwood Community College or Hawkeye Community College.

Kirkwood's Carpentry program prepares students to enter the skilled building trades. Students are given a hands-on intensive introduction to the skills used by carpenters. Your classroom experience combines lecture and lab activities that cover all aspects of a carpenter’s job. After you complete the carpentry program, you can continue your education with an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Construction Management.


Hawkeye offers four levels of carpentry apprenticeship curriculum approved by the Department of Labor for individuals who are sponsored by an employer or local business. The apprenticeship classes fulfill the 144 classroom training hours required by an approved apprenticeship program.

Schroeder Construction and Meyers Home Improvement are two local companies around you. See if they are hiring!


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Brent’s Answer

Hi Landen,

First off, I am also an Iowan, having been born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, IA, about 60 miles due south of Iowa City. Eventually I relocated to Oregon, however, which is where I have made my home since the early 1990s.

Anyway, I spent the first 15 years of my life working as a residential remodeling carpenter (now I am an architect), but instead of schooling I took the route of learning on the job. If I had to do it all again, I would have registered for all the cool (and helpful) carpentry classes that were/are offered at my local community college. The neat thing about carpentry is the variety of skills and specialties -- rough framers, finish carpenters, cabinetmakers, timber framers, furniture makers, etc. As Mary said, rough frame carpenters typically don't make as much as those with more highly specialized skills, but rough framing is an enjoyable job that can offer a lot of job satisfaction. I would suggest visiting some residential job sites and asking the contractors a few well conceived questions. Heck, maybe you'll even land a job yourself !! :)

Good luck !!

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Mary’s Answer

I'd also suggest taking to some custom cabinetry shops if there are any in your area. Finish Carpenters, particularly those that can work cabinets and exotics can earn more than rough Carpenters. It takes an eye for detail and patience to make and install custom cabinets. Apprenticing with someone like that would give you great skills on how to make changes in the fly and solve problems.

I think Wynter provided allot of great information.

You can also look at joining your local AGC, ASA or NAWIC construction association as a student and go to a few meetings as a guest. You'll meet contractors in the area that may help you find your path.

Search for contractors in the area that have great reputations, that perform the type of work your interested in. Then use LinkedIn or other platform to try and find some people that work there... You can ask them for a coffee chat, where you maybe chat over coffee or some other acceptable social distancing activity to ask them about the industry. Most people are willing to help those interested in joining our industry, just don't get discouraged if you get put off. It's super busy right now, but keep trying.

Mary recommends the following next steps:

Find local construction associations
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Write down what questions you want to ask about the business
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Find reputable contractors to reach out to for advice
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Glen’s Answer

Since I live in Dallas, I would check out this website http://www.local429.com/Training.xml, with the Carpenter’s Union Local 429. If you live in another location, I would contact the regional council in your area through this website https://www.carpenters.org/regional-council/ and go from there.

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