How Much Does Carpentry School Cost?

If your inclinations lie in the building of things, such as the hammering, nailing and sawing of boards to construct kitchen cabinets, walls and frames, a career as a carpenter is something you are probably thinking of doing for the rest of your life. Just like anyone who is intent on pursuing education and training for the profession he intends to practice later on in life, you are probably wondering how much carpentry school would cost.

Before we proceed to answer the question, you should know that going to carpentry school is not one of the more popular entry points towards a career as a carpenter. Apprenticeships are the common ways to train as a carpenter. These apprenticeships are typically sponsored by unions and contractor associations. If you happen to have a high school diploma, are at least 18 years of age, are able to do the physical work of carpenters, are a U.S. citizen or have proof of legal residency and are able to pass screening for substance abuse, you can apply in an apprenticeship program.

In case you get accepted, you will be able to learn the tricks of the trade through technical training and paid on-the-job experience. During this three-to-four year apprenticeship program, you will be paid anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of what full-fledged carpenters make but your pay increases as you learn more skills. The good part of entering the carpentry profession through an apprenticeship program is that you don’t have to pay for the training you get but are even paid to do the work. The challenge is in getting accepted to apprenticeship program itself.

This is why some aspiring carpenters choose to enter the profession by first going to carpentry school. There are technical schools that offer a two-year associate’s degree in carpentry. What’s good about enrolling in carpentry school is that many of them have linkages with unions or contractor organizations which already recognize the carpentry degree they give to their graduates.

On the average, the cost of going to carpentry school is in vicinity of $17,000, although it can range from about $4,000 to a little over $30,000. This covers tuition and other fees, room and board and books and supplies. You can greatly reduce the cost of tuition if you attend a public college in your state of residence since you get to avail of tuition fee discounts. One of the more affordable carpentry programs is offered by Ivy Tech Community College in various places in Indiana. Its yearly cost for in-state students is $4,424 for all its branches except for the one in Central Indiana which is more expensive. For out-of-state students, the yearly cost is pegged at $8,096. At Northern Maine Community College, in-state students cost is $11,308 and out-of-state student cost is $13,948 a year. At Austin Community College District, the yearly expense for in-state students is $18, 332 while for out-of-state students, it is $25,712.

For private institutions, the same tuition and fees are charged to all students regardless of residency. At Triangle Tech Inc Pittsburgh, the yearly cost of tuition, fees, room and board and supplies and books is $23,791. A more affordable option is offered by the Lake Area Technical Institute in South Dakota where the yearly cost is $12,250.

Do keep in mind that if you are going to carpentry school, the figures quoted above are usually not the final cost that you would pay. Many students have lowered their college expenses considerably by availing of financial aid. Visit the financial aid office of your school to ask if you are eligible for scholarships or grants. You can also take out student loans and engage in part-time work to finance your stay in carpentry school.

Career Spotlight: Carpenter

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