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The State of New Jersey is home to very few schools that offer programs of study in woodworking. There is one vocational-technical school that provides half-time programs in related fields for high school juniors and seniors and some adult learners, as well as a postsecondary woodworking certificate program. Aspiring and experienced woodworkers may also get woodworking training from the American Woodcarving & Art School, or they can travel to Philadelphia on nights and weekends for training at the not-for-profit Philadelphia Furniture Workshop.
Ocean County Vocational-Technical School
Toms River-based Ocean County Vocational-Technical School offers shared-time programs in building construction technology and custom woodworking/cabinetmaking. These 2-year programs require students to complete 900 hours of coursework. They are primarily offered as shared-time programs for high school students, who spend half of their day in the programs, but there is limited seating for students who have finished high school as well.
The building construction technology certificate program covers framing, trim work, door installation, blueprint reading and roofing. Graduates are eligible for employment and can also seek apprenticeships through a local carpenter's union.
Custom woodworking/cabinetmaking students develop basic woodworking skills, and they learn to design and make tables, bookcases, cabinets and other furniture. The program allows students to work with the hand tools and machines used in cabinetmaking. This program also offers opportunities for professional training through community service projects.
Another option for adult learners is a certificate in woodworking, which is offered at the school's campus in Jackson. In this program, students are instructed in the use of woodworking technologies and techniques. Both beginning and experienced woodworkers are encouraged to enroll. Programs are project-based, so students can expect to design and implement a woodworking project over the course of the program. Classes are held at night, so they are convenient for working professionals.
American Woodcarving & Art School
The American Woodcarving & Art School is a nontraditional school in Wayne, New Jersey. It offers regular weekday classes and weekend workshops, as well as special weekend seminars given by experienced woodcarvers from around the country and the world. Most woodcarving courses meet for three hours per week.
Philadelphia Furniture Workshop
Another nontraditional educational option is the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop. Although it is located across the state border in nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this nonprofit woodworking studio caters to the needs of woodworkers from other states as well, including New Jersey. Classes are offered at every level, and students can find courses in areas such as tablesaw techniques, veneering, and French polishing, among others. Most classes are offered on nights and weekends in order to meet the needs of working professionals.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Woodworking Programs and Courses Offered||Tuition and Fees|
|Ocean County Vocational-Technical School||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb|| Building Construction Shared-Time Program
Custom Woodworking/Cabinetmaking Shared-Time Program // Woodworking Certificate
|$340 for certificate*; tuition information for other programs not available|
|American Woodcarving & Art School||Less than 2-year, private; small city||Woodcarving classes||$125 per month, plus one-time $25 kit fee**|
|Philadelphia Furniture Workshop||Less than 2-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Woodworking classes||Variable, depends on course***|
Sources: *Ocean County Vocational-Technical School, **American Woodcarving and Art School, ***Philadelphia Furniture Workshop.