Schools with Trim Carpentry Programs: How to Choose

Trim or finish carpenters are woodworkers who install molding and trim around baseboards, mantels, doorways and windowsills. Certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs are available that can teach students about the various areas of carpentry, including trim carpentry.

Carpenters may be able to work on a variety of carpentry jobs, while others specialize in certain areas, such as roofing, trim or door installation. Students interested in trim carpentry should seek programs where interior carpentry work is emphasized.

Schools with Carpentry Programs

Carpentry programs are offered at a number of institutions, including those listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition* (2015-2016)
Seattle Central College Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $3,891; Out-of-state $9,083
Red Rocks Community College Lakewood, CO 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,429; Out-of-state $13,145
Hinds Community College Raymond, MS 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,600; Out-of-state $5,200
Delgado Community College New Orleans, LA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,911; Out-of-state $8,200
Macomb Community College Warren, MI 2-year, Public Apprenticeship In-district $3,169; In-state $4,945; Out-of-state $6,641
Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, NC 2-year, Public Certificate In-district $2,064; In-state $2,208; Out-of-state $7,056
East Central Community College Decatur, MS 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,190; Out-of-state $4,290
Northwest Technical College Bemidji, MN 2-year, Public Certificate $5,480
Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,506; Out-of-state $9,111

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

There are a number of things to think about when choosing a trim carpentry school.

  • Certificate programs take the shortest time to complete whereas diploma and associate degree programs offer a broader range of knowledge and training which could provide more employment opportunities.
  • Apprenticeships can lead to a journeyman's license and increased pay and internships allow students to gain hands-on experience and to concentrate in specialty areas.
  • Many colleges offer tuition discounts to local or in-state students, which can significantly reduce the program costs.
  • Some colleges may offer help with resume and interview preparation for graduates seeking employment.

Certificate in Finish Carpentry

Certificate programs in finish carpentry can often be completed in a year, depending on the curriculum and courses. Some programs focus entirely on interior and exterior trim techniques, while others cover additional topics.

Diploma in Residential Carpentry

Diploma programs in residential carpentry can be completed in two years or less. Coursework commonly includes interior and exterior trim work, including framing, molding and finishing. Also, internship opportunities may be available.

Associate's Degree in Carpentry

Associate's degree programs in carpentry can be combined with apprenticeships to allow individuals to gain hands-on experience working in the field. Along with general education courses, classes include planning, foundations, roofing, flooring, interior trim, exterior trim, timber construction and concrete. Many programs include additional coursework to help individuals prepare for management and supervisory positions.

A number of institutions offer carpentry programs. It is possible to pursue a certificate or associate's degree, and some schools may also offer apprenticeship programs.


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