Woodworking classes can be found at schools that offer programs in carpentry and construction. In addition to classes, students may decide to complete an apprenticeship in the field. In general, admission requirements for formal training programs include a high school diploma or a GED, and some schools require at least a 9th grade language, math, and reading level on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).
Both the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredit the Erwin, Fort Meyers and Manatee technical institutes, and the George Stone and Washington Holmes centers are approved by the COE.
Read on for more information about the schools in Florida that offer courses in woodworking as well as find details about the classes themselves.
Erwin Technical Center
Erwin Technical Center in Tampa is a public postsecondary school in the Hillsborough County School District. The center offers full-time preparation programs for students seeking entry-level positions in a particular field and part-time training for those who need to update their job skills.
The 1,200-hour commercial and residential carpentry program is a full-time course of study, and students attend class every day for 14 months. In addition to the safe and proper use of tools, training topics include framing, joinery, drywall applications and the installation of doors and windows. Students also learn how to apply laminates, mold wood products and read a blueprint. Along with helping participants acquiring hands-on trade skills, the course provides information about building codes and surveying.
Fort Myers Technical College
The technical college in Fort Meyers is part of the Lee County School District. Relevant resources include a Career Center that helps students acquire interview and resume writing skills and provides them with information about potential employment.
The school offers programs in a number of vocational areas, including those associated with construction, mechanics and service technologies. In particular, the 1,200-hour course in carpentry covers topics in cabinetry, cost estimates, formwork concrete and site preparation. Admission recommendations include a high school diploma or GED, and applicants must take the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension and TABE tests.
George Stone Technical Center
Through the George Stone Technical Center in Pensacola, students can pursue industrial programs in, among other occupational areas, building construction, cabinetry, carpentry and welding. The institute is affiliated with the Escambia County School District, and the 26-building-campus includes 300,000 square feet devoted to classroom, lab and mechanical space.
The 600-hour beginning carpentry course is designed to prepare students for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification exams. It includes three phases that help participants acquire the trade skills they need to work as carpentry helpers and perform finishing and trimming work.
Students in the more advanced course are also prepared for the NCCER exams, and the 600-hours of training include a rough carpentry (framing) and a carpentry stage. The 1,200-hour cabinetry certification course is a 4-phase program that covers topics in carpentry, assembly, finishing and cabinetmaking.
Hillsborough Community College
The Dale Mabry Campus in Tampa is the largest and oldest of the college's eight locations. In addition to certificate and degree programs in architecture and building, the school offers an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Apprenticeship program that has been approved by, among other organizations, the Division of Workforce Development and the Florida Department of Education. As a professional trade association, ABC provides up-to-date educational programs for both trainees and managers that combine classroom instruction with on-the-job experience.
The apprenticeship program is offered in alignment with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and requires four years to complete. Admission requirements include academic and practical assessments, and once admitted, students receive training in basic construction, carpentry, electrical work and other relevant areas. Students who successfully complete the program can apply a maximum of 32 credits towards an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Management and receive a certificate of completion from ABC, the Florida Department of Education and the NCCER.
Indian River State College
This Fort Pierce state college offers career training programs in, among other areas, carpentry, electrical work, masonry and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). In particular, the 1,200-hour program in carpentry, offered in conjunction with the Treasure Coast Builders Association, helps students acquire the trade skills they need to find entry-level work in the field. In contrast to the aforementioned programs, the curriculum includes three sequential courses in residential carpentry and an overview of the nation's construction industry. Students also complete a 45-hour elective in cabinetry and a 150-hour carpentry practicum that provides aspiring craftspeople with the chance to research current industry issues.
Manatee Technical Institute
Bradenton is one of four locations included in this multi-campus school, and the institute offers in excess of 50 adult education, career and technical training programs. As of 2004, Manatee's students have won more medals at the SkillsUSA workforce competitions than competitors from any other schools, and the institute enjoys a 91% job placement rate.
Carpentry is one of seven architecture and construction programs offered by the institute, and the program is designed to help students acquire their NCCER certification and develop skills in framing, forming and trimming. The 1,200-hour curriculum takes one year to complete and includes supplemental training in first aide, the use of a forklift and workplace safety (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Future carpenters also have the opportunity to collaborate on joint projects with students from the air conditioning, electrical or plumbing programs.
Pensacola State College
One of 28 public institutions in the Florida College System, the state college in Pensacola offers over 20 engineering technology programs in, among other occupational areas, carpentry and computerized woodworking, building construction and industrial management.
The carpentry program requires 40 credits to complete and includes training in advanced carpentry, craftsmanship, framing and rigging. Students who enroll in the 12-credit computerized woodworking program take courses in fabrication, engineering graphics, mechanical design and woodworking technology.
Saint Johns River State College
Saint Johns River State College in Palatka in Northeast Florida offers academic transfer, apprenticeship and workforce service programs, and these include training in carpentry and industrial management. The 4-year carpentry apprenticeship program is sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association and is designed to help students obtain their journeyman's license. Carpenters-in-training are paid for their time on the job, and each year of study includes three cooperative work experiences. Upon completion, coursework may be applied to a 2-year degree program in industrial management technology.
Sante Fe College
Gainesville's Sante Fe College is a 3-campus school, and through its construction and technical education programs, students can earn a certificate in HVAC, complete a carpentry apprenticeship or earn a degree in building technology. Prerequisites include a basic proficiency in English and math.
The carpentry apprenticeship program is sponsored by the Builders Association of North Central Florida and is similar to the one at Saint Johns River. It requires four years to complete and includes two nights a week of classroom learning and paid work experience. At the end of the program, qualified students receive certificates of completion from the Florida Department of Education (Division of Workforce Development), the NCCER and the sponsor.
Florida Panhandle Technical College (formerly Washington Holmes Technical Center)
The technical center in Chipley is part of the Washington County School District, and the school's cabinetmaking and carpentry courses are similar to those offered at the George Stone Technical Center. Each takes about one year of full- or part-time study to complete, and students learn about the different types of materials and procedures used in construction. In contrast to the aforementioned programs, an online component is in progress, and students must meet the minimum browser and operating system requirements. Qualified graduates are eligible for an NCCER certification, and the credits earned through the beginning and advanced carpentry programs are applicable to the associate's programs in building construction technology.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Woodworking Courses and Programs Offered||Program Costs|
|Erwin Technical Center||2-year, public; large city||Carpentry (Residential and Commercial)||$3,815 flat fee (2019-2020)*|
|Fort Myers Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Carpentry||$3,789 Tuition and Fees (2019-2020)*|
|George Stone Technical Center||2-year, public; large suburb||Cabinetmaking,
|$2,966 (undergraduate, 2018-2019)**|
|Hillsborough Community College||2-year, public; large city||Carpentry Apprenticeship||$31.33 per credit hour (Adult General Education, Vocational Certificate 2019)*|
|Indian River State College||4-year, public; large suburb||Carpentry||$15,574 for FL residents; $58,574 for non-residents (Advanced and Professional Lower-level college 2019)*|
|Manatee Technical Institute||2-year, public; large suburb||Carpentry||$6,217 (Tuition, Lab & Fee)*|
|Pensacola State College||4-year, public; small city||Carpentry,
| $85.74 per vocational credit for FL residents
$342.96 per vocational credit for non-residents (June 2019)*
|Saint Johns River State College||4-year, public; distant town||Carpentry Apprenticeship||$540 for Adult Basic & Secondary (2019-2020)*|
|Sante Fe College||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Carpentry Apprenticeship||$8,458 for in-state; $32,268 for out-of-state (Non-Credit Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Courses 2019)*|
|Florida Panhandle Technical College (formerly Washington Holmes Technical Center)||2-year, public; rural|| Cabinetmaking,
|$1,662 Resident Tuition; $6,306 Non-Resident Tuition (2019)*|
Sources: *School's websites and **NCES College Navigator.