The state of Pennsylvania does not regulate the practice of woodworking. Most schools offer woodworking classes through a carpentry or cabinetmaking program. An associate's degree is the highest education available for such programs in the state; other programs lead to certificates and diplomas. Some Pennsylvania schools allow students to take individuals courses in woodworking without declaring a major. Depending on the schools and program, the curriculum may concentrate on furniture-building, home construction skills, or other woodworking disciplines.
Listed below are overviews and a comparison table showing school type and tuition rates for nine of the largest schools offering woodworking classes in Pennsylvania.
Bucks County Community College (BCCC)
Through the Department of The Arts, students can complete a certificate program in furniture and cabinetmaking and a transfer program in fine woodworking at the Hicks Art Center in Newtown. The furniture and cabinetmaking program runs for one year and includes required and elective coursework in veneering and bending, American furniture history and woodturning.
The fine woodworking transfer program is geared towards studio arts majors and credits earned are designed for transfer to a 4-year university. The program emphasizes study in the medium of wood and consists of coursework in 2-D and 3-D design, cabinetmaking, foundations of fine woodworking and furniture woodcarving.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Located in Clarion, this university is one of few 4-year schools in Pennsylvania that offers an area of emphasis in a woodworking discipline. The university offers an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology via its Venango campus, and one of the concentration areas is carpentry and construction technology. The technical segment of the curriculum requires 28-32 credits. Students receive training in areas such as cabinetmaking, remodeling, drywall installation, and interior millwork.
Delaware County Community College (DCCC)
DCCC is located in Media and was started in 1967. The college offers a Certificate of Proficiency program that focuses on residential carpentry. This program consists of 26 credit hours of coursework, such as roofing and siding, carpentry design, framing design and blueprint reading. Students can also complete elective coursework in furniture building and cabinetmaking.
Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center
Located in Altoona, about two hours from downtown Harrisburg, this school offers a cabinetmaking/finished carpentry diploma program to high school students and adults. High school students from the 10th grade and up are eligible to enroll in classes. In the first year of study, students sketch, read, shop drawings, and use power tools on woodworking joints to make cabinets. During the last two years of the program, students receive training in carpentry finishing and are responsible for constructing and installing a kitchen. The program also covers the in-depth study in construction mathematics to prepare students for entry-level employment.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
Located in the small suburban community of Johnstown, this training center has been existence since 1970. The center offers a diploma program in construction technology that's open to both adult and high school students. One of the major areas these 720-hour program covers is carpentry. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level jobs in the construction industry.
Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg
Located in Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg, this school is the oldest and largest community college in the state. The school mainly serves young adults ranging from 23-28 years of age. The college offers a carpentry diploma program for aspiring construction carpenters. Students will learn about finishes, blueprint reading, building materials and how to work on roofs, floors, windows, and doors, among other topics.
Established in 1912, this private college in Scranton offers programs in 13 trade areas. Through the Associate in Applied Science program in carpentry and cabinetmaking technology, students can study woodworking tools and machinery; cabinet and staircase construction; and floor and wall framing. The program focuses on residential construction and is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in areas such as custom woodworking, cabinetmaking, and millwork. Students must earn at least 69 credits to receive this degree.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
This college is located in Lancaster, about 71 miles from Philadelphia and 38 miles from Harrisburg. The school provides assistance for financially challenged students, and many of them receive full grants to cover tuition expenses. Students can prepare for employment in areas such as architectural millwork, fine furniture, and kitchen cabinetry by enrolling in the cabinetmaking and wood technology associate's degree program. Courses include custom woodworking, furniture construction, and cabinet installation. To earn the degree, students must also complete an advanced wood project. The college also offers an associate's degree program in carpentry technology.
The University of the Arts
Located in the metropolitan city of Philadelphia, this school is also one of the very few 4-year universities in the state that offers a woodworking class. The university also comprises six blocks. Through the Continuing Studies division, students can enroll in a woodworking design and build class. They must have previous woodshop experience to enroll. This 3-credit course covers advanced practices used in joinery and woodworking. Students also can hone their skills by completing a design project.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Woodworking Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Bucks County Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe|| Certificate in Furniture and Cabinetmaking,
Associate of Arts in Fine Woodworking
|$4,513 per year in-district; $8,353 per year in-state; $12,193 per year out-of-state*|
|Clarion University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology - Carpentry and Construction Technology emphasis||$11,175 per year in-state; $16,054 per year out-of state*|
|Delaware County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate of Proficiency in Residential Carpentry||$5,520 per year in-district; $9,390 per year in-state; $12,920 per year out-of-state*|
|Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center||<2-year, public; small city||Diploma in Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry||$14,960*|
|Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center||<2-year, public; small suburb||Diploma in Construction Technology||$16,825*|
|Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg||2-year public; small city||Carpentry Diploma||$6,683 per year in-district; $7,935 per year in-state; $9,435 per year out-of-state*|
|Johnson College||2-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Carpentry and Cabinetmaking Technology||$18,991*|
|Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology||2-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Science in Cabinetmaking and Wood Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Carpentry Technology
|The University of the Arts||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Woodworking - Design and Build Course||$44,930*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School websites.