Overview of Woodworking as a College Program

Woodworking programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are usually coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program means students will be exposed to a curriculum that combines classroom learning with practical training. Graduates of a woodworking degree will exit the program prepared to create various items and structures with wood.

Woodworking Curriculum

These degrees teach students the methods required to properly manufacture items from wood. Different educational programs vary their curriculums but many classes are the same across curriculums. Some of the classes taught in a woodworking degree program include:

  • Safety
  • Wood products
  • Trade mathematics
  • Blueprint reading
  • Hand tools
  • Power tools
  • Project design
  • Framing
  • Window installation
  • Flooring
  • Doors
  • Supervision
  • Site Preparation
  • Job estimation
  • Laser Instruments

Education Levels Available for a Woodworking Degree

These degrees are primarily available at the lower levels of the postsecondary educational system. This is because the field of masonry is considered a trade rather than an academic discipline. It is offered as an Associate's degree or Certificate. The Certificate program requires a one-year commitment while the Associate's degree takes about two years to finish.

Skills Developed through a Woodworking Degree Program

This degree teaches students things that will help them in the future. Many of the skills learned are specific to the field of woodworking, but others are useful outside of your career. Some of the skills this degree teaches are:

  • Ability to use tools to create various objects and structures
  • Ability to manage employees and inspire quality work from them
  • Physical fitness and the ability to work with your hands
  • Providing estimates for jobs based on the hours required and materials needed for a job
  • Exposure to different sourcing methods for materials
  • Communication techniques to speak to customers and superiors
Where to Obtain a Woodworking Degree

Woodworking degrees are available through many different educational institutions and programs. They can be earned at community colleges as Associate's degrees. Most woodworking degrees, however, are obtained through vocational schools and technical colleges as Certificates or Associate's degrees. There are also apprenticeship programs, which are a common path towards entering the field. An apprenticeship program allows students to work in the field while gaining knowledge from a professional as their understudy. Woodworking degrees can also be obtained online. An online degree is very convenient for students who plan to work while getting an education or require more flexibility in their course scheduling.

Career Opportunities for Woodworking Majors

Students graduating from a woodworking degree program have potentially lucrative career prospects available to them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of woodworkers is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is slower than the average national rate of employment growth. This negative is tempered by the fact that job prospects for skilled woodworkers will still be 'excellent' due to attrition and an economic recovery. Students can earn anywhere from $11.14 to $21.73 per hour on average depending on their experience and skill.

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