Are you a veteran looking to begin a new profession as a carpenter?

It is a fact that veterans have, every so often, had a hard time finding a well-paying job. What to do to get ready?
In order to get a job in the construction industry as a carpenter, one must go through an apprenticeship or complete a training program.

And it takes an amount to get the education that is required. The good thing is you should not worry about spending money – you can avail the GI Bill for veterans.

By taking the carpentry training, you make yourself competitive and marketable. It enables you to grasp the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to work in the field.

With that, you have all the edge to shift to a rewarding and fulfilling job as a carpenter.

If you are one of those transitioning members of the military or have been in the service, we made this brief article as a guide for you to take the first step.

Now let’s start by giving you the training schools where you can enroll that offer grants and benefits for veterans like you.

Carpenter Training Schools That Provide Benefits for Veterans

If you are looking where to enroll, here are your choices:

  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
    Offers intensive apprenticeship training
    Training Centers are situated across the country
    to locate one nearest to you, click here

  • Southwest Carpenters Training Fund
    Albuquerque, NM - (505) 268-4396
    Bakersfield, CA - (661) 323-8759
    Buena Park, CA - (714) 571-0449
    Denver, CO - (303) 393-6060
    Las Vegas, NV - (775) 856-4660
    Reno, NV - (775) 856-4660
    Phoenix, AZ - (602) 272-6547

  • Del Mar College
    101 Baldwin Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
    (361) 698-1200; 1 (800) 652-3357

  • Green River College
    12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn, WA 98092
    Phone: 253-833-9111

  • Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
    25 Mill Street, Rockport, Maine 04856
    ph: 207-594-5611; fax: 207-594-7511

  • Penn Foster College
    14300 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 125, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    1-800-471-3232

  • Ashworth College
    6625 The Corners Parkway, Suite 500, Norcross, GA 30092
    1-800-957-5412
    Online carpentry classes are available

  • Orleans Technical College
    2770 Red Lion Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114
    Phone: 215-728-4700

  • Triangle Tech, Inc.
    Training centers are located in Chambersburg, Bethlehem, Sunbury, DuBois, Greensburg, Pittsburgh in the state of PA
    Call 1-800-874-8324 or Text GoTech to 32075
    Scholarships are given

  • Cuyahoga Community College
    700 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio
    216-987-6000; 216-987-2800

  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
    400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles
    Phone (213) 763-7000; Fax (213) 763-5393

  • Santiago Canyon College
    8045 E. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA
    714.628.4900; (714) 628-4793

  • Saint Paul College
    235 Marshall Ave, St Paul, MN
    Phone: 651.846.1600; Fax: 651.846.1703

  • Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California
    800 Chadbourne Road, Fairfield, CA. 94534
    Tel. 707-399-2880; Fax 707-399-8519

  • Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training Fund
    75 Fieldcrest Ave, Edison, NJ
    Phone 732-372-6020

  • Camden County College
    200 N. Broadway, Camden, NJ 08102
    Main Number: (856) 338-1817

Here are is the full list of training schools and providers by state, please follow this page. When requesting info from them, please be specific of the benefit you want to apply or avail.

Application of Post 9/11 GI Bill

Now is the time to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits since it now covers apprenticeship training in different trades including carpentry. If you’ve served in the Armed Forces or a separating member, you can train to become an apprentice, a path to a more advanced Journeyman level.

Application for the benefits can be done by mail, in-person or online.

If you opt to do it by mail, you may call 888-442-4551, open M-F at 8AM to 7PM ET, and request for the application be sent to you. When filling up the application make sure to write legibly and include accurate information as much as possible to avoid delay in processing. When you’re finished, submit the completed application to the nearest VA claim office. To find out what’s the closest office to you, click this page

If you want to take apply in-person, you may do so. Just drop by in the nearest VA processing claim office, talk to a representative, they’ll assist you. The in-person is the recommended approach when applying so that you can confer any issues or raise concerns to the VA representative.

If you think applying online is convenient and you want to do it via VA website, click this

When the VA office accepts your application, you have to wait for thirty (30) to receive a decision if your benefit is approved or not.
When your application is approved, the VA office will send your certificate of eligibility or an award letter, an important document to present to the training school of your choice in order to claim the educational benefits.

For whatever reason your application is disapproved, you can request a review at the VA office. 

Taking the Training

Through apprenticeship training

Becoming an apprentice is a great way to gain knowledge and practical skills to work as a carpenter. To tell you the truth, this is the most preferred way of most people who want to enter this profession.

The apprenticeship is a combination of theory and on-the-job training under the guidance of a more experienced superior. It is a four-year program that will supply you with the practical skills and knowledge to work as a professional carpenter.

The very minimum requirements you need to be/have are a high school diploma, be at least 18 years old and be in good physical condition.

If you would like to apply for an apprenticeship program, you may contact an employer, a contractor or a trade organization. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) and Carpenters Training Institute are some of the organizations that offer such courses.

Being an apprentice is an excellent way to make a living while learning the trade. Keep in mind that your rate will increase as you progress in the course. The exact rate cannot be determined as it depends on the location where you are working and the type of carpentry you are enrolled in.

To give you an estimate, in your first year as an apprentice you will make 40% of journeyman salary, 50% in the second year, 65% in the third year and 80% in the fourth year.

Through enrolment in the university or community college

The second way you can take the carpentry training is by enrolling in a course offered by a university or community college in your area. Some schools offer participants apprenticeship training as well and they also have specialized courses in carpentry. To locate a training school or college in your state, please browse this page.

These schools provide certificate and diploma courses in different fields of carpentry. Please do keep in mind that tuition is not cheap. Good thing is that these schools give scholarships and benefits for veterans like you.

Deciding where to enrol is up to you. You may choose the school that is closest so that transportation would not be a hassle.

Here's a A Glimpse of What It Is Like to be a Union Carpenter 

To Conclude This

If you’ve served the Armed Forces or a transitioning member and you want to pursue a career in carpentry, there’s a good chance you want to enrol in a training school. The tuition isn’t cheap, it could burn a hole in your pocket.
The good things is through the BI bill benefits and scholarships offered by the school, you can defray the expenses or perhaps lower it to the level you can afford it.
Good luck and we thank you for your service to the country!