Carpentry school in CaliforniaChoosing a career is not easy – you have to spend a lot of time thinking if that’s the job you are passionate about. And there’s no room for mistakes in choosing because your life depends on your decision.

If you made that ever-important decision that being a carpenter is the career you want to pursue, you may be thinking now– where do I begin?

First, get the education and skills. This is where the carpentry school comes in. Upon completion of the course, in just a few weeks or so, you have what it takes to be a carpenter.

And if you’re really serious about it, you can take this to another level by becoming an apprentice or getting a degree or certificate.

The school will supply you with the essential skills and necessary experience so that you’re ready to work as a carpenter upon graduation.



Not only that, the school will help you in other aspects as well. We will discuss that in this article. 

We will also show you how to choose the best institution so that you get value for your money since tuition isn’t cheap.

So, if you’re looking where you can take the training, below are the list of carpentry training schools in the state of California where you can enroll:

Keep reading…

Carpentry Training Schools in California

      • Fullerton College
        321 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

      • Long Beach City College
        LAC Campus
        4901 East Carson St. Long Beach, CA 90808
        (562) 938-4111
        PCC Campus
        1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway Long Beach, CA 90806
        (562) 938-4111

      • American River College
        4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, Calif. 95841
        (916) 484-8011

      • San Joaquin Delta College
        5151 Pacific Ave Stockton, CA 95207

      • Palomar Community College District
        1140 West Mission Road, San Marcos, CA 92069
        (760) 744-1150

      • Sierra College
        5100 Sierra College Blvd. Rocklin, CA 95677
        (916) 624-3333

      • Laney College
        900 Fallon St Oakland, CA 94607
        Telephone (510) 834-5740

      • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
        400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
        Phone (213) 763-7000; Fax (213) 763-5393

      • Barstow Community College
        2700 Barstow Road Barstow, California 92311
        PHONE 760.252.2411; FAX 760.252.1875

      • Hartnell College
        10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949
        (415) 506-0234

      • Bakersfield College
        Panorama Campus (Main)
        1801 Panorama Drive Bakersfield, CA 93305
        (661) 395-4011




        • University of Southern California
          USC Office of Admission

        • University Park Campus Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911
          Admission and Financial Aid Contact Center (213) 740-1111
          Office of Admission Fax Number (213) 821-0200

        • El Camino Community College District
          16007 Crenshaw Blvd Torrance, CA 90506

        • California State Polytechnic University Pomona
          3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768
          909.869.5299; 909-869-7659

        • Fullerton College
          321 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

        • California State University - Northridge
          18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330

        • San Diego State University
          5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182

If you are looking for an apprenticeship, here are places you can look into:

        • Southwest Carpenters Training Fund
          2831 W. First Street, Santa Ana, (714) 571-0449
          4747 East Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, (805) 323-8759
          412 Dawson Drive, Camarillo, (805) 388-9593
          3250 E. Shelby St. #137, Ontario, (909) 824-9033
          15885 Valleyview Court, Sylmar, (818) 364-7460
          8595 Miralani Drive, Suite C, San Diego, (858) 621-2667
          117 Poole Street, Arroyo Grande, (805) 473-1800
          1360 N Hulbert Ave., Fresno, (559) 266-0273
          800 Chadbourne Road, Fairfield, (707) 399-2880
          485 Woodview Drive, Morgan Hill, (408) 778-1552
          2350 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, (925) 462-9644
          7111 Firestone Blvd., Suite #137, Buena Park, (714) 571-0449

        • Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California (CTCNC)
          Administrative Office
          2350 Santa Rita Road Pleasanton, CA. 94566-4190
          Tel. 925-462-9640; Fax 925-462-8307

        • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
          533 S. Fremont Ave., 10th Fl. Los Angeles, CA 90071
          (213) 385-1457

        • Northern California Regional Council
          265 Hegenberger Road - Suite 200, Oakland, CA, 94621-1418
          Phone: (510) 568-4788, Fax: (510) 568-7916

        • Palomar College
          San Diego Carpenters Training Center
          8595 Miralani Drive, San Diego, CA 92126
          The phone is (858) 621-2667

For Woodworking classes, here are the schools you can enroll at:

        • Essick Woodworking School
          15087 Lost Lane, Grass Valley, CA 95949
          Phone: (530) 264-6062

        • Bakersfield College
          Panorama Campus (Main)
          1801 Panorama Drive Bakersfield, CA 93305
          (661) 395-4011

        • California State University - San Bernardino
          5500 University Pkwy, San Bernardino, CA 92407
          Admissions and Student Recruitment: (909) 537-5188

        • Cerritos College
          11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
          (562) 860-2451 ext 2612

        • El Camino College
          16007 Crenshaw Blvd Torrance, CA 90506

        • Laney College
          900 Fallon St Oakland, CA 94607
          Telephone (510) 834-5740

        • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
          400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
          Phone (213) 763-7000; Fax (213) 763-5393

        • MiraCosta College
          1 Barnard Dr, Oceanside, CA 92056
          Mon.- Thurs. 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          P 760.795.6620

        • University of California – Davis
          1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616
          General Admission Information: 530-752-2971

        • Victor Valley College
          18422 Bear Valley Rd, Victorville, CA 92395
          Helpdesk: (760) 245-4271 ext 2740




How to Choose the Best Carpenter Training School

        • If you are to find a school, find one with a curriculum that covers current building codes and has extensive hands-on training and field experience. If want to be sure, inquire through the phone or personally visit the school. Just make sure that the curriculum of the course is up-to-date and in accordance with the present standard one such example is the California Green Building Standards Code (or CALGreen) as this concerns most new construction projects in residential and commercial (non-residential).

        • Look for a small class size. In a small class size, the instructor can give more attention to each student and work with each individual to improve their skills and talents. Inquire with the school how many are there in a class. Class size is important in making a decision in choosing a school.

        • Find a carpentry school that gives students financial aid or other similar assistance. If you will be enrolling in a community college, you would discover that they offer financial aid to students. A significant amount can be slashed from the tuition. Prior to enrolment, you may ask the school, and see if you can qualify.

        • See personally the school’s facility if it’s up-to-date or are the tools and equipment used in the training are maintained as these are significant factors in learning carpentry. You would not want to enroll in a school with poor facilities and outdated tools and equipment, would you?

        • Know the instructor's qualifications. Now everyone can teach carpentry without good credentials. If you want to assure of this aspect, visit the school, inquire about their instructors’ qualifications, and ask if you could sit in a class to observe. You may talk to enrolled students as they have first-hand experience with the training.

        • Find a school that provides financial aid and other similar support to students. The tuition is not cheap, it will burn a hole in your pocket. If money is an issue for you, you could choose a school that offers such assistance to reduce the cost.

        • Find a school that can get you land a job upon graduation. Oftentimes, contractors in the industry source their workforce from the school, when your goal is to get a job after completing the program, choose a school the can place you for employment.

        • Find a carpentry school that has a good reputation with employers in the industry. Do some research about the school’s reputation. Know what their graduates are saying about their experience or network with colleagues who have knowledge about the school.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend Carpentry Training School

If you will be taking a certificate in carpentry, the cost you have to shoulder is in the ballpark figures of $1,000 - $8,000. If you’re planning to take a much longer program, an associate degree perhaps, it will set you back $8,000 - $21,000.

Completing a program isn’t cheap. This is why choosing a school that provides students with financial aid and other assistance is important.

You will also have to spend money on classroom textbooks which would cost around $600 and on safety gear and other equipment such as aprons, safety boots, rain gear, hard hats and safety glasses, expect to spend around $500.

These figures are all approximate, everything will depend on the school you’ve chosen, the length of the program, and the comprehensiveness of the course.



How do I become a carpenter in this State?

Becoming a carpenter cannot be done overnight – you must have what it takes to be one. If you want to start this career, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Earn a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

If you’re starting from scratch, I would assume that you have a high school diploma or a GED certificate, as its equivalent, which is an important document that will be required from you when you want to apply for an apprenticeship.

The subjects you’ve taken when you were in high school such as blueprint reading, drafting, Algebra, Geometry, and other relevant subjects will be significant to become a carpenter.

2. Find a job as a carpenter helper.

There’s no better way to acquire the skill than to get your hands dirty. If you will work as a carpenter helper, you have the best chance to obtain much-needed hands-on experience by working with older and experienced carpenters in the field. We could say that it is on-the-job training to gain and improve your skills. Please do remember that this is a significant aspect as practical experience will be needed if you want to become an apprentice.

3. If you don’t want to be a carpenter helper, you can enroll in a short carpentry course.

Again, experience and familiarity with the trade are important that’s why enrolling in a short course is an absolute must if you don’t want to be a carpenter helper. The list of community colleges and trade schools are listed above, please refer to that.

4. Apply for an apprenticeship program.

The previous steps you’ve taken as essential in getting accepted to an apprenticeship program. By becoming an apprentice, you learn the trade at the same earn an entry-level wage. Although, it will take 3-4 years to complete the program it is the best way to get higher pay and advancement along the way. Please refer below for the requirements you need in order to apply.

As an apprentice, you will be required to finish 48 months of training or which is equivalent to 4,800 work hours fieldwork experience, and completion of 600 hours of classroom training.




Requirements to Apply for the Apprenticeship Program

              • Applicants must be at least 18 years old
              • Must have a valid driver’s license issued in this state
              • Applicant must have a minimum of eighth-grade math skills
              • Applicant must have a document showing legal status for staying in the country
              • Applicant must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
              • Applicant must be in good physical and health condition as he is required to complete all phases of the program.

How to Get into an Apprenticeship Program

Getting into an apprenticeship program represents another way to become a carpenter. If you chose this, here are two ways to get accepted into the program:

              • We always advocate aspiring carpenters to go first in a training school, why? The simple answer is that many of them have connections with unions and contractors in the industry that can refer you to.

              • Although, if you go by the rules, many industry organizations and construction companies hire, or should we say accept, promising candidates to be part of their workforce as apprentices. Just be on the lookout for their openings, you can visit their websites or get news from friends as the vacancies are on a first-come-first-serve basis and with limited slots.

              • Through industry unions - Southwest Carpenters Training, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California, and Northern California Regional Council are the places you can apply to. Again, their openings are on a first-come-first-served basis, you have to be an early bird to apply for their program.

If You Want to Work as a Union Carpenter, Here's The Wage 

According to ZipRecruiter, as of March 17, 2021, if you will work as a union carpenter in the state of California, expect to receive an annual wage of $51,215, if you're going to translate that, your weekly wage is $985 and $24.62 per hour. 

If you will work independently, you could make it much better. But, don't forget that being in the union does entail advantages such as extensive hands-on training, you'll join the "available to work list", and better benefits. 



Carpenter Salary in California for the Year 2023

If you ask how much a journeyman carpenter salary California, it is at the average of $68,087 but it ranges from $58,839 and $78,839 depending on important factors such as experience in this field and the location where you will be working. These figures are according to the July 25, 2023 latest report of If you will work in the neighboring state of the Nevada, the salary is lower.

It has been reported that the job outlook for this trade will grow 8% until the year 2026 this is the result of the growing population and boom of the construction industry.


Learning the skills of the trade will allow you to pursue different paths that why people are attracted to get into this profession. But just like any other job, you have to have the skills for the job.

There are a number of carpentry schools in California where you can register in to take the program. Just be sure that you are getting into the right one.

We always wish you good luck and be safe!

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