Georgia offers good potential for those who want to enter this profession. Being a carpenter does not happen overnight, it takes a lot of time and effort to earn the skills and experience. Here are the ways you can take to become a carpenter:
- Enroll in the program offered by a trade school or college in your area. Check your local colleges or trade schools in your area for carpentry programs to enroll in. Different trade schools may offer different carpentry curricula, but you will be able to learn the basic skills in carpentry. Hence, the carpentry techniques you learned from YouTube may be different from the skills that were taught in trade schools. However, choosing the right school for carpenters should be considered as well. Check if the carpentry program has a balanced curriculum between classroom discussions and hands-on training. If you plan to enroll in the carpentry school, see the below list.
- Seek an apprenticeship from a skilled and seasoned carpenter. The skills you learned from trade schools are good, but practical carpentry techniques are learned better through apprenticeships. Apply for an apprenticeship with a skilled and professional carpenter in your area and learn the ropes. Not only that you will be able to learn new skills and techniques in carpentry, but the apprenticeship can also give you enough insights into how to handle a carpentry business from the cost of the carpentry work to planning, and the implementation of the carpentry contract. Working side-by-side with a seasoned carpenter will give you a good feel of what it is like being a carpenter in the US. And if carpentry is really your interest, you will earn a decent income from it. If being an apprentice is the route you want to take, see below how to apply.
- Become a helper that works alongside other more experienced carpenters. If you don’t have the time and money yet to take the program, you might consider becoming a helper. It allows you to learn practical skills along with more experienced carpenters. Having such experience would pave the path to getting accepted as an apprentice since unions and employers prefer applicants who have prior experience.
Carpentry Training Schools in this State
- Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust
3500 Atlanta Industrial Dr NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331, Phone: 678-553-4701 ext. 131
3025 Riverwatch Pkwy., Augusta, Georgia 30907, Phone: 706-879-1919
1539 McCollum Pkwy NW, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144, Phone: 706-288-5400
40 Telfair Pl., Savannah, Georgia 31415, Phone: 912-341-0323, Office: 912-341-0341
- South Georgia Technical College
402 North Midway Road, Cordele, Georgia 31015
Phone: 229-271-4040, Main Fax: 229-271-4050
- Columbus Technical College
928 Manchester Expressway, Columbus, GA 31904
- Lanier Technical College
2535 Lanier Tech Drive Gainesville , GA 30507, Phone: 770-533-7000, Fax: 770-531-6328
3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd, Cumming , GA 30041, Phone: 678-341-6600
965 Austin Road, Winder , GA 30680, Phone: 770-297-4500
- Albany Technical College
1704 S. Slappey Blvd. Albany, Ga. 31701
229-430-3500 main phone, 229-430-6180 main fax
Learning Center, HWY 82 East, Cuthbert, GA 39840, 229-732-5280
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College
495 North Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021
- Ashworth College
5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200, Norcross, Georgia 30092
- Savannah Technical College
5717 White Bluff Rd, Savannah, GA 31405,
- Handyman Training School LLC
845 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
- Woodcraft of Atlanta
8560 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Suite 115, Alpharetta, GA 30022
(770) 587-3372, Fax:(770) 587-9068
Things to Take Note Of When Choosing a Training School
- Nowadays, going to school is sometimes financially draining, this is where financial aid comes into play as some schools offer loans, scholarship programs, and financial support to students. So the first thing to consider is if the school that you are about to enroll in is offering such.
- What is the school’s program success rate and are they producing good graduates? The carpentry schools offer programs that might sound interesting to attract more students, but what you need to find out is their program success rate. The high drop-out rate could only mean that the program is not effective/good and the students tend to drop out of the course. You also have to find out many successful graduates they’ve produced in the past.
- Find out their instructors’ credentials. How many years of experience do their instructors have? "What kind of carpentry does he/she teach? These are the questions to ask when making an inquiry.
- You might also want to sit in the classes to observe how the lectures are given. You could also ask other students about their classroom experiences. Are they contented with the program and how the program is being presented to them?
- Choose a school with a modern training facility. You should check the school facilities and the equipment and tools used in the training. Being a carpenter means that you need to know how to use these different types of tools. You have to know if the school has all the essential tools and equipment that you will need to use like hand-held power tools, stationary machines, etc.
- Small class size matters. Also, to maximize learning, you need to know the size of the class that you will be in. A small class means you will get the attention that you need from the instructor. The dissemination of knowledge is faster than those in small classes. Each student will get the chance to engage in the discussion and share opinions on the topics.
- It is also better to check the school's reputation. We all know that in all industries, not just in carpentry, most of companies/employers preferred candidates that graduated from reputable schools. Why is school reputation important? It builds credibility and trust. So if you are a graduate of a top and reputable carpentry school, you will have an advantage. It is also good to know whether the school will help you find a job after graduation.
- Lastly, in choosing a carpentry program, it is better to know how much you would pay for the tuition fees, books, and other stuff ahead of time. Doing so enables you to find out if you can afford tuition in completing the carpentry program from beginning to end.
How to Apply for Apprenticeship Training
Being an apprentice is perhaps the option if you want to become a carpenter. Not only does the program pay well while you’re learning the trade, but also because it exposed you to the actual job giving you the practical experience to hone your skills.
If you want to apply for apprenticeship training in Georgia, you can contact the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust, see above for their contact information. It is on-the-job training but with the presence of classroom training. It takes about 3-4 years to complete the program.
Other training schools (listed above) and contractors also conduct apprenticeship training as well to expand their workforce.
The openings for apprenticeships happen twice a year, so be sure to keep an eye on their websites if want to apply since the registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis.
If you’re asking what would be the career path of being an apprentice, well the opportunities are vast. Upon completion of the program, you earn the journeyman level, what this mean is you can work for an employer as a professional carpenter and if you can build your experience, you can promote to be a site foreman or superintendent.
Ultimately, if you have the credentials or contractor license, you can establish your own contracting firm which I think is the main goal you should attain.
Here are the Basic Requirements You Need to Apply for Apprenticeship
- You must be in good physical and medical condition since the nature of the job is physically exhausting.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You need to have a high school diploma; if you don’t, a GED certificate can be submitted.
- You must a substance abuse test.
- You must have reliable transportation to come to work.
- Completion of Math subjects, the ability to read blueprints will give you an advantage.
To find out more about the carpenter apprenticeship program, read this article.
Do You Need a Certification
Please do take note that certification is not a mandatory requirement if you want to be a carpenter in Georgia, it certainly makes you more marketable and attractive in the eyes of a hiring manager.
If you want to get certified as a carpenter, get an NCCER certification. Taking the certification involves passing the written test and practical exam.
If you would like to get a certification, I recommend taking a preparatory course first. Contact a training school in your location, they might have some programs in line with the NCCER.
Preparation boosts your chance of passing the NCCER certification exams. To find out more, follow this.
Salary of Carpenters in Georgia
According to the latest survey of Salary.Com, the average yearly salary of carpenters who are working in Georgia is $59,898, but since there are factors that come into play, the pay may stretch from $51,762 and $69,357. In South Carolina, the salary is a little lower.
The location or city where you are working in Georgia is a factor in how much pay you would get. Likewise, skills and experience do make a big impact as well. If you’re just starting out in this profession, don’t expect to make as much as those who are in this field for a long time.
Although a carpenter might earn you less than the average of other trades because there is a continuous need for this skill, you have a strong job prospect and outlook. You won’t have a hard time finding a job whatever the season of the year might be.
To Make a Finalization on This
So, assuming that you are done and graduated from a carpentry program, or taken an apprenticeship you may ask, ‘What’s next? Can I already build a career out of carpentry?” Yes, you can. Completing an apprenticeship program is enough to start a career or build your own contracting business. The path to choose is up to you to decide.
Georgia has a lot to offer for carpenters with the demand and growth for this trade, I am sure you won’t be running out of employment opportunities not only in this state but also in other states as well.
We always wish you good luck and be safe!