Building Trades-Carpentry students are trained to construct residential structures using both standard and sustainable building materials. Students will prepare for this career through a blend of classroom theory and hands-on experience. Students will become adept at using hand tools, portable power tools, and other equipment common in the carpentry profession, as well as working with lumber, panel products, concrete, roofing materials, fasteners, and a variety of hardware. The skills needed for site layout and foundation work, rough framing, roof framing, and exterior and interior finish work will also be developed. In addition, blueprint reading, math, and estimating components will be studied.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you like making things and working with your hands? Are you detail-oriented and do you enjoy physical work in the outdoors? A career in Building Trades-Carpentry may be for you.

    Students entering the Building Trades-Carpentry program should:

    • Enjoy hard physical work.
    • Enjoy working outdoors at times.
    • Be able to lift 100 pounds.
    • Have good hand eye coordination.
    • Be concerned with detail and accuracy.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma, requiring a minimum of one year to complete.
    • Day classes.
    • High school articulation courses accepted.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Classes start in August.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Math
    • Technical education courses

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.

    Additional requirements

    Students must have eyewear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.

  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Use hand and power tools and equipment
    • Apply industry recognized safety practices and procedures
    • Analyze sustainable building practices
    • Interpret construction drawings
    • Interpret building codes
    • Demonstrate industry building practices and material application
    • Attain the OSHA 30-hour Construction certification as an orientation to occupational safety and health for workers.
  • Career Opportunities
  • The U.S. Department of Labor and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development statistics show that carpenters will continue to be in strong demand as both one of the top 30 occupations with the most annual openings and occupations with the most employed. Local job market data also supports the need for entry-level carpenters who have a good foundational background of knowledge and skills along with a desire to work. Carpenters may work alone or for small or large contractors. They may specialize in certain aspects of the trade such as rough or finish carpentry, remodeling, or repair work. They may build residential, agricultural, and/or commercial buildings.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    Building Trades - Carpentry Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
    (Demonstration)
    Challenge Exam
    (Standard)
    CLEP Credential Portfolio
    31-804-305Applied MathematicsYes
    College Mathematics CLEP Test would also be accepted.