cutting boards resting on a table in the woodshop

Connecticut Technical Education and Career System’s Carpentry course breakdown by grade. Each student is required to complete four years of a Career Technical Education program.

Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
3 credits 3 credits 3 credits 3 credits
Exploratory and Introduction to Carpentry Cabinetry/Millwork Carpentry – Residential Construction Carpentry – Residential and Commercial Construction

Students deciding to enter the field of Carpentry will be introduced to the basics of safety and sanitation, as well as use and care of hand tools, power tools and stationary equipment. Fabrication methods are initiated with an introduction to wood types, quality and applications. Students start with small woodworking projects, which lead up to more complex assignments.

In Grade 10, the carpentry program is designed to provide students with practical information in the art of cabinetmaking. This course builds on the knowledge acquired in Grade 9 and provides students with the introductory-level skills necessary in the cabinetry industry using both theory and practice involving the production of practical projects. Safety, advanced power tools and stationary machinery are taught and reinforced continually throughout the course sequence. Upon completion of this course, students must demonstrate the application of sound safety practices, the ability to identify and use hand tools appropriately, the use of basic operations on stationary equipment and the ability to identify common fasteners and construction materials. They are also required to demonstrate their cabinetmaking skills, common trade ethics and workplace readiness, as well as perform clean-up and debris removal.

The Grade 11 program is designed to introduce students to residential construction. Students are instructed in all areas of safety, including ladder, scaffolding, trenching and the use of safety harnesses. Students are introduced to the State of Connecticut Building Code and learn the theoretical knowledge needed to lay out rafters, stairs and walls. Students will demonstrate knowledge of blueprint reading, including foundations, concrete, floor plans, specification schedules and electrical, plumbing and mechanical symbols. Students will perform residential construction projects for customers. The students will show entry-level skills in all facets of residential construction. Students reaching an acceptable level of proficiency may be eligible for Work-based Learning (WBL).

In Grade 12, the course sequence is designed to build on the skills learned in Grades 9, 10 and 11. Students will continue with residential dwelling construction and light commercial construction skills will be introduced. Rigging and hauling safety, in addition to safety mastered in the previous years, is stressed. Students will demonstrate knowledge of exterior trim and siding types, energy conservation in residential construction, design of stairs and rafter building. They will comprehend knowledge of building codes and planning and zoning regulations. Students will be taught how to estimate both materials and construction costs, as well as demonstrate and articulate positive customer relations. Students will continue to participate in outside production projects on residential construction and demonstrate basic knowledge in applying drywall materials and stair-building skills. They will demonstrate advanced knowledge in designing and erecting wall partitions, applying roofing materials and installing common siding and interior finish. Students will demonstrate the ability to complete a job application, to interview and to perform entry-level job readiness and trade skills. Students reaching an acceptable level of proficiency may be eligible for Work-based Learning (WBL). Each student will take the Senior Summative Assessment, which is a computerized interactive test.

Students successfully completing this course of study will be able to pursue a two-year construction technology degree or a four-year engineering degree. Students can obtain immediate employment in the carpentry field. Employment opportunities in residential and commercial construction include: framing, remodeling, cabinetry and millwork, custom woodworking, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) operator, drywall hanger/finisher, concrete formwork, yacht woodworking, roofers, siding installers, flooring installers, furniture maker refinishers, general construction worker, facilities maintenance construction labors and lumber supply employment.