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Assiniboine’s nine-month Carpentry and Woodworking certificate pre-apprenticeship program that prepares graduates with key employment skills to work in both carpentry and cabinetmaking. 

Register as an apprentice within two years of completing the program, and you may be granted credit towards Level 1 Carpenter apprenticeship as you continue to gain valuable industry experience. 

Carpenters construct, renovate and repair residential, civil, institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) structures made of wood, steel, concrete and other materials. They can work for construction and renovation companies, property managers, building developers, pre-fabrication plants and government departments. Carpenters may work in a union or non-union environment or be self-employed. 

They must be prepared to work in a variety of working environments. Carpentry can be a physically and mentally demanding occupation requiring the lifting of heavy tools and materials. Safety is of prime importance to all carpenters. Experienced carpenters may advance to supervisory positions or become independent contractors. 

Program Learning Outcomes 

  • Complete work in compliance with provincial and/or national codes, applicable laws, standards and ethical practices in industry. 
  • Comply with health and safety practices and procedures in accordance with current legislation and regulations. 
  • Interpret project plans and produce shop drawings to support construction and renovation projects. 
  • Select a range of materials and equipment for their appropriate application to building construction and renovation projects. 
  • Select, maintain and safely use hand tools, and portable and stationary power tools, when performing layout, cutting, fitting and assembly operations, and standard woodworking machinery. 
  • Solve problems related to the implementation of building construction and renovation projects by using basic mathematics, building design and building science. 
  • Apply surface preparation, stains and finishes to specifications. 
  • Construct cabinetry projects according to specifications, plans and cutting lists. 
  • Use a variety of layout and joinery techniques to design and construct projects. 
  • Complete building and renovation projects, ranging from site layout and footings to the application of interior and exterior finishes. 
  • Develop and use strategies for ongoing professional development to remain current with industry changes, enhance work performance and explore career opportunities. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with diverse clients, supervisors, coworkers and tradespersons to complete projects on time and to maintain effective working relationships. 

Examples of what carpenters can do: 

  • Read and interpret blueprints and specifications to determine requirements and calculate materials. 
  • Prepare layouts in conformance with building codes, using measuring tools. 
  • Measure, cut, shape, assemble and join a variety of materials. 
  • Construct foundations, install floor systems and erect wall and roof systems. 
  • Fit and install finishing components, such as wall and floor coverings, doors, stairs, moulding and hardware. 

Examples of what cabinetmakers do: 

  • Build furniture and cabinets from specifications and drawings. 
  • Operate woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, mortisers and shapers. Use hand tools to cut, shape and form parts and components. 
  • Assemble components using glue and clamps, and reinforce joints using nails, screws or other fasteners. 
  • Sand wooden surfaces, apply veneer, stain or polish to finished products. 
  • Repair or refurbish wooden furniture, fixtures and related products and estimate amount, type and cost of materials required. 

Success Factors 

You might be a good fit for this program if you have or would enjoy: 

  • Working with wood and other materials to construct, install, and repair structures and fixtures. 
  • Thinking creatively and finding solutions to unexpected problems. 
  • Managing projects and time effectively to meet deadlines. 
  • A physically demanding occupation. 
  • Envisioning and building projects. 
  • Working in a collaborative team environment or independently as the situation requires. 

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for practicum placement. 

The industry and program environment require individuals to: 

  • Be reliable, punctual, and regularly attend. 
  • Move around and work within the environment, navigate different areas including stairs and ladders, confined spaces, heights, uneven terrain and scaffolds. 
  • Complete tasks requiring standing, kneeling, bending, and climbing. 
  • Have the strength, dexterity, balance and stamina required to work in or on equipment. 
  • Work in noisy, dusty and/or fume-filled areas with appropriate personal protective equipment. 
  • Interpret documents, drawings, specifications, building codes, regulations, bylaws and standards. 
  • Communicate effectively with suppliers, co-workers, other trades people, safety and building inspectors, and customers.  
  • Work in industry-specific shifts, schedules, and conditions. 
  • Listen to direction and act accordingly. 
  • Demonstrate safety-conscious attitudes and work practices. 
  • Work outdoors in extreme weather conditions.


  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Consumer/Essential Mathematics 40S or equivalent

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, please read our Helpful Information for International Applicants prior to applying to this program. 

Program Considerations

To be successful in this program and industry, it is important for you to be able to:

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including hardhat, safety glasses and steel toe boots
  • Work outdoors in extreme warm and cold weather conditions (+30°C to -40°C)
  • Use ladders and work at varying heights
  • Work as part of a team
  • Take direction from a supervisor
  • Be punctual and attend class on a regular basis

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for practicum placement

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

  • Residential and commercial construction
  • Contracting companies
  • Material merchandiser
  • Prefabrication centres
  • Maintenance companies
  • Cabinet making facilities 


Students who successfully complete the accredited program with an accumulative average of 70% or better in the trade subjects and level for which the program was accredited, gain employment and register as an apprentice within two years of graduating, will receive credit for Level 1 in-school technical training and 900 hours in the Carpenter apprenticeship program.

Assiniboine has a number of agreements with other colleges, universities and professional organizations, making it possible to apply credit taken at Assiniboine to programs at other institutions. For up-to-date information on agreements, visit the Articulation Agreements page.

Tools & Supplies

Textbooks and supplies for all of our programs and courses may be purchased at the Assiniboine Bookstore

Our classrooms, labs and shops are equipped with the necessary equipment that you need to make the most of your experience. However, there are some tools and supplies that you will need to purchase for personal use to help you with your studies. Much of what you purchase you’ll be able to use after you graduate and begin your career.  

Students are advised not to purchase tools until the second week of school. The School of Trades holds a Tool Fair during this week where students meet with various suppliers and purchase tools at reduced costs. 

Program Checklist and Textbooks/Supplies

Technology Requirements

Programs at Assiniboine have certain technology requirements. Students require access to computer devices at home and may be required to bring these on campus when instructed. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech  for more detailed information about the requirements for this program. 

Courses & Costs


Estimated Program Costs (Domestic students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse feesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Estimated textbooks, tools and supplies
Carpentry and Woodworking79.5$4,710$2,650$600$1,930

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

Estimated Program Costs (International students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse FeesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Required Health InsuranceTextbooks, Tools, & Supplies
Carpentry and Woodworking79.5$20,730$2,650$600$750$1,930

All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice. All international students must purchase health insurance. The college adds this fee to your student account and then sends your name and fee to the insurance provider on your behalf.


To graduate with a Carpentry and Woodworking certificate, students must successfully complete 76.5 academic credits and 3 practical credits. The minimum passing grade for each course is indicated on the course outline. Course offerings are subject to change and may vary by intake.

Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
Blueprint Reading (CARPW) (DRFT-0001)

This course provides the fundamental skills necessary for students to become familiar with architectural blueprints.

3 credit(s) No No No
Building Layout (CPWW-0013)

Students work with tools and levelling instruments and learn the procedures to locate a building site, stake out, establish levels, plan for excavation and landscaping, and begin forming.

1.5 credit(s) No No No
Building Materials (CPWW-0004)

Properties and structure of wood are studied in this course, followed by orientation in the types, standard sizes and characteristics of the basic materials of construction.

1.5 credit(s) No No No
Building Science (SCIE-0007)

This course begins by focusing on the concepts of understanding the house as a system. Students then study thermal insulation requirements, types and applications, including energy-efficient construction techniques.

1.5 credit(s) No No No
Cabinet Making (CPWW-0008)

Prerequisite: CPWW-0070 Woodworking Machines 2
In this extension of the machine woodworking program, students study and apply the cabinet maker's craft.

9 credit(s) No No No
College Foundations (PEDV-0356)

This course improves students’ ability to navigate the college experience and environment, including student's rights, roles, and responsibilities. In this course, students reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and develop learning strategies to help them to become successful, resilient, and self-directed learners. The course covers topics such as success in online learning, time management strategies, learning strategies, assessment taking strategies, academic integrity, information and digital literacy, and wellness, among others. It integrates elements of student orientation.

0 credit(s) No No No
Communications (COMM-0260)

This course includes instruction in techniques to improve both written and oral communication with prospective employers, co-workers and clients. Effective strategies for customer service are emphasized. It also serves to familiarize students with the regulations related to the workplace. As well, students receive an introduction to the use of computer software and hands-on experience with Windows operating system, Internet and email.

1.5 credit(s) No No No
Concrete Forming Technology (CPWW-0067)

Study the characteristics of quality concrete, its mixture, transport, placement, finishing and curing. Other course material includes forming for footings, walls.

4.5 credit(s) No No No
Construction Safety (WRKP-0030)

Along with instruction in erection and use of staging and ladders, students become familiar with ropes, rigging and hand signals, as well as construction site health and safety hazards and appropriate personal protection devices.

3 credit(s) No No No
Construction Trades Geometry (MATH-0123)

Review of basic geometry skills required for working in the construction trades.

3 credit(s) No No No
Exterior Finishing (CPWW-0009)

Students participate in the application of various types of exterior wall cladding, cornice trim and roof coverings. The course also includes door and window selection, construction and installation.

6 credit(s) No No No
Hand Tools (CPWW-0031)

This course, along with Woodworking Machines, is a prerequisite to all program elements. It teaches students how to select, care for and use the tools of the trade, and provides instruction in basic procedures.

9 credit(s) No No No
Interior Finishing (CPWW-0010)

In this course, students learn to select and apply interior finishes for walls, ceilings and floors. Students hang an interior door in one of several modes, install trim and study decorative details.

3 credit(s) No No No
Practicum - CARP (PRAC-0031)

Prerequisite: Cumulative weighted grade point average (CWGPA) of 2.0 or greater
Students spend approximately three weeks on the job to gain experience in an industrial environment. Credit is subject to approval of the work experience by a designated faculty member. The student must submit evidence that the work has been successfully completed.

3 credit(s) No No No
Roof Framing (CPWW-0007)

Prerequisite: MATH-0123 Construction Trades Geometry
In this course, students learn how to calculate, lay out, cut and install rafters for equal slope gable and hip roofs.

6 credit(s) No No No
Shop Layout (CPWW-0003)

This course enables students to develop the skills needed to prepare shop drawings using drafting conventions and commonly available shop tools.

3 credit(s) No No No
Stair Building (CPWW-0068)

Prerequisites: MATH-0123 Construction Trades Geometry, CPWW-0070 Woodworking Machines 2
This course includes stair calculations, governing codes, layout procedures, standard and special materials, and basic construction of stairs and stringers.

4.5 credit(s) No No No
Wood Frame Construction (CPWW-0005)

Students learn terminology, techniques and applicable codes relating to wood frame house construction. Practical elements include joist and plate layout and construction of floor, wall and ceiling components.

6 credit(s) No No No
Woodworking Machines 1 (CPWW-0069)

Prerequisite: CPWW-0031 Hand Tools
This course introduces students to basic stationary and portable power equipment through introductory machine woodworking exercises.

4.5 credit(s) No No No
Woodworking Machines 2 (CPWW-0070)

Prerequisites: CPWW-0069 Woodworking Machines 1, CPWW-0031 Hand Tools
In this course, students study woodworking machines in detail through demonstration and programmed exercises. The course also includes a breakdown of advanced woodworking procedures.

6 credit(s) No No No

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.