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Carpentry Foundation

24-week certificate

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: January 2017 Comox Valley,
  • Develop essential skills in residential framing, footing and wall forming, site layout, work site safety and more to become an apprentice carpenter in BC's booming construction industry.
  • Be in demand: The BC 2024 Labour Economic Outlook predicts carpenters will be the third most in demand occupational group requiring post-secondary training in BC, with more than 11,200 job openings available to 2024.
  • Earn apprenticeship technical training credit toward Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification.
  • Interested in woodwork or furniture design? See Joinery/Cabinetmaking.

Career possibilities: Graduates will find employment as apprentice carpenters in residential, commercial or industrial construction. Work may include, but would not be limited to, framer, finisher, carpenters’ assistant and home renovation.


Why Choose North Island College?

  • Industry recognized training. NIC is an Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved training provider for this entry-level program in the Interprovincial (Red Seal) trade of carpentry.
  • Great instructors. NIC Carpentry instructors are qualified and experienced trades people. Employers will recognize your skills and accreditations as a mark of quality.
  • A great head start. This program will develop hand tool, power tool and machine tool skills and overall carpentry knowledge, including stair and rafter theory and fabrication.
  • World class facilities. You will practice in one of the best-equipped trades training facilities in the province, and enjoy competitively low tuition rates, while getting a top quality education. Classes in the Comox Valley are held in the LEED® Gold certified trades training facility.

Program Highlights

NIC's 24-week Carpentry Foundation program is the standard provincial program for entry into the carpentry trade and is well-recognized by the residential and commercial building industries. During the program, you will develop the carpentry skills and knowledge needed for employment in the construction industry.

The program follows the BC Provincial Apprenticeship Level 1 program competencies, while also providing significant time for practical hands-on skill development. 

Upon successful graduation, you will receive an NIC Carpentry Foundation certficate and, upon entering into an apprenticeship, you will be eligible to receive credit for Level 1 technical training and 450 hours of work based credit toward your apprenticeship hours requirement.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program find employment as apprentice carpenters, in residential, commercial or industrial construction. Work may include concrete forming, framing, exterior finishing, interior finishing or home renovations.

Supply List

You are responsible for obtaining the following basic supplies and tools:
  • weather appropriate clothing and steel-toed rubber boots
  • 8” steel toe safety boots/shoes
  • safety glasses
  • hard hat
  • ear protection
  • Sharp electronic calculator (# EL-520WBBK or EL-520X)
  • HB pencils
  • hi-lite marker
  • two 2” binders and note paper 
  • drafting equipment: available at the NIC bookstore in a set 
    - Set square – 30/60/90 degree, Staedtler 964 16-60
    - Set square – 45/45/90 degree, Staedtler 964 14-45
    - Scale ruler, Imperial, Architects, Staedtler 987 18-31
    - Scale ruler, Metric, Staedtler 987 18-SI
    - Drawing compass, 559-02
    - Good quality white eraser
    - Non-mechanical pencils in: .3mm lead in 6H lead; .5mm in 2H & 4H lead; .9mm in 2H lead  

Personal tools -  do not purchase until after first day of class as instructor will advise best buys.

  • carpenter apron
  • tape measure 25 foot Imperial and eight metre metric
  • chalk line and reel
  • 2’ level
  • nail puller (cat’s paw)
  • rafter square (steel or aluminum)
  • cross cut handsaw (10 point)
  • utility knife and blades
  • speed square
  • framing hammer 

Admission Requirements

  1. C in English 10, or NIC ENG-035, or equivalent; or C+ in ESL-051, ESL-054 and ESL-057, or CLB 7; or successful NIC assessment testing in English; and
  2. C in one of Principles of Math 10, Applications of Math 11, Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11, Foundations of Math 11 or NIC MAT-034, or equivalent; or successful NIC Math assessment.


Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

To Be Successful

  • You are encouraged to contact the instructor for an in-person or telephone interview. The purpose of the interview is to provide advice, answer questions about the program and discuss various career fields and choices.
  • The most important key to success is the desire to become a quality tradesperson. The traditional values of hard work, reliability, positive attitude and the desire to do quality work are essential to succeed in the program.
  • Trades programs require good hand-eye coordination, good binocular vision, strong abilities in spatial and mechanical reasoning along with good math and communication skills.
  • Many employers require Grade 12 completion as an employment standard. If you do not meet this requirement we encourage you to contact an educational advisor to discuss upgrading or Grade 12 completion options offered at NIC. In addition to the stated prerequisites secondary school equivalent courses in science, physics and drafting are considered an asset.
  • There is also an expectation of physical activities such as lifting, working on ladders and scaffolding or in confined spaces and under various weather conditions.
  • You will be required to stay focused for prolonged periods.
  • The math pre-test link is a review exercise and can be used as an indicator of your current math skills. Should you find you need further support please contact our Student Services department about upgrading classes.


Program Requirements

CFN-100 Introduction to the Carpentry Trade & Apprenticeship Training
CFN-101 Introduction to Essential Workplace Skills for Trades
CFN-102 Introduction to Worksite Safety
CFN-103 Documentation, Codes & Drawings
CFN-104 Carpentry Tools & Equipment – 1
CFN-105 Site Layout and Survey Instruments
CFN-106 Footing & Wall Forming
CFN-107 Residential Framing
CFN-109 Building Science
*OFA-001 WHMIS General
*OFA-010 Occupational First Aid - Level 1 

*Note: Students not having current, valid First Aid and WHMIS certification are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged for First Aid and WHMIS.

Completion Requirements

A minimum average of 70% is required to pass the program.

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2016, Winter, Spring & Summer 2017

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $1,900
NISU Fees $90
Lab Fees $910
Books $705
Learner Resource $100
Health and Dental $275
Total $3,980

International Fees

Year 1
Tuition $8,905
NISU Fees $60
Lab Fees $910
Books $705
Learner Resource $100
Health and Dental $275
Total $10,955
Additional Costs for International Students include the $100 Application fee and the $280 Accommodation Placement fee (optional).

Rob Laird

Rob Laird
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4050 | Location TTB - 113

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Financial Awards Available!

Acklands-Grainger Equipment Award
David Whitworth/Tom Cross Trades Bursary
Michael Pallan Memorial Scholarship
Pythian Order Career, Technical, Vocational Program Bursary
Terry & Phyllis Ryan Trades Bursary

Apply Now