Carpentry Courses - Online Training | Penn Foster Career School

Online Carpentry Training Program

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Carpentry Career Diploma Overview

You can learn how to become a carpenter with Penn Foster Career School's Carpentry diploma program in as little as five months. The curriculum in this online training program includes practical hands-on exercises, as well as a work experience option that allows you to get real-world experience by applying the skills you've learned at a local facility in your community under the guidance of a building professional.

Carpentry jobs are expected to increase 24% in the coming years, which is much faster than the average occupation.¹ With Penn Foster Career School, you can train at home at a pace that’s right for you. This program also includes tools and learning aids, such as an architect scale, construction print set, and instructional videos. When you graduate, you'll receive two reference textbooks: Finish Carpentry and Smart Business for Contractors.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students for an entry-level career as a carpenter in the residential and light commercial construction fields.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Comprehend design techniques and principles in the production and interpretation of basic blueprints and architectural drawings to follow specifications and meet the needs of clients
  • Understand composition and usage of construction materials and the processes and tools required for assembly
  • Understand measurement methods and mathematical processes necessary to prepare and implement construction-related projects
  • Know formulas and their applications to determine quantities and sizes of construction materials and their related installation processes
  • Recall established rules and regulations related to the workplace and project requirements
  • Recognize how to solve problems by adjusting project plans including types and installation methods of materials and related equipment

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Introduction to the Building Trades


  • Learn about career opportunities in the carpentry industry and the demand for skilled workers.
  • Describe professional organizations.
  • Address safety concerns.

Unit 2

Math for Trades


  • Learn basic math skills encountered in the carpentry field.
Practical Exercise 1

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Unit 3

Understanding Construction Drawings


  • Read blueprints.
  • Study floor plans, sections and elevations, and plot and foundation plans.
Building Codes and Building Layout


  • Understand zoning, codes, permits, and inspections required in construction.
  • Describe building layout techniques, foundation lines, and the use of leveling tools.
Lumber, Building Materials, and Fasteners


  • Describe types of wood and lumber and how to inspect for quality.
  • Explore types of engineered panels and lumber products.
  • Learn about fastening tools.
Practical Exercise 2

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Additional Unit Materials

Textbook: Carpentry

Supplement: How to Use Your Architect Scale


  • Architect scale
  • Construction print set

Unit 4

Hand Tools and Power Tools


  • Describe the types of hand tools for layout, boring, fastening, and dismantling.
  • Describe various types of power tools, including saws, drills, drivers, planes, routers, sanders, staplers, and nailers.
Foundations and Concrete Work


  • Explore the procedures for creating and using concrete.
  • Understand how to repair drainage problems.
  • Describe the types of foundations.
Practical Exercise 3

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Additional Unit Material

Textbook: Foundations and Concrete Work

Unit 5

Floor Framing


  • Describe types of frame construction.
  • Understand the layout and construction of the floor frame.
  • Prevent termite attacks.
Wall and Stair Framing


  • Describe the procedures, tools, and parts for framing interior and exterior walls.
  • Learn how to erect scaffolding and ladders.
  • Construct and frame stairways and stairwells.
Roof Styles, Framing, and Finishing


  • Outline the procedures for constructing roofs and cornices.
  • Explore the techniques used to calculate the pitch of a roof.
  • Describe the techniques for framing common roof styles.
Practical Exercise 4

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Additional Unit Materials


  • Framing Floors & Stairs
  • Framing Walls
  • Framing Roofs

Unit 6

Windows, Doors, and Insulation


  • Explore the procedures for installing windows, exterior doors, and insulation.
  • Describe the importance of proper ventilation.
Siding, Porches, and Decks


  • Explain the procedure for applying siding.
  • Understand the construction of porches and decks.
  • Describe the necessary tools and supplies for siding, porches, and decks.
Practical Exercise 5

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Additional Unit Material

Video: Building Decks

Unit 7

Drywall Techniques


  • Describe the necessary tools and materials for drywall.
  • Learn about hanging techniques and the procedures for taping and sanding.
Interior Finish


  • Describe the types of interior doors.
  • Explain installation methods, application of trim, and finishing stairs.
Finish Floors and Ceilings


  • Describe the types and layouts of tile and wood floors.
  • Install suspended or tile ceilings.
Practical Exercise 6

At this point in your program, you will have a practical exercise to complete.

Additional Unit Materials

Textbook: Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results

Supplement: Work Experience Option

Video: Drywall Hanging & Taping

Graduation Gift

When you graduate, you'll receive...


  • Finish Carpentry
  • Smart Business for Contractors

(Sent to you when all program requirements and financial obligations have been met.)

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a sample lesson from our carpentry courses, click here.

Carpenter Program Details

In the Penn Foster Career School online carpenter program, you'll study topics such as:

Start your online carpentry training courses today by contacting an admissions specialist or enroll now.

Carpenter Student Discount Program

Woodworkers Guild of America Video Resources
Students enrolled in the Carpentry Career Diploma Training Program are eligible for discounted rates for the Woodworkers Guild of America premium online how-to videos. This video resource site can serve as a supplement to your Penn Foster Career School program, but is not required to complete your coursework. Learn more about this offer here.


State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Online Carpentry Training

Carpenters can work independently or for a contractor. Carpenters install and repair windows, molding, drywall, and build frames for buildings, homes, and construction sites. Here are a few qualities that successful carpenters have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Problem solver: Finding the missing piece can be rewarding and fun.
  • Independent: You create your own schedule with little to no supervision.
  • Persistent: You work until the job is done, and done well.
  • Honest: You are ethical in your work for customers.

I graduated from the Carpenter, Home Inspector, Residential Electrician, HVAC Technician, Plumber, and Landscaping Technology Programs. They are all excellent programs! Penn Foster programs are great!

- Alfred P., Carpenter Graduate

I would like to say that enrolling with Penn Foster Career School was the best choice that I ever made. I just have to say 'Thank You' to Penn Foster for achieving my goal.

- Francisco C., Penn Foster Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids, including an architect scale, construction print set, and videos
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Carpenter academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising
  • Woodworkers Guild of America Video Resources Student Discount Program

What is the work experience option for the Carpenter Career Diploma Program?

Penn Foster Career School will give you time during your program to locate a facility in your local community, at which you can complete work experience and earn a separate certificate of completion showing documented work experience, in addition to your career diploma.

What areas does the Carpenter Career Diploma Program cover? (i.e. cabinet making vs. roof repair vs. table making, etc.)

The Carpenter Career Diploma Program will review skills relevant to the construction field, including blueprint reading, site preparation, and building layouts. A detailed overview of the program can be viewed as part of the program outline.

More FAQs >

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook," 2014-15 Edition, Carpenters, on the Internet here. Statistics found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are based on national data, so job growth in your area may be different.

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