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Carpentry Certificate - Fast Track

Get the skills and hands-on training you need to work as a carpenter in this accelerated program.

A carpentry student is wearing safety glasses and brown coveralls. She is cutting a wooden board using a mitre saw.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
27 Weeks

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Skilled trades workers are in high demand in Nova Scotia. In this accelerated program, you learn the skills and knowledge you need to join the workforce as a carpenter, sooner. 

You'll learn:

  • Many aspects of the carpentry trade, including how to construct and install wood products that meet national and local building codes.
  • Construction safety and industry practices. 
  • How to apply your skills and knowledge in a real work setting, including during your work term experience. 

This program is designed to train and prepare work-ready carpenters in half the time of our Carpentry Certificate program. To qualify for this accelerated program, students must have strong, working English and Math skills. 

This program begins in May and ends in November. Classes continue through the summer.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities

Study options

Choose NSCC

  • This program provides partial level 1 transfer credit with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) and prepares you to work as a registered apprentice in a faster time frame. 
  • Small class sizes mean you get more direct guidance from our expert faculty who bring years of experience and strong industry connections to the classroom.
  • You learn the latest practices and technologies that employers require. This program is designed with the input of industry leaders to ensure you get current and relevant skills.
  • You experience practical, hands-on learning.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • As the demand increases for construction trades, so does the demand for qualified carpenters. Graduates help fill the demand for qualified carpenters in the new housing and commercial construction market. Other opportunities exist in the renovation industry.
  • Learn more about labour market information. View career options

Future study options

  • Graduates may register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) once employed. Apprenticeship is an optional but beneficial journey that combines on-the-job learning with technical training.
  • Red Seal Endorsement - individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are eligible to take    the inter-provincial exam. A Red Seal allows a certified tradespersons to practice the trade in any province or territory in Canada, where the trade is designated.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

CARF 1000 - Construction Safety
This course is designed to provide an overview of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) as applied to the carpentry trade as well as the knowledge and skills that will allow students to work safely. This course includes Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) and construction-specific safety regulations (fall protection, scaffolding). The course emphasizes the need to wear personal protection equipment and the importance of safe use and maintenance of equipment.

CARF 1001 - Hand Tools
This course is designed to teach the selection, safe use and care for a wide-variety of hand tools and non-powered equipment. Also included will be the use of fasteners and wood joints as used to securely join materials in carpentry projects. The application of safe work habits and good housekeeping in a workshop setting will be included.

CARF 1002 - Portable Power Tools
This course is designed to introduce common portable power tools used in the carpentry trade. Students will use tools in a workshop setting for a variety of tasks, Inspection, are and maintenance of portable power tools will be addressed. Safe procedures will be covered and stressed throughout the course.

CARF 1003 - Foundations I (Site Layout)
This course is designed to include the fundamental principles of site layout, the theory of basic footing forms and foundations. Safe excavation practices will be emphasized and covered in detail.

CARF 1004 - Foundations II (Forms and Footings)
This course is designed to introduce basic footing forms and theory of foundations. Building on CARF 1003, this course will examine form construction and estimation of quantities is included. Energy efficient principles will be discussed.

CARF 1005 - Stationary Power Tools
This course is designed to cover the safe and efficient operation of the stationary power tools used in the carpentry trade. Students will be evaluated on safe practices and accuracy in the use of this equipment.

CARF 1006 - Framing I
This course is designed to enable the learner to layout and assemble floor, deck, and wall systems. Energy efficient principles will be discussed.

CARF 1007 - Construction Drawings
This course is designed to enable students to determine the location, size, shape, and type of materials required for residential buildings. Students will also be able to sketch drawings using trade symbols and interpret basic orthographic and isometric presentations.

CARF 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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