Start your journey to become a carpenter

Program: Fundamentals of Carpentry 1



Program length: 20 Weeks

Start date: January 13, 2025 (Fort Smith)


  • Certificate


  • Classroom
  • Lab

Program Description

The Fundamentals of Carpentry 1 program is 20 weeks in length and is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to pursue entry-level employment and/or an apprenticeship in Carpentry. Students participating in the program will gain desirable employment skills that employers seek. The technical aspect of the program is delivered through a combination of classroom theory and hands-on shop work covering all the course material in the first year Carpenter Apprentice program. In addition, students will also acquire the necessary safety certifications to work in the field.

Program Eligibility

Applicants may be admitted into the Fundamentals of Carpentry program based on one of the following pathways: academic pathway or experiential/mature student pathway.

Academic Pathway

Applicants may be considered for admission who:

  • Are 18 years of age or older;
  • Have successfully completed English 10-2; and
  • Have successfully completed Math 10C or have 65 percent or higher in Math 10-3; and
  • Have successfully completed Science 10.

Applicants who have completed the Aurora College Occupations and College Access Program (OCAP) Trades Pathway and have:

  • A minimum of 60 percent in Aurora College English 130; and
  • A minimum of 60 percent in Aurora College Math 140; and
  • A minimum of 60 percent in Aurora College Science 140.

Equivalencies and other post-secondary education may be considered.

Mature Student/Experiential Pathway

Applicants who are 20 years or older, have been out of school for at least one year, and have relevant work/life experience in the carpentry field may be considered for admission. Eligibility for the program may be determined through an interview, an assessment of English and math, a review of the applicant’s resume, or other means.

Regardless of the pathway for admission, all applicants must:

  • Submit official transcripts from high school and/or post-secondary education, as applicable.

Depending on the applicant’s pathway, they may be requested to:

  • Submit a resume or other evidence of relevant work/life experience.
  • Participate in an interview.
  • Complete an assessment of English and math.

Applicant Assessment

Applicants must complete and Aurora College application form and provide high school and/or other official post-secondary transcripts. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applicants who are currently enroled in one or more of the required academic courses for admission are encouraged to apply early and provide transcripts that demonstrate that they are currently registered in these courses. Applicants may receive a conditional acceptance that is dependent on their successful completion of the required courses.

Applicants who are conditionally accepted will be required to provide a final transcript upon completion of the required courses to be fully accepted.

Program Admission

Applicants will be admitted to this program based on how well they meet the program eligibility requirements, on the date of application, eligibility requirements/pathways and on space availability. Program applicants must be physically capable of performing the work involved in the Carpentry trade. In the selection of students, preference will be given to students with an aptitude and a desire to be employed in the Carpentry trade.

Priority may be given to applicants who have resided in the Northwest Territories for at least one year prior to the date of the program. Additionally, applicants who are currently enroled in the Aurora College Occupations and College Access Program (OCAP), Trades Pathway are encouraged to apply early and prior to completion of their program. To be given priority in the selection process, applicants must have submitted a complete* application. Applications will be processed based on the date that their application is complete*.

* A complete application is one in which contains all required documentation (eg. application, transcripts, letter of reference) and all requested documentation (eg. additional documentation that supports your eligibility that is requested for your application).

Program Information

The program is designed for people interested in pursuing entry-level employment and/or apprenticeship in the Carpentry field. This program will equip students with job readiness skills, theoretical knowledge, technical skill and safety training that potential employers seek giving them an advantage over others without any exposure or experience interested in the trade.

Students are exposed to the program concepts through a combination of in-class instruction, individual/group study and a hands-on shop component covering the practical applications of the trade.

Students who successfully pass this program will be eligible to write the Apprenticeship Carpenter Level 1 Exam. After becoming a registered NWT apprentice and with their employer’s recommendation, students who pass the Level 1 Theory Exam will receive 480 hours work experience towards their apprenticeship.

Program Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, students will:

  1. Develop valuable employment and study skills;
  2. Be prepared for employment in the workplace;
  3. Describe safe work practices related to jobsite conditions;
  4. Describe various building materials used in the construction industry;
  5. Describe and safely use hand and power tools related to the carpentry trade;
  6. Describe and identify site preparation and building layout;
  7. Describe and construct residential footing forms;
  8. Describe and construct residential foundation forms;
  9. Describe and construct residential floor frame systems.


Completion Requirements

Students must demonstrate acceptable life skills such as punctuality, attendance, and attitude and successfully complete all portions of the program.

Students must achieve a theory mark of 65 percent or greater in each course, obtain a shop mark of 65 percent or greater and complete all assigned work.

A student who is absent for more than 5 percent of the total time of the course may be terminated from the training.

Document of Recognition

Aurora College Certificate of Completion