When you begin a career as a carpenter, you begin a career in a field that rewards creativity and provides a beautiful platform for sustainable income and career growth. What’s more, you can even scale your earnings further by improving your skills and increasing the size of your business.
But before you can do any of these, first, you have to become completely familiar with what the occupation entails in the first place. Luckily, that is the primary objective of this article.
By the time you’re done reading, you will already know everything you need to know about how to become a carpenter in Washington, including where to start, what training options to consider, and how much you can expect to earn every year.
Steps To Become a Carpenter in Washington
Carpenters in Washington often begin by acquiring a high school diploma or GED, which is optional for everyone. It is only crucial for those who wish to enroll in formal college or trade schools.
Another option is to apply for an apprenticeship position. These are usually offered by trade unions and organizations that the government licenses to do so. Lastly, it is also possible to become a carpenter in Washington simply by working under a carpenter as a carpenter assistant.
The above have merits, but the first two approaches are the most popular. Below we look at some of the best schools in Washington for those who wish to go through that route.
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Top Carpentry Schools in Washington
Top carpentry schools in Washington stand out by having world-class instructors, facilities, and the ability to connect their students to their actual industry once they graduate. Here are some of the best choices among them.
1. Green River College
12401, SE 320th, Auburn, WA, 98092 - 3622
Based in Auburn, Green River College is usually one of the first names on any list concerning the best carpentry training programs in Washington. This is so for a number of reasons, but one of them has to be the school’s commitment to producing technically sound carpenters in a great environment.
Green River College has more than 7,493 students in a number of programs, and the Carpentry students may choose to pursue either a basic certificate in carpentry or an associate degree.
The basic certificate program usually takes about a year to wrap up, while the associate degree program may take about two years to complete.
2. Bates Technical College
1101 S Yakima Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98405,
Another wonderful trade college in Washington, Bates Technical College in Tacoma, offers students looking to study carpentry a choice between a few solid programs. Here, students can choose between a Basic Certificate in Carpentry program and an associate’s degree.
Additionally, students must also choose to pursue a third option which is an undergrad certificate in carpentry program that can be completed in 1 to 4 years.
3. Seattle Central College
1701 Broadway Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
Lastly, Seattle Central College is another incredible option for aspiring carpenters in Washington. The school is a part of three colleges that make up the Seattle Colleges District and is known for its high-quality trade courses, of which the carpentry program is only a part.
Carpentry students at Seattle Central can only pursue an associate’s degree.
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Carpentry Licensure and Certification Requirements in Washington
Among the most popular certification options available for carpenters in Washington are the Green Building and Sustainable Technology certification offered by the US Green Building Council, the Certified Lead Carpenter credential offered by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the Certified Installer and Sand & Finisher offered by the National Wood Flooring Association.
It should be said, however, that the state mandates none of these. Carpenters choose to become certified simply because it gives them more credibility.
Certain additional safety and health certifications, such as the OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour safety card and the Red Cross CPR and first aid certificates, may also come in handy when seeking employment and bigger pay.
Salary and Job Outlook
As a carpenter in Washington, you can earn an average annual salary of around $74,105. Entry-level professionals who are just starting earn lower at around $52,669, while those in the top 10 percent of earners get to take home as high as $104,266.
Factors that influence how much you earn as a carpenter in Washington include experience level, establishment, and the specific city you secure employment in, among others.
Along with the base salary, carpenters in Washington may earn more, with potential overtime of $7,015 annually. Seattle is the highest-paying city in the state, with an annual average salary of $81,827.