Last month, we discussed popular woodworking programs at schools across Canada. This month, it’s time to shed some light on American schools for aspiring woodworkers down south.
Whether you are new to woodworking or a highly practiced woodworker, there are numerous programs available to fine-tune or introduce you to the techniques you need to turn your hobby into a serious career option or your small-scale workshop into a full-scale business venture.
Here are just a few of the many woodworking programs American post-secondary institutions have to offer:
The Cerritos College Department of Woodworking offers classes in furniture-making, cabinetmaking, and woodworking. Cerritos appeals to all types of woodworking students, from those who simply wish to acquire new knowledge or improve skills to those who want to find a professional woodworking job.
In order to focus on hands-on training and real-world experience, all classes are project-focused and students have access to a 27,000 square-foot facility with over 100 stationary and portable woodworking machines. They even provide access to laser cutters and 3D printers.
If your primary focus is to make a living with woodworking or even start your own woodworking business, Palomar College could be the school for you. Palomar offers an Associate of Science Degree and certificates of achievement in eight different program areas:
• Guitar Making Technology
• Case Furniture Construction/Manufacturing
• Table and Chair Manufacturing
• Carving Technology
• Lathe Turning Technology
• Veneering Technology
• Woodworking Skills Technology
• Cabinetmaking and Millwork
Established over 60 years ago and with $275,000 of new machinery, Palomar boasts the high employability of its graduates.
Masterpiece School of Furniture
For woodworkers with a particular passion for furniture, the Masterpiece School of Furniture offers flexible training programs. Their Professional Training series includes three 12-week programs:
• Basic Furniture Making
• Intermediate Furniture Making
• Masters-Level Furniture Marking
If you feel you are experienced enough to skip the basic or intermediate levels, you can complete a skills assessment to determine which level you are best suited for.
To help you with tuition costs, you can apply for the school’s Work Study option. As a Shop Monitor, you would ensure workshop safety procedures are being followed and that the workshop is in good order in exchange for reduced tuition. You can even work on your own projects during your shifts!
Florida School of Woodwork
If you already have a good base of woodworking skills and are more looking to hone them rather than enroll in an entire program, the Florida School of Woodwork might be your best option. They offer several intensive workshops that only take one to five days to complete, depending on the topic. Here are just a few of the wide variety of workshops you can sign up for:
• Table Making
• Traditional Carving Skills
• Introduction to Woodturning
• Essential Handtool & Joinery Skills
• Classic Jewelry Box Making
Unlike many woodworking programs, you can sign up for a workshop now! Why wait until next September if you’re in the area and available next month?
Just as with Canadian schools, if you’re worried that you may not qualify for a woodworking program at a college or university, don’t fret! Many only require a high school diploma or equivalent. It is never too late to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. We encourage you to reach out to the programs to learn more and find out if they are the right fit for you. Good luck!