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Top 10 Carpenter Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best carpenter certifications available and how to become certified.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for carpenters are important in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill that employers look for when hiring. Certified carpenters have proven their expertise through rigorous testing and hands-on experience. This can give them an edge over non-certified candidates as employers prefer to hire people who have demonstrated their commitment to the trade and have comprehensive skills. Certifications also provide assurance to employers that the carpenter is up-to-date on the latest safety practices, building codes, and industry standards. Ultimately, certifications help carpenters stand out from other applicants and make them more attractive to potential employers.

This article reviews some of the best certifications available for Carpenters, and explains how they can help to further a Carpenter's career.

What are Carpenter Certifications?

Carpenter certification is a type of professional certification that recognizes the knowledge, skills and abilities of a carpenter in the construction industry. This certification can help carpenters to demonstrate their expertise and ability to employers and clients. It can also help them to stand out from other applicants in a competitive job market.

The process of becoming certified usually involves passing an exam that tests an individual's knowledge and proficiency in the areas of carpentry, such as framing, finishes, cabinetry and more. The exam may also cover topics related to safety, building codes and regulations. After successfully completing the exam, individuals receive a certificate or license that proves their mastery of carpentry-related skills.

Having this certification can open up new job opportunities for carpenters and provide them with greater job security. It can also give them access to higher-paying jobs or jobs with more responsibility. Additionally, it could potentially lead to promotions or other career advancements. Ultimately, having a carpenter certification can be beneficial for any individual looking to advance their career in the construction industry.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check the requirements for carpenter certification in your area before beginning the process. Different regions and states may have different requirements for certifying carpenters, so it's important to research and understand these requirements before getting started. Additionally, some certifying organizations may require a certain amount of experience or education prior to being eligible for certification.

Related: What does a Carpenter do?

Top 10 Carpenter Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Carpenters today.

1. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Graduate Builder

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in home building. The CGB program is designed to provide builders with the necessary skills and information to remain competitive in the home building industry.

To become a CGB, applicants must have at least four years of experience in the residential construction industry, including two years as a builder or supervisor. Applicants must also pass an examination administered by NAHB’s Professional Standards Board. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as business management, financial management, customer service, construction methods and materials, and code requirements.

It typically takes about four to six months to complete the CGB program from start to finish. During this time, applicants will need to study for the exam and prepare for the interview process. Applicants are also encouraged to attend NAHB-sponsored seminars or webinars related to their field of expertise.

The cost of becoming a CGB varies depending on which courses an applicant chooses to take and how much assistance they seek from NAHB staff members. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$1,000 USD for all course materials and exams required for certification.

Once certified, CGBs can use their designation when marketing their services or applying for jobs within the homebuilding industry. They may also be eligible for discounts on NAHB products or services such as insurance or educational programs.

2. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Green Professional

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation is a professional certification program designed to recognize builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes—without driving up the cost of construction.

To become certified, candidates must complete an online course and pass a comprehensive exam. The course covers topics such as energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, resource efficiency and site development. Candidates must also demonstrate their knowledge of green building techniques by completing a project that meets the NAHB’s green building standards.

The entire process typically takes between two and four months to complete, depending on the candidate’s existing knowledge of green building principles. The cost for the program varies depending on whether you are an NAHB member or not. For non-members, it costs $495; for members it costs $395.

3. National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Certified Installer

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Certified Installer program is a comprehensive certification program that provides installers with the knowledge and skills necessary to properly install wood flooring. The NWFA Certified Installer program is designed to help ensure that all wood flooring installations are completed correctly, safely, and to the highest professional standards.

The NWFA Certified Installer program consists of three phases: an online course, hands-on training, and a final exam. The online course covers topics such as installation techniques, safety procedures, materials selection, and subfloor preparation. Hands-on training includes instruction on proper installation methods for different types of wood flooring products. The final exam is a written test that assesses the installer’s knowledge of the material covered in the online course and hands-on training.

To become an NWFA Certified Installer, applicants must complete all three phases of the program. The entire process typically takes about two weeks from start to finish.

The cost for becoming an NWFA Certified Installer varies depending on the type of certification sought (residential or commercial). Generally speaking, residential certification costs around $400 while commercial certification costs around $600. This cost includes access to the online course materials and hands-on training as well as the final exam fee.

4. American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer (CKBD) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have the knowledge and experience to design safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing kitchens and bathrooms. The CKBD certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence in kitchen and bath design.

In order to become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements including having at least three years of professional kitchen or bath design experience, completing at least six hours of continuing education credits related to kitchen or bath design within the past two years, passing an exam administered by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), and agreeing to abide by the ASID Code of Ethics.

The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as codes, regulations, product specifications, construction techniques, materials selection, project management, client relations, space planning principles, lighting principles and more. The exam fee is $350 USD.

The entire process can take up to six months depending on how quickly you complete all the requirements. Once you have met all of the requirements for certification you will receive your official ASID CKBD certificate.

5. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Carpet Cleaning Technician

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Carpet Cleaning Technician certification is a professional designation that demonstrates a technician’s knowledge and proficiency in the cleaning of carpets. The IICRC is an independent, non-profit organization that sets standards for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries.

To become certified as an IICRC Carpet Cleaning Technician, applicants must first complete a course from an approved IICRC school or training provider. Upon successful completion of the course, applicants must then pass the IICRC written exam with a score of 75% or higher. The length of time required to complete the course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from one to two days.

The cost of becoming an IICRC Carpet Cleaning Technician varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $200-$400 USD. This fee usually covers both the course tuition and exam fees.

Once certified as an IICRC Carpet Cleaning Technician, individuals will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in carpet cleaning practices to employers and customers alike.

6. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Carpenter Certification

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Carpenter Certification is a credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills related to carpentry. The certification is designed to help employers identify qualified carpenters and ensure that they are properly trained and knowledgeable in the trade.

The NCCER Carpenter Certification program consists of four levels: Core, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The Core level covers basic safety, construction math, hand tools, power tools, materials handling, communication skills, and construction drawings. Levels 1-3 cover more advanced topics such as framing techniques, cabinet installation, stair building, trimming techniques, masonry techniques, roofing techniques, and other specialized areas of carpentry.

To obtain the NCCER Carpenter Certification an individual must complete all four levels of the program. This can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the individual’s prior experience with carpentry. To get started an individual must first enroll in an accredited NCCER training program or apprenticeship program. After completing the required coursework or apprenticeship hours the individual must then pass a written assessment for each level of the program in order to receive certification.

The cost of obtaining the NCCER Carpenter Certification varies depending on where you take your classes or apprenticeship program but typically ranges from $2,000-$4,000 for all four levels of certification.

7. National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Certified Sand & Finish Technician

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Certified Sand & Finish Technician Program is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to provide wood flooring professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to properly sand and finish wood floors. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience in order to ensure that technicians have the skills needed to perform quality work.

To become an NWFA Certified Sand & Finish Technician, individuals must complete a two-day course that covers topics such as proper sanding techniques, finishing products, installation methods, and safety considerations. Upon successful completion of the course, participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost of the NWFA Certified Sand & Finish Technician Program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $400-$600. This fee covers the cost of the two-day course as well as materials needed for the hands-on portion of the program.

In order to become an NWFA Certified Sand & Finish Technician, individuals must be at least 18 years old and have at least one year of experience in sanding and finishing wood floors or have completed an approved apprenticeship program. Additionally, applicants must submit proof of current liability insurance prior to enrolling in the program.

8. American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) is a certification program that provides interior designers with the knowledge and skills to design and modify living spaces for aging adults. This certification is designed to help aging adults remain in their homes safely, comfortably, and independently.

To obtain the CAPS certification, applicants must have at least two years of experience in residential interior design or related fields and complete an approved CAPS course. The course consists of five modules: Understanding the Aging Process; Home Modifications; Universal Design Principles; Accessibility Standards; and Professional Practice Guidelines. The course can be completed online or in person through an ASID approved provider.

The cost of the CAPS certification varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD. It usually takes about two months to complete the program and receive your certificate.

9. International Code Council Residential Combination Inspector Certification

The International Code Council Residential Combination Inspector Certification is a certification program that provides inspectors with the knowledge and skills necessary to inspect residential buildings for compliance with the International Building Code (IBC). This certification is designed for those who wish to become certified as an inspector of single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses, and other multi-family dwellings.

To obtain this certification, individuals must complete a minimum of 80 hours of training in the IBC from an approved provider. This includes classroom instruction and field experience. Once the required training has been completed, applicants must pass an ICC Residential Combination Inspector Certification Exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of residential building inspection including building plans review, construction materials, structural components, electrical systems, plumbing systems, mechanical systems, fire protection systems and energy efficiency requirements.

The cost for the ICC Residential Combination Inspector Certification Exam varies depending on the location where you are taking it. Generally speaking, it costs between $150-$200 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as application fees or proctoring fees if you are taking it remotely.

Once you have successfully passed your exam and received your certification card from ICC, your certification will remain valid for three years before needing to be renewed. To renew your certification you will need to complete at least 24 hours of continuing education in order to maintain your status as a certified inspector.

10. American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Professional Certification

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Professional Certification is a credentialing program that recognizes architects who have demonstrated an understanding of sustainable design principles and practices. This certification is designed to help architects demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, as well as their ability to apply sustainable design principles in the built environment.

The AIA Sustainable Design Professional Certification requires completion of a three-part exam process. The first part consists of an online course, which covers topics such as energy efficiency, water conservation, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The second part consists of a written exam that tests knowledge on sustainable building codes, green building rating systems, and other related topics. The final part is a hands-on project that requires the applicant to develop and implement a sustainable design project in their own community.

In order to obtain the AIA Sustainable Design Professional Certification, applicants must first complete the online course and pass the written exam with a score of 70% or higher. After passing the written exam, applicants can then submit their completed project for review by an AIA panel of experts. Upon successful completion of all three parts of the exam process, applicants will receive their certification from AIA.

The cost for obtaining the AIA Sustainable Design Professional Certification varies depending on whether or not you are already an AIA member. For non-members, it costs $400 for registration plus $100 per exam part (total cost: $700). For current members, it costs $200 for registration plus $50 per exam part (total cost: $350).

Do You Really Need a Carpenter Certificate?

Carpentry is a skilled trade that requires a lot of knowledge and experience to become an expert in the field. A carpenter certificate can be beneficial for both experienced and aspiring carpenters. It is especially important for those who want to take their craft to the next level and pursue a career in carpentry.

The most obvious benefit of having a carpenter certificate is that it demonstrates your commitment to the trade and shows potential employers that you are serious about your work. It may also give you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs, as employers often look favorably upon individuals who have taken the time to get certified.

Having a carpenter certificate also shows potential clients that you have mastered specific skills related to carpentry and understand the fundamentals of the craft. This can help give them confidence in your abilities when they hire you for jobs or projects. Furthermore, if you ever decide to start your own carpentry business, having a certificate may give customers more assurance that they are hiring someone with the necessary experience and knowledge to do the job properly.

Finally, having a carpenter certificate can provide additional opportunities for advancement in your career, such as taking on larger projects or teaching classes on carpentry techniques. It may even open up new avenues of employment altogether, allowing you to explore different areas within the industry or take on roles as an instructor or consultant.

In conclusion, obtaining a carpenter certificate can be extremely beneficial for anyone looking to further their career in this field. It provides valuable credentials that demonstrate your commitment and expertise, gives potential employers confidence in your abilities, and opens up many new opportunities for advancement within the industry.

Related: Carpenter Resume Examples

FAQs About Carpenter Certifications

1. What are the requirements to become a certified carpenter?

Answer: Generally, you will need to have at least four years of experience in carpentry or related fields and you may also need to complete an apprenticeship program and pass a written exam.

2. Is it necessary to have formal certification as a carpenter?

Answer: While having certification is not always required to work as a carpenter, it can be beneficial in terms of job opportunities and career advancement. It also helps demonstrate your competence and dedication to the profession.

3. How much does it cost to get certified as a carpenter?

Answer: The cost of getting certified varies depending on the organization offering the certification, but typically ranges from $100-$400.

4. What types of certifications are available for carpenters?

Answer: Different organizations offer different types of certifications, including general construction, framing, finish carpentry, and cabinetmaking certificates.

5. How often do I need to renew my carpenter certification?

Answer: Most certifications need to be renewed every three years in order to remain valid.