30-week certificate program

September 3, 2024 to April 10, 2025

Apply early as space is limited

The program

This foundation program covers the basic carpentry skills required in preparation for employment as a carpenter apprentice in the building industry.

The program has been developed collaboratively by industry and Vancouver Island University, and follows the BC Provincial Apprenticeship Level 1 program competencies. The curriculum seeks an effective balance between hands-on learning activities and specific academic and theoretical components.

The program includes on-the-job training (about 3 weeks) as well as construction of real life projects.

Students will be evaluated throughout the program and will receive letter grades and weighted credits for each of the courses, including applied and theoretical work.

Classes in session 4 days per week. Class times may vary, and students can expect to spend one to two hours a day on homework. Good attendance is mandatory. A minimum 70% grade average in theory and practical is required to receive a graduation certificate.

Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded a certificate from Vancouver Island University for Carpentry Foundation (Level I Carpentry Apprenticeship).

Admission requirements

Notes on admission

  • Physically fit and able to adapt to working conditions
  • Good hand/eye coordination
  • Good health, free of vision, hearing or respiratory ailments
  • For student’s wishing to operate vehicles and equipment a valid driver’s license will be required
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program

Program outline

CPTY 111T - (Occupational Skills, Documentation, Tools, and Safety)8.5
CPTY 113T - (Surveying, Layout, and Concrete)4.5
CPTY 115T - (Framing and Building Science)4.5
CPTY 109T - (Work Experience)1.5

Total Credits

Essential SkillsCredits
ESFC 100T - (Personal Management Skills)2.0
ESFC 105T - (Trades Math)1.0
ESFC 110T - (Business Operations)0.5
ESFC 115T - (The Emerging Workplace)0.5
ESFC 120T - (Employment Strategies)1.0

Total Credits


All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Fees (subject to change)

Fee TypeCost
Lab Fee$459.47
Student Fees$473.90
Application Fee$43.40
Grad Fee$56.28
Criminal Record Check Fee$44.70


* Students are responsible for transportation costs to job site.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

* Information on fees for Dual Credit Students.

Additional expenses

In addition to textbooks and school supplies, students are expected to purchase a hardhat, steel-toed boots, rain gear, and a carpenter's apron with basic hand tools - cost is approximately $1,300. An itemized list will be available during the first week of classes.

Financial assistance

Financial Assistance may be available to students demonstrating financial need. This program is government student loan eligible. Applications for the academic year are available each May at any post-secondary institution, or online at StudentAidBC.

See a a University Advisor for more information
Please call to make an appointment, 604.485.2878.

How to apply

When the Registration Center confirms that you have been admitted, you will be advised when and how to register and pay for your program.

Career opportunities

This unique, high-profile, information-packed program is well recognized by the building industry as an excellent introduction to the residential and commercial building industries. The program provides a path to apprenticeship, a career, and Red Seal Certification.

Graduates of this program have been successful in procuring employment in positions such as apprentice carpenters, concrete formers, wood framers, finishing carpenters’ helpers, cabinet installers, and home renovators. Graduates have also found employment with many other related building industry employers.

Excellent opportunities exist for graduates of this program to obtain carpentry apprenticeships with professional building contractors or the Carpenters’ Unions.

Apprenticeship information

Graduates of this program may receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year of the Carpenter Apprenticeship program. In order to complete the apprenticeship and become a journeyperson, graduates would find an employer in the industry to provide the on-the-job training and return to Vancouver Island University for 7 weeks per year in each of the next three years.

The Carpenter Apprenticeship program consists of 4 years of on-the job experience combined with in-school technical training in order to become eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) examination for journeyperson certification.

For more information on apprenticeship training, please visit SkilledTradesBC, contact the Industry Training Centre at 1.866.660.6011, or call Tanya Reiber at Vancouver Island University toll-free at 1.888.920.2221 Ext. 6112. Learn more about VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeships for information and schedules.