Carpentry Program

Career/Program Overview

RCTC’s Carpentry program is designed to prepare students for careers as carpenters in residential and commercial construction, factories, cabinet shops, and building maintenance fields.

The primary activity of the RCTC program is the building of a house.  This house building experience includes building layout, foundations, rough framing, roofing, insulation, installing drywall, and interior trim.  About two-thirds of the instruction is on the project site constructing a new home.


Instruction includes courses in Carpentry Theory, Blueprint Reading and Estimating. Students practice proper use of hand and power tools, build footings and foundations, perform site layout, rough framing, roofing, siding and interior finish.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC’s Carpentry major is a 32 credit diploma program that can be completed in as little as one year.

Program Start Date(s)

Students planning to attend full-time and complete the program in one year must start fall semester.

Career Opportunities/Information

Career opportunities exist with independent home builders, commercial contractors, lumberyards, furniture manufacturers, and cabinet making shops.  Graduates typically start out as entry-level carpenters.  With further education and work experience, they can become journeymen carpenters, foremen or start their own business.

The labor market data provided by CAREERwise Education states that the median salary for carpenters in SE Minnesota is $23.07 per hour.


The Higher Learning Commission accredits Rochester Community and Technical College.

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at

Additional Information

Program Website:
Program Plan:
More Information:

Gainful Employment Programs

The U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) gainful employment regulations require disclosure of certain program information for programs that lead to certificates or diplomas and are financial aid eligible.

The most current RCTC gainful employment information can be found at:

Information Carpentry Dipl 32 Overview content updated: 2017-04-19