Carpenter Foundation

Campus Vernon (Feb), Kelowna (Jan)
Delivery Full-Time
Credential Certificate

This program is student loan eligible.

Click here to view the Training Schedule for up-to-date intake dates.

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Students learn all aspects of construction trade

Program Highlights

This program introduces students to all aspects of the construction trade including the use of hand tools, portable power tools and residential wood-frame projects. 

Tuition and Fees

2021-22: $4,364.04 (Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm) $4,435.64 (Vernon)

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.
  • International students will pay International tuition fees

Program Details

If you have any questions about how a course or program is delivered, you can check the Trades website, email the Department Chair or email the Trades & Apprenticeship office:

Foundation and General Interest:

This 30-week (900 hours) program provides students with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to seek employment as an apprentice carpenter in the construction industry. The program introduces students to all aspects of the trades including the use of hand tools, portable power tools and other equipment used by carpenters. Through the construction of a residential wood-frame project students are given the opportunity to work with a variety of materials used by carpenters including lumber, panel products, concrete, fasteners and hardware. The focus is on developing practical skills for the construction workplace. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive Level 1 technical training credit and 450 work-based -hours credit towards completion of the Carpenter Level 1 apprenticeship program.

There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. Okanagan College strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience disability related academic barriers (including mental health, chronic or temporary medical conditions), please contact Accessibility Services at your campus so that you can privately discuss options.

Physical activities of the trade:

  • Activities require lifting and carrying tools, supplies, materials and equipment weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from floor to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete and asphalt for extended periods of time
  • Not limited to drilling, cutting, filing, sanding, sewing, painting, riveting, shearing, hammering, shoring, jacking, sawing, nailing, lifting, sweeping, cleaning, and towing large aircraft.
  • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
  • Activities may be required to work in awkward, uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time.
  • Use of solvents, cleaners, paints, adhesives
  • Working around loud, moving aircraft
  • Working at heights that exceed 6 feet

Recommended student characteristics:

  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Strength and stamina to handle physical work
  • Ability to tolerate loud noise and vibration from riveting tools
  • Ability to work around loud, moving aircraft
  • Comfortable working at heights exceeding 6 feet. 
  • Good manual dexterity to manipulate small nuts, bolts, fittings, and components
  • Eye sight; must be correctable to 20/20 with good line, form and depth perception.
  • Good manual dexterity.
  • Good hand-eye coordination.
  • Hearing; able to work in a hazardous environment and recognize the dangers of jet engines running and propeller driven aircraft dangers recognizable by sound, as well be able to communicate complicated instructions in high noise environments.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of safety in the workplace at all times

Textbooks and supplies required for students taking the Carpenter Foundation program (total $628.57):

  • Carpenter 3rd Canadian Edition by Vogt and Nauth - $188.29
  • Carpentry Level 1 Modules - $162.00
  • Concrete Formwork – 5th Edition (optional) - $131.79
  • 2018 BC Building Code Book - $146.49 

5% GST is not included in price. Price is subject to change. Textbooks available at OC Campus Store by contacting 250-762-5445 ext. 4586 or ordering online.

Other required supplies include:

  • CSA-approved hard hat (not white)
  • CSA-approved work boots with steel toes (approx. $100-150)
  • Hi-vis safety vest, required once work commences outdoors. Please wait until after the class starts before purchasing a vest
  • Binder
  • Pencils, pens, erasers
  • One of the following: Sharp EL-520W, EL-520X, EL-531X calculator
  • Government issued picture ID is required to write the provincial and national exams: driver’s licence, photo ID or valid passport. Student card is not acceptable
  • Locker lock

OC will supply eye and ear protection 

Required hand tools:

  • Tool pouch
  • Hammer
  • Chalk line (red or blue chalk)
  • 25-foot imperial tape measure (may be combination imperial/metric)
  • 8-metre metric tape measure (may be combination imperial/metric)
  • Geometry set
  • Staedtler architect’s metric scale (model # 987-18-SI)
  • Utility knife and blades
  • Nail claw bar
  • Stair gauges
  • Three-quarter-inch chisel
  • Small square

The above tools are required for the program but there is no requirement to have them on the first day. Your instructor will review this list on the first day of class.

Applicants who have not satisfied the Math admission requirement within the last seven years, and/or do not meet the English admission requirement, must write the TEA Math and/or English test. Both of the assessments are online, multiple-choice and timed. Applicants are allotted 1 hour to complete each section (2 hours for both). A practice assessment and study resources are offered to all applicants who register to write the TEA.  Calculators are not allowed while completing the Math section; applicants who are observed to use a calculator of any sort, will receive a grade of zero.  Applicants who do not achieve the minimum passing requirement on their initial attempt, are offered a second attempt, at no additional cost, after a two-week study period. 

Please ensure you write the assessment, and any required re-writes, prior to the deadline for admissions requirements, provided by the Registrar’s office. For more information or to register for the Trades Entrance Assessment, click here. Further questions can be directed to the Trades and Apprenticeship office at

Please note: Applicants who successfully completed the ABLE test at Okanagan College, within the two years prior to application for admission shall have their results accepted as equivalent to the Trades Entrance Assessment. 



Admission Requirements

  • B.C. secondary school graduation, or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for at least one year as of the first day of classes.
  • Math requirement:

A minimum of 50% in any of:

    • Pre-calculus Grade 11
    • Foundations of Mathematics Grade 11
    • Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics Grade 11
    • Workplace Mathematics 11
    • Principles of Mathematics 11
    • Applications of Mathematics 11
    • Essentials of Mathematics 11
    • Adult Basic Education MATH 011
    • Adult Basic Education MATH 084 and MATH 085
    • Adult Basic Education IALG 011

Or a minimum of 63% on the Trades Entrance Assessment (TEA) mathematics test. Test scores are only good for two (2) years.

Applicants who have not satisfied the Math requirement within the last seven (7) years must write the ABLE Mathematics test and must receive a minimum of 63%.


Program Outline

CAFD 101 Use Safe Work Practices
CAFD 102 Documentation and Organizational Skills
CAFD 103 Tools and Equipment
CAFD 104 Survey Instruments and Equipment
CAFD 105 Access, Rigging and Hoisting Equipment
CAFD 106 Site Layout
CAFD 107 Concrete Formwork
CAFD 108 Wood Frame Construction
CAFD 109 Building Science
CAFD 110 Final Exam

Textbooks: $680 approximately

Tools: $250 approximately

There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade. Please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics.

An overall average of 70% calculated on a weighted percentage, based on time allocation.



Additional Information

View the official Calendar details and policies
Learn more about the Department
View the Tuition and Fees page




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