May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Pre-Employment Carpenter

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)

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Carpenters are essential in many construction areas, including residential, commercial, industrial, and maintenance projects. Work ranges from residential framing to commercial tower builds.

This program is designed to provide you with the foundational skills and knowledge required to become a proficient carpenter. It aligns with the curriculum of a first-year carpentry apprenticeship, enabling you to work on job sites confidently. 

As a student, you will learn:  

  • how to read and interpret blueprints, essential for planning and executing carpentry projects
  • how to identify and handle suitable materials for different construction tasks, understand their properties
  • to proficiently use manual and power carpentry tools and equipment
  • to precisely measure and mark materials for cutting and assembly
  • cutting and shaping techniques for different building materials
  • joinery and assembly techniques such as nailing, screwing, and using adhesives, ensuring structural integrity
  • safety practices and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize risks and ensure a safe working environment. 

You’ll also have networking opportunities to meet prospective employers, learn how to write a resume, and participate in a job interview.  

As a graduate, you will be well prepared to join the workforce as an apprentice carpenter and challenge the first-year apprenticeship exam. 

With further experience and training, you may advance into roles such as journeyman carpenter, construction foreman, project manager, or even running your own carpentry business. 

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Carpenters tend to be objective, methodical and innovative.  

You need:  

  • manual dexterity 
  • good balance for working on scaffolding 
  • math skills to quickly and accurately solve problems 
  • the ability to follow and communicate written instructions 
  • the ability to work as a team. 

You should enjoy creating things with your hands, working with wood, and mastering your craft. 

Academic path

This program aligns with the first period of Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training’s (AIT) Carpenter curriculum.

Graduates are eligible to register as apprentices and challenge the first-period exam.

Once you pass the exam and complete the necessary training hours with an employer, you may register for SAIT’s Carpenter apprenticeship program beginning in period two.


Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll receive a SAIT Pre-Employment Carpenter certificate.

Program length

12 weeks

Not open to international applicants

This program is not available to international applicants at this time. 


This program is eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Related careers

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education. 

Potential careers (NOC):

  • Construction managers (70010)
  • Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades (72013)
  • Carpenters (72310)
  • Cabinetmakers (72311)

Admission requirements - Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and completion of the following courses or equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 10-1 or English Language Arts 10-2, and
  • Math 10C or Math 10-3.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

Admission requirements - Applicants educated outside of Canada

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find accepted educational documents and assessment options

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

Program outline

The Pre-Employment Carpenter program requires 12 credits (four courses) to complete.


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure > 

Books and supplies

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore’s website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn’t receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you’re in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • CSA steel toe boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection - will be provided but students may choose to bring their own. 

Required equipment or tools

  • Metric/imperial tape measure (min. 16’)
  • Marking pencil

Construction program advising

For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please contact our School of Construction.

Phone: 403.284.8367

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