Residential Construction

Demand for workers with residential building skills in the Seattle area is enormous, and jobs can be rewarding and well-paying. This new certificate program provides hands-on career training in “whole building” residential construction. Designed to put your skills to work in the field, this program is open for people with no experience, as well as anyone currently working in construction who would like to take their career to the next level.

Learn foundational construction skills, gain experience with tools and materials, develop carpentry skills, and build interior and exterior finishing skills. Lecture, discussion, and written materials will prepare you to take the Carpentry Basic Certification exam. Gain the knowledge and experience for gainful employment and advancement in residential construction.

three construction students wearing hard hats

What You'll Get

  • A strong foundation in "whole-building" construction - The program follows the Homebuilding Institute’s curriculum, which is endorsed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
  • Preparation for the Carpentry Basic Certification exam by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute to earn certification from the Home Builders Institute

Program Details

  • Location: Seattle Central College's Wood Technology Center, 2310 S. Lane St., Seattle
  • Start Date: Fall
  • Length: 3 quarters 
  • Modality: In person
  • Schedule:
    • One evening per week (3 hours), plus a few Saturdays (4-5 hours) each quarter; please check back for Fall 2024 details.
    • Note: The entire program is designed for working people, so students will not have large volumes of homework to do outside of class
  • Costs and Funding: $1,799 per quarter
    • Note: Federal financial aid is not available for this program, unfortunately. If you are working in construction, check with your employer to see if they will cover training expenses.
  • Class Size: 7-20 students
  • Program Prerequisites: It is recommended that students be able to speak basic, conversational English in order to participate (up to your judgement). Basic math skills will be helpful, such as adding and subtracting fractions. However, there are no required prerequisites.
  • Questions: Email
  • Learn More and Register

Future Opportunities

Upon completion of this program, you can: 

  • Take the Carpentry Basic Certification exam by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute to earn certification from the Home Builders Institute. Testing will take place on Wed., July 17, 2024, at 6 p.m., Broadway Edison, Room 1139D. Register before 8 a.m. on Monday, July 1, by emailing Saori Sampa.
  • Use your new skills and credentials to get a new job or seek a promotion in the construction industry.
  • Continue your education and pursue an associate degree or an applied bachelor’s degree (although graduates of the Residential Construction program will not receive academic credit for a degree). Related programs of interest might include: an associate degree in  Multi-Occupational Trades at South Seattle College as well as the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Building Science Technology at South Seattle College.

Job and Salary Prospects

The sky is the limit when it comes to employment in the Residential Construction field. Potential employers, please read Info for Employers.

Potential employment opportunities include:

  • Blue Sound Construction
  • Ashworth Homes
  • AmyWorks
  • Mighty House Construction
  • Many other industry association members of Master Builders of King and Snohomish County and Building Industry Association of Washington 

Starting salaries average $45K per year. The median salary for residential construction jobs is $65K annually, with more experienced workers earning over $105K per year. Construction site supervisors and lead carpenters can earn upwards of $70K per year in addition to medical and retirement matching benefits. Continue on to entrepreneurship -- the sky is the limit!