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Discussion Starter #1
I"m 18 and I've been working for a small business contractor for the past 6 months, and a local cabinet shop for a year before that...I'm looking to get into carpentry as a career and I"m wondering what would be better...go to college and get a degree and then try to start working as a carpenter and always have my degree to fall back on...or start an "earn as you learn" program which i would have a full time job and have school paid for. what do you guys think would be the best choice?
 

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DGR,IABD
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WilsonInc. said:
... think would be the best choice?
That depends in large part on whether you want to work for someone for the major portion of your career or whether you see yourself as a future business owner or manager.
 

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Get your education first!!!!!
If you can find a company that will work with your schedule, you won't make better money anywhere. When I was in college, I worked for a company that built bars. They prided themselves on never closing down a bar (this was in Ft. Laud. FL in it's heyday). We worked from 1AM to 10 or 11 AM, great times and good money. I paid cash for my first home, second and third one too, plus the summer home in NC and five current homes. Look at my profile and you will see that I'm no idiot, education came first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so it would be better to go to college rather than the apprenticeship program and get my journeymans cert.? what would you reccomend i go to school for if i want to become a carpenter?
 

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You need to look farther down the road. Chances are that you will not want to remain a employed carpenter forever, over time, you will figure out who is making the money and want to go there. Without some education, you will enter into the trial and error phase, lose money and maybe make it. Maybe not.
Take some business courses.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm thinking I may try the apprenticeship program and go to night school...now my problem is finding a job with a builder that will do the "earn as you learn" program. I think that going to college wouldnt help me as much because carpentry is what I want to do and it just seems like going to college is a waste of money when i can be getting paid to go to school to learn about what i love doing.
 

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Get to your local builder's assocn. Many successful builders work as mentors for the up-and-coming. Find a guy that you like and hitch your saddle to him, it will be the best move that you can make. BTW, he's going to tell you to stay in school too.
You can drive 10,000 nails a day but if you don't know how much each one is worth...........
 

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sole proprietor
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got into this conversation a little late. Here's what i know. worked for a carpenter for a while to figure out the small jobs, then went to college and ran my own handyman business. That way the hours can be chosen by me so that it works with my class schedule, and I get better pay than working for someone part time. The fact is, i have known enough old school contractors to know that your body can't do this kind of work forever...you definately need a degree for that office job when you fall off the scaffold or your knees need replaced, or your lungs are too contaminated from all the "disclaimer labeled" products. head toward construction management, that fits the career well. I chose architecture, it's a killer, i get 4-6hours of sleep a nite at the most! very difficult and only 12% make all the cuts, plus ya gotta put up with those idiot "soon-to-be professional" architects that don't know there head from their stringers. (I hope to become a true architect that has some common sense and can integrate with all involved much better) I've been in the building industry for around 16 years...crap, maybe 18 now..i forget. good luck!!
 

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I would also suggest a long term approach. That means your education has to come first before you find yourself supporting a honey and a passel of young'ns. If money for school is a problem, the gov't has plenty, just gotta do a quick burst in the military ;)>.
If you play your cards right, you can get some hands on background via military training, then support to get the book learn'n via Veterans Administration. Have a chat with all three branches of the service. You can get guarantee's before signing up. did I mention you're more financible as a vet?
 

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I agree with Teetor. Education won't make you a success (only you will), but it certainly can help. I did carpentry while going to school. Paid all out my school expenses out of pocket and went job hunting with education AND experience on my resume.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
decided on going the college route and do small jobs on the side to pay for school...I just closed on my first kitchen job! :cheesygri I"m starting the work in about 2 weeks...will follow up with pictures...thanks for all the advice guys
 

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IMHO, a VERY wise decision. Best of luck and hang around to keep us informed on how you are doing. Nothing beats another success story.
 
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