Foundation Program
Also available as:
  • Full Time
LENGTH: 6 months or less
CAMPUS: Mackenzie - Prince George - Quesnel
FEES: Estimated at $3,200
START DATE: Fall 2023 - Spring 2025
  • In Class
Application Status
Applications open
  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Location & Dates
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees


Do you want to develop a foundation for a satisfying and creative career as a carpenter? Learn to create a building from the ground up. As a carpenter, you can work in the residential, commercial, light industrial or heavy construction fields, doing new construction, renovations, or maintenance. As well, you can go on to become a supervisor, building inspector, site superintendent, and more.

This foundation program will provide entry level practical skills and academic knowledge to prepare you to begin your apprenticeship pathway as a Carpenter. You do not need an employer sponsor to participate. In fact, one of the main reasons to complete a foundation program is to gain experience and familiarity with the trade, giving you a competitive advantage to finding an employer to hire you as their apprentice.

Upon successful completion of the foundation program, you will receive credit with the BC Industry Training Authority (ITA) for Level 1 technical training in Carpentry. Students complete 450 work-based hours. Once you are officially registered as an apprentice with ITA, you will then be able to complete the work-based training hours (on the job training) and higher levels of Carpentry apprenticeship training.

Apprenticeship programs provide a unique approach to post-secondary education, combining classroom based learning (known as technical training) with on the job training. This enables you to “earn while you learn,” significantly reducing the need for student debt and building your career NOW instead of waiting until you’ve completed your education.


As a carpenter, you will work on a large variety of projects including:

  • Residential (single family homes, apartments, townhouses)
  • Industrial (mills, manufacturing plants, mines, oil & gas)
  • Commercial (shopping centres, retailers, dealerships)
  • Institutional (swimming pools, hospitals, firehalls, schools)

Carpenters may also operate their own business, work as an educator, or further their education to become project managers, building inspectors, or executive level management in large construction firms.

What you will learn

Classes alternate between classroom instruction and practical experience both in the CNC carpentry shop and on site. Alumni CNC classes have a built a lasting legacy in the community through construction projects for homeowners and community groups. This hands-on program will train you to become an entry level carpenter. Things you will learn include:

  • Safe work practice
  • Surveying
  • Trades math
  • Construction drawings
  • Rigging
  • Site layout
  • Concrete form work
  • Framing & building science

Governing bodies

Carpenter Courses

Description coming soon

Locations & Dates

CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.

Fall 2023 Mackenzie In Class 28 weeks
Fall 2023 Prince George In Class 24 weeks
Spring 2024 Prince George In Class 24 weeks
Spring 2024 Quesnel In Class 28 weeks
Fall 2024 Mackenzie In Class 28 weeks
Fall 2024 Prince George In Class 24 weeks
Spring 2025 Quesnel In Class 28 weeks
Spring 2025 Prince George In Class 24 weeks

Entry Requirements

The admission requirements mentioned below are the minimum requirements.

  1. English 10 or Communications 11 or equivalent with a “C” or higher
  2. Foundation Math and Pre - Calculus 10; or a "C" or higher grade in one of the following: Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11 or Trades Math 041 or Math 030

Students who do not meet the above requirement, and think they may be admissible as a mature student should consult a CNC counsellor/advisor.

Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.

CTC Option

High school students may be eligible to take this program. See your school counsellor for details.

Selective admission

A program for which seats are filled based on approved selection criteria. Such criteria may include, but are not limited to, assessment, portfolio submissions, interviews and grade point average. Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee acceptance to the program. 

Selection process

Students are encouraged to submit a resumé and handwritten statement indicating reasons for wishing to enter the program as well as complete two pre-Trades evaluations: a test of mechanical reasoning skills, and the College English/Math Achievement Test (EMAT). Both of these items are included in the selection criteria listed below and will be awarded points.

If the program is over-subscribed, students will be selected based on the selection criteria listed below.

  1. The letter grade for English 10, English 030 or Communications 11 or equivalent will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
  2. The letter grade for Foundations of Math and Pre-Calculus 10, Math 030, Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 10 or equivalent, will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
  3. Credit in Physics 11 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher will be awarded 4 points.
  4. The mechanical reasoning portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded a maximum of 5 points.
  5. The English portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded a maximum of 1 point.
  6. The Math portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded a maximum of 1 point.
  7. Credit in one or more trades-related courses at the Grade 12 level with a grade of “B” or higher, or successful completion of any foundation-level trades training program or documented experience of one year in a trade will be awarded 3 points.
  8. Credit in any of the following: English 11, Principles of Math 11, or equivalents, or Trades Math 041 and Trades Math 042 with a “C” grade or higher will be awarded 3 points.
  9. Credit for submitting a resumé and personal handwritten statement indicating their reasons for wishing to enter this program will be awarded a maximum of 3 points.

Maximum points = 28

Note: High school graduation with English 12, Math 11 and Physics 11 (where applicable) is recommended and required by some employers in order to be indentured as an apprentice.

Invest in your future

The estimated cost for this program is $3,200*.
  • Tuition: $2,071
  • Student fees: $658
  • Medical/Dental Fee (Fall semester only): $260
  • Tool Deposit: $200 (Refundable)

*Please note that these fees are for the FALL intake.

These costs are an estimate and do not include books. Costs may change without notice. Student fees vary by campus. Check the fee schedule for more details.

Books for this program can be purchased from the bookstore.

Paying for college

We're here to help. You can apply for scholarships and bursaries through CNC. We can also help you find loans and other funding. Visit Financial assistance to find out how.

Salaries and employment

Looking for a job? Check the student employment opportunities or trades training job board.