Construction Trades

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your accredited online learning program includes seven Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll employ in your new career as a Skilled Carpenter.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams. Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: To prepare students for an entry-level career in the residential and light commercial construction fields.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Outline design techniques and principles in the production and interpretation of basic blueprints and architectural drawings to follow specifications and meet the needs of clients
  • Describe composition and usage of construction materials and the processes and tools required for assembly
  • List measurement methods and mathematical processes necessary to prepare and implement construction-related projects
  • Determine quantities and sizes of construction materials and their related installation processes by applying formulas
  • Recall established rules and regulations related to the workplace and project requirements
  • Recognize how to solve problems by adjusting project plans including types and installation methods of materials and related equipment

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to the Construction Trades
Career opportunities in the carpentry industry; demand for skilled workers; professional organizations; safety concerns.

Instruction Set 2

Math for Construction Trades
Basic math skills encountered in the carpentry field.

Practical Exercise 1

Instruction Set 3

Understanding Construction Drawings
Reading blueprints; floor plans; sections and elevations; plot and foundation plans.

Building Codes and Building Layout
Zoning, codes, permits, and inspections required in construction; building layout techniques; use of leveling tools; foundation lines layout.

Lumber, Building Materials, and Fasteners
Types of wood and lumber; how to inspect for quality; types of engineered panels and lumber products; fastening tools.

• Architect's Scale
• Construction Print Set

Supplement: How to Read an Architect's Scale

Textbook: Carpentry & Building Construction 1st edition, McGraw Hill

Practical Exercise 2

Instruction Set 4

Hand Tools and Power Tools
Types of hand tools for layout, boring, fastening, dismantling; types of power tools: saws, drills, drivers, planes, routers, sanders, staplers, and nailers; types of stationary power tools.

Foundations and Concrete Work
Procedures for creating and using concrete; repairing drainage problems; types of foundations.

Textbook: Foundations and Concrete Work

Practical Exercise 3

Instruction Set 5

Floor Framing
Types of frame construction; layout and construction of the floor frame; preventing termite attacks.

Exterior and Interior Wall Framing and Stair Framing (includes ladder and scaffolding instruction)
Procedures, tools, and parts for framing interior and exterior walls; erecting scaffolding and ladders; constructing and framing stairways and stairwells.

Roof Framing, Cornices, and Roofing
Procedures to construct roofs and cornices.

Practical Exercise 4

Instruction Set 6

Windows, Doors, and Insulation
Procedures for installing windows, exterior doors, insulation, and ventilation.

Siding, Porches, and Decks
Procedures for applying siding; construction of porches and decks; tools and supplies.

Practical Exercise 5

Instruction Set 7

Drywall Techniques
Necessary tools and materials; hanging techniques; procedures for taping and sanding.

Interior Finish
Types of interior doors; installation methods; application of trim; finishing stairs.

Finish Floors and Ceilings
Types of wood floors; layout of wood floors and tile; installing suspended or tile ceilings.

Textbook: Drywall, Professional Techniques for Walls and Ceilings

Supplement: Work Experience Option

Practical Exercise 6

Upon Graduation You'll Receive:
(Sent to you when all program requirements and financial obligations have been met.)

• Finish Carpentry
• Smart Business for Contractors


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

You must have completed the 8th grade to enroll in this program.

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