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Woodworking Basics Certificate

Woodworking Basics Certificate2024-02-29T16:06:01-08:00
Using the chop saw in the Woodshop

Build a Strong Foundation

This comprehensive program will give you the skills to safely and efficiently use woodworking hand and power tools, take a project from concept to finished piece, or explore whether a woodworking career is for you.

The Woodworking Basics Certificate will boost your confidence in BARN’s – or any other – woodshop. Plus, you’ll work one-on-one with an experienced mentor.

Applications are processed once a quarter, but you can begin taking classes at any time and get credit for classes you’ve already completed.

About the Program

How It Works

The Woodworking Basics Certificate has three components:

  • Three Gateway classes that introduce you to the BARN Woodworking Studio and the most commonly used stationary power tools.
  • Eleven Woodworking Basics classes designed to build your proficiency with hand and power tools and give you an understanding of topics including joinery, assembly, and preparation for finishing.
  • A final project that you will create with guidance from a mentor.

You also have the option to participate in additional learning opportunities in the woodshop, such as helping with tool maintenance and repair, volunteering as an assistant in classes, and participating in community service projects requested by local nonprofits.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to use major hand and power tools appropriately, safely, and efficiently.
  • Discover the essential steps in creating a project, from concept to completion.
  • Acquire job-ready skills to advance your career in woodworking.


Get full details on the program and requirements in the Certificate Program Catalog.

Woodworking Studio


  • 14 classes.
  • Mentored final project.
  • Access to the Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio during classes and (once qualified) Open Studio times.
  • Annual individual BARN Membership.
  • Supplies and materials.
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  • This is a flexible program.
  • Classes are scheduled weekdays, weeknights, and weekends.
  • Applications are due once a quarter: January 15, June 15, and October 15.
  • You can start taking classes at any time and get credit for class you complete before you are accepted.
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  • The total cost is $2,365.
  • If you have already taken some of the required classes, your tuition will be reduced based on the class hours you have already completed.
  • Students must possess a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) diploma or provide 11th grade Smarter Balanced ELA & Math scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between taking Woodworking Basics classes “a la carte” and enrolling in the Woodworking Basics Certificate?2024-01-05T16:58:53-08:00

In addition to the three gateway classes and 11 required classes, the Woodworking Basics Certificate includes an annual individual BARN membership and the opportunity to work 1-on-1 for 18 hours with a woodworking mentor on a project of your choice. This mentorship opportunity is not offered elsewhere in the Woodworking Studio.

If you took the classes a la carte, purchased a BARN membership, and hired a mentor at $40/hour for 18 hours, the cost would be about $500 more than enrolling in the Woodworking Basics Certificate program.

What is the registration deadline?2024-01-05T16:59:54-08:00

Applications are due January 15, July 15, and October 15. You can start taking classes at any time and get credit for those you complete prior to be accepted.

How long do I have to complete the certificate?2024-01-05T17:00:21-08:00

You have two full quarters to complete the gateway classes, required classes, and the mentorship project. Timing starts with the beginning of the first full quarter after your acceptance into the program. For example, if you apply in September, the first full quarter will begin in January, and you will have until June 30 to complete your classes. You can start taking any of the classes in the program before you are accepted. If you need more time or if you will be out of town or otherwise unable to take classes, you can request an extension by emailing

What are the dates of the quarters when the program occurs?2023-10-25T10:20:34-07:00

Annually, the start and end dates of each quarter may be adjusted by one or two days to fit more smoothly into the calendar. Generally the quarters will be:

Fall quarter: 9/1 to 12/19
Winter quarter: 1/2 to 3/31
Spring quarter: 4/1 to 6/30

The program is not active during the summer, but you may take any Woodworking Basics class that may be offered to fulfill your requirements. Mentorship projects may be completed during the summer if your mentor is available.

Is financial support available for the Woodworking Basics Certificate?2023-10-25T10:22:24-07:00

You may apply for tuition assistance through BARN’s existing program. Tuition assistance limits ($750 per class and $900 per person per year) will apply. If you think you need more support, please email to discuss.

Can I pay for the Woodworking Basics Certificate in installments?2023-10-25T10:24:43-07:00

As a rule, no. If you would like to discuss an installment plan to fit your unique situation, please email

Will I receive a grade for each class or at the end of the certificate?2024-01-05T17:00:47-08:00

No. To receive a certificate, you must attend each class meeting and each scheduled meeting with your mentor. If you accumulate a significant number of absences, fail to abide by the BARN Code of Conduct, or exhibit dangerous behavior in the shop, your participation in the program may be reviewed.

What are the criteria for being accepted into the program?2023-10-25T10:29:43-07:00

Beyond meeting noted education requirements, the primary consideration for acceptance into the program is your ability to work in the shop safely. Instructors will provide feedback to the program coordinator if questions arise about your ability to keep yourself and others safe.

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Learn More and Apply

Ready to learn more? First, attend an Open House to get further details about the program and get your questions answered in person.

When you’re ready, fill our and submit our application form. We will contact you to discuss your next steps. Questions? Contact

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