While some students complete training through a post-secondary program, a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement to become a carpenter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Relevant courses in high school include mechanical drawing, math classes, shop and English.
As a trade career, carpenters typically complete a formal apprenticeship program that lasts three or four years. The training usually includes 144 hours of class-based learning, along with 2,000 hours of paid, hands-on experience. Blueprint reading, welding, rigging and safety are among the skills acquired during training. Trade schools offer two-year degree programs that normally contribute to the apprenticeship requirements. Math, physical stamina, problem-solving, detail-orientation and business skills are among the abilities an aspiring carpenter needs to develop.