May 26, 2024  
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025 
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025

Building Trades Diploma

Building Trades is a Diploma program designed for individuals interested in a career in residential, commercial, or industrial building construction. Residential construction involves the building or remodeling of houses, condominiums, or apartment complexes. These structures are primarily wood frame construction. Commercial construction involves the building of single-story office buildings, stores, or restaurants. These structures often use light gauge metal framing in addition to wood construction. Industrial construction includes the building of factories, hospitals, schools, or multistory office buildings. These structures may be constructed of concrete, masonry, structural steel, or a combination of materials.

Building Trades program students learn and develop skills through a combination of classroom-structured units, manipulative lab projects, and mentored job experiences. Classroom units provide students with necessary information on safety, blueprint reading, and craft work processes. Manipulative projects provide students the opportunity to learn craft skills at their own pace in a mock job site setting. NIACC Building Trades students will have opportunities for nationally-recognized certifications including OSHA, and NC3 certifications. The Building Trades Lab is a state-of-the-art facility where students learn in an individualized, competency-based setting, mastering skills by constructing manipulative projects. Mentored job experiences provide students the opportunity to apply learned skills as well as develop new skills while working under the guiding supervision of skilled contractors on job sites around North Iowa.

Future Ready Iowa


  Eligible for the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship.


Career Opportunities

Completion of this program prepares graduates to enter the construction industry as carpenters, with the basic skills to work in residential, commercial, or industrial construction. You will learn the skills necessary to perform work processes in:

  • Concrete Formwork
  • Framing
  • Exterior Finish
  • Interior Finish
  • Interior Systems
  • Cabinetry and Millwork

Gainful Employment

For specific information contact the NIACC Industrial Division.

Incoming students are eligible to compete for scholarships through the Tom and Linda Schaefer Endowment Fund, which provides twelve $1,500 scholarships each year for NIACC Building Trades students. Graduating students are eligible to compete for a $500 scholarship awarded each semester by the North Iowa Area Builders Exchange. Upon successful completion of the Building Trades curriculum with a grade point average of 2.00 (C) or higher, the student is awarded a Diploma.

Courses are structured so that students enter the Building Trades program in the Fall semester.


There is a comprehensive list of essential Building Trades Tool Sets  necessary to thrive in the Building Trades program at NIACC. These tools have been meticulously curated to ensure students have everything they need to excel in their academic journey and beyond. From foundational resources to advanced materials, this list encompasses the necessities for success in every facet of the program. 

Tools are sold in complete sets from the NIACC BookZone. There is no sale of a partial set. 

The sale of student tools is deemed final, meaning all purchases are considered non-refundable.

Tools are available to purchase from the NIACC BookZone beginning August 1st. 

The NIACC BookZone accepts cash, check and credit card for tools. Students also have the option of applying Financial Aid to help cover the cost of tools. Contact the Financial Aid office (888)-466-4222 Ext 4168 or to discuss your options with a Financial Aid representative.

Required Courses/Suggested Schedule

Other Elective Carpentry Courses