Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Wood Technology?

A: Wood Technology is Laney College’s woodworking department. We offer classes on designing and making furniture and cabinets — from traditional hand tools, to handheld and stationary power tools, to contemporary CAD/CAM.

Q: Is Wood Technology a part of Carpentry?

A: No it is separate. Wood Technology and Carpentry are both part of Career and Technical Education at Laney but the Carpentry department is where you learn to build structures like houses, roofs, stairs. Wood Technology is where we build the furniture, cabinets, built-ins that go inside the house. We typically work with hardwoods and veneered sheet goods and work with a very high precision that can be accurate to 1/1000″.

Q: What are the difference between Vocational and Avocational courses?

A: Wood Technology offers Vocational classes for students who are interested in starting a new career, or upgrade their existing skills for a better career. We also offer Avocational classes for home-based enthusiasts, hobbyists, or retirees.

Q: Are there prerequisites for any of our classes?

A: It depends. There are prerequisites for some of our classes and some that are open for everyone (including total beginners). For the Wood Technology Certificate classes, they need to be taken in order. WDTEC 10 first, then 20, then 30, then 40. Also, some classes are broken up but are required to be taken together. For example you must take WDTEC 10 + WDTEC 10L + WDTEC 11 concurrently. For the avocational classes, you must take them in order (WDTEC 271 goes before 272, and you must start with WDTEC 210A before the other 210’s).

Q: How do I enroll in Wood Technology classes?

A: If you are new to Laney College. Go to this webpage for instructions on registering. If you have enrolled and received a grade (including W or I) in a class within the last two semesters, use your current User ID and Password to access your Student Center to enroll in courses now. Select which semester, then select “Laney” from the campus options, then drop down to “Wood Technology” in the subject line. You don’t need to select anything else. Click “SEARCH” to show all Wood Tech classes. If you are looking for current class schedule/times click here.

Q: What time of day are our classes?

A: Both day and night. We currently offer the Core Certificate classes WDTEC 10, 10L, 11, and 20, 20L, 21 during the day (currently M-Th 8am-1pm). The second year of the Certificate program is offered as evening courses (currently Mon, Wed 6pm-10pm) to accommodate working students — typically students are hired in the field by the second year. There is also WDTEC 271 that is an avocational evening class (currently Tu, Th 6pm-10pm). The “Traditional Japanese Hand Tools and Joinery” classes are typically offered on Sat.

Q: If I am unavailable during the daytime, is there still an option to take the Core Certificate classes?

A: Coming Soon: Wood Technology will have mini Certifications and evening options for the Core Certificate vocational classes (WDTEC 10 and 20)!

Q: What is a good class to start with?

A: If you are interested in a vocational path (to gain skilled employment in the trades, improve upon existing skills, or to switch careers) WDTEC 10 is where to start and is the core of our Certificate programs. No previous experience required — but we also have many students with years of experience  who are interesting in professionalizing their skills and learning up-to-date technology used in the field today. If you are interested in avocational classes (woodworking for the home-based enthusiast) start with WDTEC 271.

Q: How long does it take to complete the certificate in Wood Technology?

A: Typically it takes 4 semesters to complete the certificate, however the second year is evening only twice per week. Assume 19 hours per week the first 2 semesters and 8 hours per week for the last 2 semesters. There have been students who have completed it in 3 semesters, but it’s a rigorous day/night schedule!

Q: What if I’m not interested in CAD/CAM and advanced digitized techniques and machining?

A: You can take the 1-year Certificate classes (WDTEC 10 and 20) which are based on traditional machining techniques, or take the “Artisans in Wood” classes, or take “Traditional Japanese Hand Tools and Joinery” classes.

Q: Will I get a job with a Certificate?

A: While we cannot guarantee a job placement, we have high rates of student employment and have strong relationships with cabinet shops and institutions in the bay area that are looking for Laney-trained woodworkers. Of course the hiring flows with the economy, but these days we have more requests for skilled labor than we have students available!