Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Huntington Beach, California
First I'm going to tell you what you don't want to hear.
I have a neighbor who is a finish carpenter contractor. He has 8 or 10 people working for him as finish carpenters. From his point of view, he has an opening for the position of apprentice carpenter. He has two candidates. One like myself that never took wood shop in high school and one that has some wood working or carpentry experience.
If you were my neighbor which person would you hire?
Yeah, I know that you didn't want to hear that. Now I'm going to tell you even more what you don't want to hear but it may solve both of your problems.
The community college system in most states have woodworking programs. Enroll in a community college with a woodworking program. Take the transfer classes (to a 4 year institution to keep your parents happy) and fill in the elective classes with woodworking. By the time that you get through two semesters you will have some woodworking on your resume. Also, many community colleges offer apprentice entry programs. Meaning that when you complete the apprentice program, the industry accepts you and you don't have to go to all the night apprentice classes because you already have them.
And for goodness sake! You are applying for a framing carpentry, a finish carpentry, cabinet making, etc. job. You want "THAT" job. Don't say that you want say a job working with wood. You want "THE" job that is offered. That is "THE" job you have dreamed about all your life. If I'm hiring someone, I want a dedicated employee and not someone that "I think running that machine would be fun."
Finally the wet blanket. From your post, I am assuming that you are 17 or 18 years old. Most states require that workers be 21 years old before they can operate machinery on the job. Don't cry but get as much college experience as you can. Regardless of which area you enter, the additional college will assist you. Employers want someone that can stick to it and finish the task at hand. Showing that you finished a couple of years in Community College shows that you can complete something.
One other thing. Here I am 78 years old and retired. I had always wanted to be an electrician. Think about it, living in New York City, the opportunities for electricians seemed endless. (Industrial, building maintenance, remodel, new construction. . . .)
Like you, my parents decided that I was going to be a Lutheran Minister or a Doctor. (The site of blood makes me very ill and I am agnostic.) The first week of high school, my algebra teacher asks what I wanted to do when I got out of school. I said, "I want to be an electrician." Her answer was, "NO! You want to be an Electrical Engineer" almost shouting. At that point my thoughts were, "Why do I even want to be in this school?" From that point on school was a lost cause. The point is, follow your dream. Figure out how to get around the obstacles. When you follow your dreams you will be a lot happier. While I never became an electrician, I did work in and around electronics. My work became very rewarding and I am happy.
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY