Your love for wood can become your profession
If you grew up watching the people around you make things from wood, you may have a passion for following in those footsteps. Whether you have such a background or not, once you DO work with wood, no other material will quite match up.
Building things from wood can become habit-forming. The sound of the saw, the smell of sawdust, the diversity of wood types, colors, density, grains, finishes and end uses will keep you coming back for more. Knowing that you’re working with a material that’s grown in nature and that’s sustainable – that makes it even better.
If you’re thinking of wood as a livelihood; if you’re evaluating your prospects of being hired into an industry where jobs are plentiful, look closely at Kirtland’s Wood Science Technology Program. Our curriculum was written, in part, by an industry leader, so we know exactly what employers are looking for.
Please note: This is NOT a fine woodworking course. This is a manufacturing program with an emphasis on design.
You understand that there’s a difference between making a canoe paddle or a rocking chair in your garage and working in a manufacturing facility turning out hundreds of rocking chairs. If you’re curious about stepping into that larger arena — Wood Science Technology could be the place where you belong.
Employers are looking for trained wood professionals; in fact, they’re desperately looking!
There are SO many jobs available in this field for men and women – especially in Michigan.
The immediate surrounding area of Grayling, Michigan alone houses over 14 major wood-related companies currently employing over 1,000 workers. Several of these companies are expected to expand operations in the near future.
One company representative recently indicated that he’d be happy to take every student who graduates from Kirtland’s Wood Science Technology program! What are you waiting for?
This is a great industry, and it’s growing.
“The wood products industry in the United States is an important contributor to the U.S. economy, accounting for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Wood products companies are among the top ten manufacturing sector employers in 47 states, producing $210 billion in products annually.”
~ from woodworkingnetwork.com
When choosing your profession, what do you care about most?
Job security and good working conditions?
A steady flow of interesting work and multiple options for employment?
Good pay and benefits?
A job where you can use both your mental and hands-on abilities to produce tangible results every day?
An environment where you might use your design skills?
A job where you follow set procedures and routines in a manufacturing environment?
A feeling of achievement?
Long-term possibilities for your own growth and advancement; a field where you can continually improve and gain more skill?
Wood Technology as a field encompasses all of these attributes and more.
Examples of the jobs you could perform after completing your training at Kirtland:
- Machine Setter
- Dry Kiln Operator
- Cabinet Maker
- Furniture Maker
- CNC operator
- and many more
Median Salary (2021) in Michigan: $36,360
Employment growth (2021-31): 12%
Median Salary (2021) in Michigan: $37,660
Employment growth (2021-31): 17%
Salary data according to O*NET Online
At Kirtland you’ll finish with a Wood Technology and Wood Machine Operation Certificate of Completion
- The program can be completed in nine months.
- You will not be required to take general studies prerequisites.
- Every course will be directly related to your future occupation.
Complete your certification in only NINE months
Currently, you’ll only need to complete 31 credit hours of coursework!
Given the high demand for workers in this industry – especially in the Grayling area – you’ll have many job opportunities to choose from as soon as you’re done with your training.
To prepare you for these jobs, YOU’LL LEARN
- machine theory and performing advanced machine operations
- manufacturing processes (including CAD and CNC router programming and technology)
- the dynamics of wood and processes to assemble components
- wood joinery techniques
- types of finishing
- how to interpret engineering drawings
- molder, shaper, and routing processes
- hardwood lumber grading and merchandising
- the fundamentals of furniture manufacturing
- And, you’ll learn to understand and follow safety practices
Is this a program where YOU can excel?
If you agree with most of these ideas, the answer may be YES …
- I like to make things, be part of a process, and see the final product with my own eyes. At the end of the day, I want to point to something I made and say, “I did that!”
- I like to work with my hands and also with machines.
- I’m naturally curious about systems and how things are made.
- When there’s a problem to be solved or a challenge to figure out, I often ask myself: “How can I make this better? How can I improve this process?”
- I’d like to learn about computer assisted design, automation and other technology used by wood product manufacturers.
- I’d love to be able to visualize a piece of furniture in 3-D and to learn how to use up-to-date woodworking machinery to construct it.
- I’m eager to get to work. That’s one reason why Kirtland’s 9-month program appeals to me!
We’ve designed a program for hands-on learners
Regardless of your current skill set, we can prepare you to understand wood, whether you plan to work in a large manufacturing company or a mom and pop shop.
If you’ve ever attended a school where your educational needs as a hands-on learner were not well met, or where you didn’t feel your talents were recognized in large part because of your learning style, you’re in for a big surprise here at Kirtland. Hands-on learning is our specialty.
We provide you with a well-equipped, modern laboratory for learning and plenty of time to practice under the guidance of a highly skilled and experienced instructor.
Your Kirtland education is trusted by employers
- Our program, which premiered in 2019, is modern and up-to-date, designed under the requirements of industry professionals to meet the needs of today’s wood manufacturing companies.
- Faculty members designed (and, in some cases, built) custom components for the industry-current equipment in our lab.
Passionate student-focused advisors provide the guidance you need to succeed.
Our advisors are well-known among current and former students alike for their kindness and exceptional level of interest and commitment to our students’ success.
They’ll do their best to answer your questions and get you the right information.
Kirtland makes it easier to work out the finances
You can save a lot of money by enrolling here. Our tuition rates are one-third the cost of most four-year schools and universities, which puts you at a real advantage!
We also have many resources for financial aid and professional staff who’ll help you apply.
Get help with your financial aid
You may be surprised by how simple it is to apply for government grants, scholarships and loans.
Your credit history is not a major consideration in qualifying for federal aid. You DON’T need to attend school full-time to qualify. And we will assist you with the process you’re dreading IF you need help. Often students are eligible for more money than they’re expecting.
Your path to a lucrative & fulfilling future
Step 1 — Get Started
Speak to an advisor!
They’ll help you navigate the process, dot the I’s and cross the T’s! If you’ve made your decision, declare Wood Science Technology as your program of study with your advisor.
Complete your program courses.
Victory! Graduate with a Certificate of Completion in Wood Science Technology!
Get a job with great benefits! Local manufacturers are waiting for your application!