Tommy Farrer

Mr. Farrer grew up in Charlottesville, graduating from Charlottesville High School. He attended CATEC as an Electricity I and II student. He was motivated to study electricity because he had family members who worked in the industry. Mr. Farrer credits his CATEC instructor for being a big influence on his career choices. As an employee of UVA, he returned to CATEC as an adult Apprenticeship student. He worked for UVA Facilities Management for more than 20 years. Today, he teaches for both the High School and Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs.


building trades

CATEC's Building Trades program prepares students to study all aspects of the in-demand construction industry. Students erect, install, maintain, and repair buildings and other structures using materials. These materials include metal, wood, stone, brick, glass, concrete, and composition substances. Students focus on developing skills in core safety expectations in the masonry, carpentry, electricity, and plumbing professions. Students can earn one year of related technical instruction (RTI) towards an apprenticeship program.



Students receive up to 3 high school elective credits each year for successful completion of the program. Passage of the certification exam will award the student 2 student-verified elective credits, one of which can be substituted for a verified credit in either science or history.


National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER Core)

Occupational Safety and Health Administrations, 10 hour (OSHA-10)

Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills Assessment

Class: Building Trades I & II

State Code: 8515, 8516

Duration: 1 year

Grade(s): 10-12

Credential(s): NCCER Core, OSHA-10

Time(s): AM only


Germanna Community College

  • Technical Studies Industrial Maintenance, A.I.T.

Piedmont Virginia Community College

  • Manufacturing Technology (Career Studies Certificate)

James Madison University

  • Industrial Design, B.S.

Old Dominion University

  • General Engineering, B.S.

University of Virginia

  • Architectural Design, B.S.

  • Multi-Disciplinary Architectural Studies, B.S.

  • Urban & Environmental Planning, B.A.E.P.

Virginia Tech

  • Landscape Architecture, B.L.A.

  • Construction Science, B.S.

  • Building Construction B.S.

  • Industrial Design, B.S.

  • Landscape Architecture, L.A.R.

  • Industrial & Systems Engineering, I.S.E.

  • Materials Science & Engineering, M.S.E.


  • Career Opportunity: Construction Worker

  • Work on framing, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing jobs.

  • National Wage Average: $47,000

  • Virginia Wage Average: $55,000

  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +21.2%

  • Nationally, 168,000 jobs increase each year for next 10 years

  • Career Opportunity: Carpenter

  • Construct & repair building frameworks structures; such as, stairways, door frames; partitions; rafters; & bridge supports made from wood & other materials. They also install kitchen cabinets, siding, & drywall.

  • National Wage Average: $42,090

  • Virginia Wage Average: $40,680

  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +6%

  • Career Opportunity: Architectural Designer & Drafter

  • Prepare detailed drawings of architectural & structural features of buildings & topographical relief maps used in civil engineering projects such as highway, bridges, & public works. They use knowledge of building materials, engineering practice & mathematics to complete drawings.

  • National Wage Average: $53,470

  • Virginia Wage Average: $50,950

  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +7%