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Drywall I

Drywalling serves as the backbone of interior construction projects, providing both structural integrity and aesthetic value to commercial buildings.

A professional drywall construction worker installs drywall on the interior ceiling of a building.

Course Description

West Michigan Construction Institute’s comprehensive drywall training course equips aspiring tradespeople with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field, including everything from measuring, cutting, and fitting drywall panels to mastering finishing techniques and understanding building codes. 

In addition to learning the fundamentals of commercial drywall installation, students will also earn NCCER’s CORE: Intro to Basic Construction Skills certification. This certification further equips them for success by teaching foundational construction skills such as using power tools, safety practices, job site teamwork, and more. 

Prerequisites: None


Course Details

instructors: Clark Causely & Jason Roh

Project Supervisor, Lakewood Construction

Director of Instruction, West Michigan Construction Institute

Credentials Earned

what you'll learn in drywall I

Fall Semester curriculum

Basic Safety

Work at construction and industrial job sites can be hazardous. Most job-site incidents are caused by at-risk behavior, poor planning, lack of training, or failure to recognize the hazards. To help prevent incidents, every company must have a proactive safety program. Safety must be incorporated into all phases of the job and involve employees at every level, including management.

Introduction to Construction Math

Craft professionals rely on math to do their jobs accurately and efficiently. Plumbers calculate pipe lengths, plan drain slopes, and interpret dimensioned plans. Carpenters meet code requirements by using math to frame walls and ceilings properly. HVAC professionals develop ductwork and calculate airflow with practical geometry. Whichever craft lies in your future, math will play a role in it. This module reviews the math that you will need and sharpens the skills that you will be using in the exciting modules ahead.

Introduction to Hand Tools

Every profession has its tools. A surgeon uses a scalpel, an instructor uses a whiteboard, and an accountant uses a calculator. The construction crafts require a broad array of hand tools. Even if you are familiar with some of the tools, all craftworkers need to learn how to select, maintain, and use them safely. A quality hand tool may cost more up front, but if it is properly used and maintained, it will last for years. A true craft professional invests wisely in hand tools, and uses, maintains, and stores them with the same wisdom.

Introduction to Power Tools

Power tools play an important role in the construction industry. Thousands of construction workers across the world use power tools every day to make holes, cut different types of materials, smooth rough surfaces, and shape a variety of products. Regardless of their specialization, all construction workers eventually use power tools on their job. This module provides an overview of the common types of power tools and how they function. It also describes the proper techniques required to ensure their safe and efficient operation.

Introduction to Construction Drawings

Various types of construction drawings are used to represent actual components of a building project. The drawings provide specific information about the locations of the parts of a structure, the types of materials to be used, and the correct layout of the building. Knowing the purposes of the different types of drawings and interpreting the drawings correctly are important skills for anyone who works in the construction trades. This module introduces common types of construction drawings, their basic components, standard drawing elements, and measurement tools that are typically used when working with construction drawings.

Basic Communication Skills

The construction professional communicates constantly. The ability to communicate skillfully will help to make you a better worker and a more effective leader. This module provides guidance in listening to understand, and speaking with clarity. It explains how to use and understand written materials, and it also provides techniques and guidelines that will help you to improve your writing skills.

Basic Employability Skills

Becoming gainfully employed in the construction industry takes more preparation than simply filling out a job application. It is essential to understand how the construction industry and potential employers operate. Your trade skills are extremely important, but all employers are also looking for those who are eager to advance and demonstrate positive personal characteristics. This module discusses the skills needed to pursue employment successfully.

Introduction to Materials Handling

Lifting, stacking, transporting, and unloading materials such as brick, pipe, and various supplies are routine tasks on a job site. Whether performing these tasks manually or with the aid of specialized equipment, workers must follow basic safety guidelines to keep themselves and their co-workers safe. This module provides guidelines for using the appropriate PPE for the material being handled and using proper procedures and techniques to carry out the job.

spring semester curriculum

Introduction to Drywall

Reviews the history of the craft and provides modern examples of drywall work, including descriptions of the training process and career opportunities in the wall and ceiling industry. Also identifies the responsibilities and characteristics a drywall technician should possess, as well as safety precautions associated with the industry.

Construction Materials and Methods

Provides an overview of the materials and techniques used in building and finishing walls and ceilings in residential and commercial buildings, including wood- and steel framed structures, masonry construction, and concrete-formed structures. Also explains fire- and sound-rated construction.

Thermal and Moisture Protection

Covers the selection and installation of insulating materials in walls, floors, and attics. Also covers the uses and installation practices for ventilation and vapor retarders, water resistive barriers, and air infiltration control.

Drywall Installation

Discusses the uses for different types of gypsum board and the fastening devices, adhesives, and methods used to install them. Describes single- and multi-ply installations along with drywall trim. Also covers guidelines for moisture control and fire- and sound-rated walls.

Drywall Finishing

Covers the materials, tools, and methods used to achieve the various drywall finishing levels. Also describes the process for repairing finished joints,  problems with compound, fastener-related damage, and common problems with gypsum drywall sheets.

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