ABANA National Curriculum

The Standard for Blacksmith Education in North America

The ABANA National Curriculum for Blacksmiths and Blacksmith Instructors gets you trained, certified, and recognized as a professional blacksmith.  Our core mission is to perpetuate the noble art of blacksmithing across North America. As part of this mission, it is vital to share a successful and practical working curriculum with members, affiliates, and the blacksmithing world at large.

We present the curriculum as a structured way to learn and teach blacksmithing. Certifications recognized by the global blacksmith community will give:

  • A sense of achievement to both the hobbyist and the professional
  • Better jobs for certified blacksmiths
  • Competitive advantage for shop owners with certified employees
  • More visibility for schools with certified instructors

Who is Eligible to be Certified?

The ABANA National Curriculum (NC) is a departure point for those who seek a structured program of study. Yes, it will challenge you. But it will also make you proud of yourself once you have completed a certain level. Overall, there are 3 levels of proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Who is eligible to learn from the curriculum?  Anyone and everyone is welcome to learn from this self-paced curriculum.  One does not need to be an ABANA member to follow the curriculum; however, being a member will have some perks.  ABANA members who satisfactorily complete each level will receive a certificate that recognizes their hard work and achievement.

ABANA first introduced the National Curriculum in 2015, then more thoroughly in 2020. Our Curriculum is based on the European model of trade education. It had first been introduced in North America by the California Blacksmith Association (CBA), an ABANA affiliate.  CBA graciously shared it with us.

On this website, you will find a detailed description of each of the levels (I, II, and III), the requirements for achieving each level, and the requirements for instructors to teach and certify each level.

National Curriculum Logo

How is the ABANA National Curriculum Structured?

How to Study the ABANA National Curriculum

Self Study

Self study could involve working through the projects in your own shop, attending conferences (check our homepage for upcoming local conferences, or it might involve learning activities with a local ABANA Affiliate organization.

Online Learning

Online learning presents a great opportunity to fit the ABANA National Curriculum into your busy schedule. Check out our online classes available as well as our YouTube channel which is being updated several times a month with new content.

Online Materials

Materials for Level I, Level II, and Level III of the ABANA National Curriculum are available free on our website. Additional support articles can be found in Hammer’s Blow magazine which is available to members.

Formal Classes

Increasingly, there are more and more locations across North America with a certified National Curriculum Instructor teaching classes according to the ABANA National Curriculum. Check out our list of schools and in-person learning opportunities.