Hendrickson is the daughter of a Navy officer and grew up at his numerous postings. She graduated from Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maine in 1975 while he was commanding the VP-11 maritime patrol unit based there. She graduated from Auburn University in 1979 with a degree in animal science, then completed a nursing degree at the University of Alabama in 1984. While working as a nurse, she remained at Alabama to earn a master of arts in biology education and went on to study deaf education at Gallaudet University and to complete a Ph.D online through Walden University.
Hendrickson served as a Navy Nurse from 1989 to 1993 and was trained for Operation Desert Storm. She has worked continuously as a nurse and educator in military and civilian contexts, including some time at the Birmingham Zoo. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa and attends Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
- Diel, Stan (May 6, 2010) "Campaign 2010: 4 candidates hope to return U.S. House seat for Alabama District 7 to GOP." Birmingham News
- Carol Hendrickson campaign website