How to Become a Carpenter? All You Need to Know
Carpentry is a rewarding career that offers plenty of opportunities for growth in the building and construction industry, with even higher-paying supervisory or specialist positions. Think construction foreman, lead hand carpenter, or carpenter foreman.
As a carpenter, you study building plans, work out the materials required, shape timber into structures and fittings, and erect frameworks, roofs, floors, doors, fitting exteriors and window frames. You work with your hands to help create visually and functionally pleasing structures that people will use for almost forever..
If you enjoy beautiful houses, buildings, and structures and enjoy working with your hands, beginning your career in construction as a carpenter may be just the job for you.
This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about starting your career in carpentry.
Becoming a Carpenter through an Apprenticeship
A paid apprenticeship is the best way to become a carpenter in Australia. As a skill-focused career, a carpentry apprenticeship helps you implement and perfect your skills as you learn, with a mentor’s aid and supervision. During your training, you will learn the basics of carpentry, such as measuring and cutting wood and handling all the hand and power tools that carpenters use to complete the job.
As a carpentry apprentice, you start earning an income while you learn. Carpentry apprentices can also build up a portfolio of finished works and endorsements and connections through the work relationships made through on the job training.
Upon completing a carpentry apprenticeship, you will receive your Certificate iii of Carpentry which qualifies you to work as a carpenter on structures and frameworks on job sites.
Responsibilities as a Carpenter Apprentice
- Read plans, and interpret or implement specifications
- Take measurements and calculate accurate dimensions
- Handle power and hand tools
- Cut, shape and handle timber
- Repair frames and fittings
- Handle building exteriors like wall cladding, frames and doors
- Build frames, trusses and eaves
- Lay flooring
How long does a carpentry apprenticeship take?
How much does a carpenter apprentice make?
As a qualified carpenter, you can expect to earn an average wage of about $75,000* per year.
Apprentices have a base salary around $15 per hour. However, as you gain more experience, you earn a higher salary. You also save a lot more money in training fees when comparing your study with formal tertiary study. Instead of having to pay off massive HECS or HELP loans, all your training expenditure is looked after by your employer, that’s us.
Can a Cabinet Maker Become a Carpenter?
While carpenters and cabinet makers work with wood, these professions are not interchangeable. A skilled carpenter can often make a cabinet or other types of wooden furniture, cabinet makers cannot start making wooden structures on a construction site.
If you are a cabinet maker that wants to become a carpenter, the skills you already have with hand tools and working with wood may help better prepare you to start venturing down this career path. However, it’s critical that you still take steps to gain the training and certification to become a qualified carpenter.
The Benefits of Becoming a Carpenter
Carpentry is a stable and secure profession that offers plenty of growth opportunities. As a carpenter, you will be able to use your hands, knowledge, and creativity to contribute to beautiful and functional structures with your woodwork. You will also be able to know that you have helped create something that will be used and enjoyed by people for years to come.
Be Your Own Boss
After finishing your apprenticeship as a carpenter, you become your own boss. All carpenters are self-employed or ergo operate as independent contractors at a work site. This gives you the freedom to ask for and control your payment rates, where you go, and the jobs you take on.
If you dread being stuck 9-5 in a desk job, carpentry is a job you will be able to reliably work outside with your hands. So you can always enjoy fresh air, get some sun, and keep moving to keep your mind and body fit. As a carpenter, you will be able to travel and see many more places, across Australia or the world.
Learn Transferable Skills
With all the changes and uncertainty that came with COVID-19, many workers and businesses realised just how crucial it was to be able to adapt quickly. Workplaces evolved by focusing on transferable skills, allowing people to feel more certainty about finding a great place to work. As a successful carpenter, the skills you gather lay the foundation for excellent transferable hard and physical skills like strength, precise-hand-eye coordination and mathematics, and soft skills like problem-solving, delegation, and teamwork.
Every long and worthwhile journey starts with a single step. Start learning and working as a full-time carpentry apprentice.