If you’re the creative type, and like to build things from scratch, working as a carpenter would be an excellent career choice for you. Carpenters work with their hands and use tools, wood and other building materials to make anything from furniture and cabinets to homes.
To become a carpenter you will need to meet some specific educational requirements and gain industry experience. As you work in the field, you will develop your craft so you can advance your career and become more successful doing what you love.
There are essentially two ways to start a career as a carpenter: getting on-the-job experience or earning a degree. To start working in the industry now, find a job as a carpentry labourer or joiner’s mate. These jobs will help you gain valuable experience and help you learn the trade while working, so you can start your career right away. This is also a good way to start making connections in the industry that can help you work your way up and develop your career.
However, most employers look for job candidates with training and education in carpentry. The ideal way to find a job as a carpenter is to take some time to get the proper training so that you will be more attractive to employers, more fully qualified and ready to start your new job the right way.
Many colleges offer carpentry courses and programs that will help you prepare for this industry. You will need to take classes in basic wood construction and wood operations that will teach you all you need to know about working as a carpenter. You will need to earn one of the following degrees:
• Certificate or Diploma in Wood Occupations
• Certificate or Diploma in Construction Crafts (Carpentry and Joinery)
• Diploma in Site Carpentry
• Diploma in Senior Crafts (Construction and Joinery)
All of these degrees will help you be more qualified for a job as a carpenter and could even help you find employment faster. Your college or university can provide information about which programs it offers and which is the best choice for you.
Some employers require the carpenters they hire to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. If your employer requires this, you will need to pass a health, safety and environment test and and prove that you meet some specific qualifications.
Once you have gained experience in the field and developed entry-level carpentry skills, you can earn the Masters Certificate Scheme to further your career and enhance your professional skills.
As you begin working as an assistant, apprentice or entry-level carpenter, you will get the chance to learn some skills in a hands-on environment. You will get to learn from experienced professionals who can teach you their trade, so you will be better prepared for your own career.
Some skills you will need to learn include how to install structural components, produce joinery products, erect frame walls, lay floors, install roofs, finish wood, read design plans, use specialised computer programs and more.
Carpentry involves a lot of measuring, math and attention to detail, and industry experience will help you become an expert in these, and many other, areas of the trade.
Gaining industry experience is also vital if you want to develop your career and pursue a future working as a carpenter. Industry experience will help you learn things you can’t learn in the classroom, teach you how to work with other professionals and learn how to be a successful carpenter.
Working in the industry can also help you make connections with employers, builders, fellow carpenters and other professionals that can help you develop your career. As you meet these people and network with them, you may be able to find out about job openings and career opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on. These people can also act as mentors, helping you become a better carpenter.
A Day in the Life of a Carpenter
When you work as a carpenter, you will spend your days working with wood, joinery supplies, tools and building plans. You will be required to use technical skills and your eye for design to make products both functional and beautiful.
Your responsibilities will vary depending on what kind of job you have, as different businesses provide different services. For example, if you work for a construction company you will likely spend your time creating building frames. On the other hand, if you work for a furniture designer, your days will consist of making sketches and plans become real-life pieces of furniture that clients use to add style and function to their offices and homes.
Using and Maintaining Specialised Tools
As you work as a carpenter and enhance your career, you will work with a wide variety of tools that you will need to learn how to use and maintain. Carpenters use timber cutting equipment, including tools like impact wrenches, circular saws, grinders, jigsaws, power planes, routers, planes, drills and so much more.
Your formal training and industry experience will help you learn how to use these tools properly so you can perform tasks correctly and safely. Employers will look for job candidates who can use these kinds of tools, so learning to use them is vital to your success in this field.
An important part of learning to use these tools is learning to maintain and care for them. These specialised tools need to be cleaned, cared for and repaired properly so they will continue to work effectively. As you learn how to use these tools and how to maintain them, you will become more attractive to employers and more valuable to the company you work for.
Working as a carpenter is a very rewarding job that allows you to use your hands to construct things and get creative as you design and then implement beautiful and functional plans. Start your path to becoming a carpenter by taking appropriate college courses, earning your degree and then gaining industry experience that will help you learn how to perform detailed tasks and use specialised carpentry equipment.