How to become a Carpenter

Carpenters construct, erect, install, finish and repair wooden and metal structures and fixtures on residential and commercial buildings. They may also carry out work on large concrete, steel and timber structures such as bridges, dams, power stations and civil engineering projects.

Personal requirements for a Carpenter

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to work with your hands
  • Good sense of balance and ability to work at heights
  • Good at mathematics
  • Good health and eyesight
  • Able to work as part of a team

Education & Training for a Carpenter

To become a carpenter you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Carpentry. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Additional information

In some states and territories, carpenters must either be accredited as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).

Duties & Tasks of a Carpenter

Carpenters:

  • Construct formwork into which concrete is poured
  • Set out an outline of the building on the ground of the site, using string and pegs to allow for excavations
  • Build floors, wall frameworks (timber or metal) and roofs, and lay timber floors
  • Read plans and specifications to determine the dimensions, materials required and installation processes to be followed
  • Install metal and timber windows, sashes and doors
  • Construct and erect prefabricated units, such as cottages and houses
  • Cut materials with hand and power tools, and assemble, nail, cut or shape parts
  • Install door handles, locks, hardware, flooring underlay, insulating material and other fixtures
  • Maintain and sharpen tools.

Tasks

  • Nails fascia panels, sheaths roofs, and fits exterior wall cladding, as well as door and window frames..
  • Assembles prepared wood to form structures and fittings ready to install..
  • May repair existing fittings..
  • Cuts materials, and assembles and nails cut and shaped parts..
  • May work with plastic laminates, perspex and metals..
  • Order and select timbers and materials, and prepare layouts..
  • Cutting wood joints..
  • May construct concrete framework..
  • Studies drawings and specifications to determine materials required, dimensions and installation procedures..
  • Erects framework and roof framing, laying sub-flooring and floorboards and verifying trueness of structures..

Employment Opportunities for a Carpenter

Carpenters may work as subcontractors or may be employed by building and construction companies. Most carpenters are employed on housing projects, construction and civil engineering projects, and in maintenance roles in large factories, hospitals, institutions and private homes. Many carpenters specialise in areas such as framing, fixing or formwork.


Specializations

Carpenter

Carpenters construct, erect, install, finish and repair wooden and metal structures and fixtures on residential and commercial buildings. They may also carry out work on large concrete, steel and timber structures such as bridges, dams, power stations and civil engineering projects.

  • Average age
    Average age
    32 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    1% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,358
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    87% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    92,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.6%
    NSW: 31.6%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 20.9%
    SA: 5.1%
    TAS: 1.8%
    VIC: 29.2%
    WA: 8.9%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 8.2%
    20-24: 17.6%
    25-34: 30.6%
    35-44: 17.5%
    45-54: 14.4%
    55-59: 5.9%
    60-64: 4%
    65 and Over: 1.9%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3.1%
    Bachelor degree: 1.9%
    Certificate III/IV: 73.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.3%
    Year 10 and below: 6.9%
    Year 11: 3.5%
    Year 12: 11%
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