If you’re handy with tools and like work that is challenging and rewarding, then becoming a carpenter may be the ideal vocational path for you. There is some training involved but there are courses and pathways out there that suit everyone, from the hobbyist looking to learn more, to people that want to become fully qualified. Read on to learn more.
What is a Carpenter?
A carpenter is a tradesperson that works primarily with wood and they construct, erect, repair, finish, and install wooden and metal structures and fixtures on all types of buildings. Some things that carpenters do include:
- Installing doors and windows
- Erecting a house frame
- Constructs formwork into which concrete is poured
- Lay timber floors
- Construct and erect prefabricated units – houses, cottages, sheds, and so forth
- Cut timber as necessary using power or hand tools and assemble this timber into furniture, cabinetry, and so on.
- Read plans to determine the size, required materials and installation processes for various structures
- Keep their tools maintained
To be a carpenter, you will need to enjoy working with your hands, and be prepared to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. A carpenter’s income can be quite significant depending on how they are employed. A carpenter may work as part of a larger building company or they can choose to start their own business, working for themselves or employing other carpenters to work in their business with them. Many carpenters operate as contractors or sub-contractors.
Training to be a Carpenter
There are many courses available that allow you to study carpentry, learning anything from the basics right through to advanced techniques. These courses can be short courses or certificates. Generally speaking, you will be able to complete the course by attending a campus either full time or part time, or you can complete it by distance or online learning. The latter is fantastic if you require flexibility in when and where you can study, as you can complete the course at your own pace.
If you intend to make a career out of being a carpenter, you will need to move on to an apprenticeship after you have completed a shorter course. An apprenticeship generally runs for four years and it consists of practical on the job learning provided by the employer as well as a theoretical component which is generally completed by going to TAFE or another similar registered training organisation. The good thing about an apprenticeship is that you are paid to learn.
Questions to Consider
If you want to learn about carpentry or to make a career out of carpentry, there are some questions that you’ll need to ask to ensure that the vocation is right for you. These include:
- Am I aware of what exactly is involved in being a carpenter?
- Are there costs associated with the training, and if so, how much are these?
- Are tools and other materials provided to me as I learn?
- Is the course provided by a reputable organisation/employer?
- Will I be provided with a nationally recognised qualification upon completion of the course?
- What kind of income can I expect, both after I’m qualified and while I’m learning?