How to Become a Carpenter With No Experience

If you have a flair for artistic works and you are looking for how to become a carpenter, then this article is for you. Having a good understanding of the job description of a carpenter is a good step to take before starting apprenticeship and creating a carpenter portfolio.

Carpenters build and innovate wooden constructions. Some of their works include kitchen cupboards, furniture and wooden frameworks.

Carpenters are required in a variety of construction activities.

Also, their services are required almost every day, if not by an organization, then by individuals.

The job description of a carpenter may vary depending on the type of work they are employed to carry out.

To become a good carpenter, you have to be physically strong and have a good knowledge of the use of the different carpentry tools and equipment.

Most people do not know this, but there are different types of carpenters. In the course of your reading, you learn more concerning this.


What does a carpenter do?

Carpenter works with wood to create, repair or innovate structures. 

They write out quotations, meet with clients to draft out designs for a project. 

Some of the projects they carry out include making and insulation of doors, windows and kitchen cabinets.

A carpenter also negotiates with clients on the best cost with which they can implement their job.

Having known what a carpenter does, how do you become one? Find out below.

How to become a carpenter

1. The first route you can take is completing an apprenticeship program. 

By being an apprentice, you will be able to get experience from somebody experienced. You will be able to work with journeymen and experts in the field. 

Carpentry isn’t a kind of craft you can learn overnight or even in months. It takes about three to four years to complete an apprenticeship at a union or guild. 

By being an apprentice, you will be working in an environment where you are practicing different carpentry tasks to hone your skills with the direction of professionals who know what they’re doing.

2. The other way to become a carpenter is to find work as a laborer or as a carpenter assistant and then climb your way up as you gain the skills and experience. 

Working alongside other carpenters will enable you to learn technical skills and hands-on techniques. 

By being an assistant, you supplement your learning by taking a carpentry training program. 

This may be the shortest way you can take if you want to be a carpenter but this doesn’t compensate you much because as an assistant you make much less money than a quailed carpenter. Just like in the apprenticeship training, you learn while on the job.

3. You can also take carpentry training by attending classes. 

See if your local community college or technical school in your area offers carpentry classes. 

The school will teach you how to safely operate power tools and work with manual tools such as saws, hammers, and drills. 

Such classes offered by these schools usually last for several weeks or months that will teach you the fundamentals of carpentry and will allow you to get some experience needed to get into this trade.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a carpenter?

Some of the typical duties of a carpenter irrespective of the type of work are:

  • Recommend and seek for the appropriate material for a given project.
  • Make household furnitures and upholstery.
  • Negotiate and agree on a given price for services.
  • Installation of structures made of wood. Some of such structures are roofing frames and partitions.
  • Measure, crave out and shape woods into useful materials.
  • Estimate the numbers of woods and other materials required to start up and complete a job.
  • Negotiate the price of construction materials with vendors.
  • Order materials when needed.
  • Make use of blueprints and designs to construct strictly using the specifications stated by an architect or other construction professionals.
  • Repair damaged wooden structures.
  • Innovate wooden structures and materials using modern designs.
  • Observe all building codes and safety precautions.

What qualifications do I need to become a carpenter?

A high school diploma is required, high school subjects such as technical or mechanical drawing,mathematics and vocational skills are advantageous.

One of the routes to becoming a carpenter is to obtain an associate degree in carpentry from a technical school.

The time taken to obtain an associate degree in carpentry may vary depending on the school.

Another route is by enrolling for apprenticeship which may last for 3-4 years

During apprenticeship, you will learn under the supervision of a trained carpenter.

Training will start from smaller and less difficult tasks to bigger and tougher ones.

Whichever route you take, during training, you should learn how to read, understand and make use of blueprints.

And also all safety rules and precautions and the use of all carpentry tools and equipment.

During training, student or apprentice carpenters also learn and master a carpenter’s job description, directly or indirectly.

Most times, clients prefer working with carpenters who have some years of experience.

Not just experience, but visible and commendable experience.

What skills and personality suit a carpenter?

As a carpenter, possessing some skills and attributes will make you stand out.

Skills will make a carpenter’s job unique from the work of every other carpenter.

Taking the job description of a carpenter into consideration, these are some of the skills or attributes a carpenter should posses:

1. Creativity

A good carpenter has to be creative. That’s the only way you can create a piece of structure that will stand out.

Clients also prefer Carpenters who can think outside the box when necessary to make structures really unique

2. Skills in performing manual tasks

Carpenters have to be skilled in the use of manual tools and equipment.

Although with the growth in technology, more equipment to make work easier are being invented.

But, some of the tools used in carpentry are still manual and need eye coordination to perform.

3. Negotiation skills 

A good carpenter must have an excellent negotiation skill.

That is because this skill is important in binding for a job, as well as in purchasing materials from vendors.

4. Physical strength

The work of a carpenter requires a lot of physical strength to carry out.

Therefore, a carpenter has to be physically fit at all times.

As such, as a carpenter, you must observe all safety precautions in order to avoid injuries that may tamper with your physical strength

5. Mathematics skills

Goof maths understanding and use is important in measuring and cutting wood or other materials.

Aside from measurement and cutting, math skills are required in the overall construction process

6. Problem solving skills

A good carpenter should be able to man over problems that may arise in the course of working.

7. Attention to details

The importance of giving attention to details during carpentry cannot be overemphasized.

It is necessary for taking precise measurement and in the over construction process.

How much do carpenters make?

Your payment as a carpenter is dependent on the type of job and your level of expertise.

On an average, carpenters make about $48,330 per year.

The lowest 10% of the average pay is about $30,170. Whereas, the highest 10% is about $84,690.

These figures may vary depending on your geographical location.

What are the types of carpenters?

Your area of expertise in carpentry may determine your pay and the type of job you will be contracted to do.

Some of the different types of carpentry are:

  • Construction carpenters: they construct, repair and renovate wooden materials made with plywood and wallboard. They carry out their job using manual carpentry tools.
  • Rough carpenters: as their name implies, their job description includes the building of rough woods structures. Such structures include bridges and scaffoldings

Where do carpenters work?

At some point in life, almost everyone requires the services of a carpenter.

Some of the typical everyday employers of carpenters are:

  • Construction companies
  • Private businesses
  • Government organizations

A carpenter may also be self employed, but may always require contracts from clients to work.

A hard working carpenter will not always need to have a contract before working.

You can just build beautiful pieces of furniture and auction them for sale.

Conclusion: carpenter job description guide

Whether you’re a beginner or someone who wants to shift career, the first question that might be spiralling in your mind is how to become a carpenter even with no prior experience. 

I hope this article has the answer to that question and provides the best possible paths to get into this profession.

For individuals who have a flair for artistic work using woods, taking up a career path in carpentry may just be a good choice.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may want to see the job description of the following professions.


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