If you have a talent for artistic works and want to learn how to become a carpenter, this article is for you. A good understanding of a carpenter’s job description is an excellent step before starting an apprenticeship and creating a carpenter portfolio.
Carpenters build and innovate wooden structures. 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 daily, 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 must be physically strong and know 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 about this.
See More: 11 Best Trade Schools for Carpentry In The USA
What does a Carpenter do?
Carpenter works with wood to create, repair or innovate structures.
They write quotations and meet with clients to draft designs for a project.
Some projects include making and insulating 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 craft you can learn overnight or even in months. It takes 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 practice different carpentry tasks to hone your skills under 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 Carpenter Assistant and 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 route 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 qualified 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 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, teaching you the fundamentals of carpentry and allowing you to get the experience needed to get into this trade.
Also See: 10 Best Carpentry Schools in Massachusetts
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 the appropriate material for a given project.
- Make household furniture 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 wood into valuable materials.
- Estimate the number of woods and other materials required to start 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, and 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 an apprenticeship which may last for 3-4 years
During your 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, you should learn how to read, understand, and use blueprints during training.
In addition, all safety rules and precautions must be followed, as well as 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.
Clients often prefer working with carpenters with some years of experience.
Not just the experience but the visible and commendable experience.
Read More: 10 Best Carpentry Schools in Boston
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 possess:
A good carpenter has to be creative. That’s the only way to create a structure that will stand out.
Clients also prefer Carpenters who can think outside the box when necessary to make structures 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 is 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 excellent negotiation skills.
This skill is important for binding job contracts and purchasing materials from vendors.
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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 to avoid injuries that may tamper with your physical strength
5. Mathematics Skills
Goof maths understanding and using geometry are 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 during work.
7. Attention to Details
The importance of giving attention to details during carpentry cannot be overemphasized.
It is necessary for taking precise measurements and in the over-construction process.
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How Much do Carpenters make?
Your payment as a carpenter depends on the job type and your level of expertise.
On 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 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 building rough wood 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 client contracts.
A hard-working carpenter will not always need to have a contract before working.
You can build beautiful pieces of furniture and auction them for sale.
Read Also: Best Carpentry Schools In South Africa | All You Need To Know
Conclusion: Carpenter Job Description Guide
Whether you’re a beginner or want to shift careers, the first question that might be spiraling into your mind is how to become a carpenter, even with no prior experience.
I hope this article answers that question and provides the best possible paths to getting into this profession.
For individuals with a flair for artistic work using wood, taking up a career path in carpentry may be a good choice.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might want to see the job descriptions of the following professions.
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