Carpentry forms the basis of the construction industry, with qualified carpenters being essential and valued tradespeople for their woodworking and building skills.
Overview of Carpentry
Courses and apprenticeships in carpentry are great for anyone who likes to work in a hands-on environment and see the results of their work before them. Carpenters are amongst the most important tradespeople in the construction industry for their skills in framing and roofing, while they may also find careers in industries that manufacturer wooden products, such as cabinets and furniture.
A career in carpentry requires several years as an apprentice before attaining qualification as an independent carpenter. The apprenticeship period also comprises off-the-job training in carpentry theory and regulations.
Carpentry apprenticeships usually run for four years of full time work. During this time, you will be supervised by a qualified carpenter who pays your wages while you learn on the job. Carpentry apprentices must supplement their practical experience with theoretical training offered by TAFEs and other industry providers.
It is possible to undertake a pre-apprenticeship in carpentry that fast-tracks skills and knowledge. These courses generally run for four to six months and are increasingly required by carpenters looking to take on apprentices.
Careers in carpentry
Carpentry is a valuable trade to master as, despite regular fluctuations, the industry continues to experience steady growth and employment prospects remain high.
Carpenters can enjoy careers in many specific carpentry fields such as rough carpentry (framework, roofing), finish carpentry (decking, flooring, window frames), cabinetmaking and furniture carpentry.
Carpenters are likely to either work as sub-contractors for larger firms – building anything from houses to commercial and industrial buildings – or as independent builders who are self-employed and more likely to work on smaller, residential projects.
Skills needed in carpentry
To work in carpentry you must have a sound mathematical mind for working with precision tools and making accurate measurements. It helps to have an aptitude for working with a range of hardware and a respect for safety precautions. You must also possess and maintain a high level of physical fitness as carpentry work is often strenuous.