How to Become a Carpenter and Joiner

Carpenter and Joiner

In our review of different careers we take a look at how to become a carpenter and joiner.

If you really enjoy working with wood and have the skills required for working out measurements and follow technical plans, then you should consider becoming a carpenter.

What does a carpenter and joiner do?

Carpenters are manual workers who build and install wood structures. They have a very keen eye for detail and play an essential role in many different contexts.

What are my options if I want to go into carpentry?

When you decide to take a carpentry course or work as a carpenter, you need to know that there are two different types of carpentry, Finishing Carpentry and Construction Carpentry. What you choose will depend on your own personal preferences.

Option 1 – Construction Carpentry

If you enjoy working outdoors and love being part of a large team of people working together in large projects, then you should consider Construction Carpentry. Construction Carpenters work on construction sites, and are in charge of erecting frames for dams, roads, bridges and buildings.

Option 2 – Finishing Carpentry

On the other hand, if you prefer to work indoors then you should consider becoming a Finishing Carpenter, as you will be working inside residential or commercial buildings installing ceilings, doors, cabinets and staircases, or any other final touches in wood that could be required.

What do I need to become a Carpenter?

If you don’t have formal qualifications as a carpenter you could start as a labourer or joiner’s mate so you can get some experience onsite and then take further training in order to get your qualifications. An Apprenticeship scheme is also another common way young people choose in order to start their career in carpentry.

If you are working as a carpenter but do not have the relevant qualifications, or would like to become a carpenter but have a full time job, then a good option will be to take online carpentry training courses. This kind of courses are ideal for people who don’t have the time to study full time and attend college or need the flexibility online courses provide because they already have a full time job but want a career change.

Another option to get your qualifications is to take a part time or full time college course in carpentry and joinery.

The courses will include:

• Level 1 Award in Wood Operations
• Level 1 Award in Basic Construction Skills
• NVQ 2 Certificate / Diploma - Wood Occupations
• Level 2 Diploma - Site Carpentry
• Level 2 Diploma – in Construction Crafts (carpentry and joinery)

How much could I earn if I become a carpenter?

Carpenters will normally work an average of 45 hours per week, five days a week. In some cases, when there are urgent deadlines to be met, overtime and work at the weekends may be required. When you are a newly qualified joiner you can expect to earn something between £18,000 and £25,000 a year, depending on the employer. When you have some experience, then the annual salary can raise up to £30,000. Working overtime and shift working can boost your income and if you prefer to become self-employed, then you can set your own rates.