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What it Takes to Become a Well-Qualified Carpenter

Updated on April 1, 2016

Imagine a world designed with twisted, crooked and chaotic buildings and infrastructures that can fall apart, with disastrous result, at a moment’s notice. It would be a fearful world in which people would be uncomfortable walking around as well as going in and outer places. This is why the great work of the carpenter is so vital to the safety and beauty of our society.

Carpenters are responsible for building a nation’s cities, towns, communities and infrastructure, including roads and bridges, skyscrapers, residential housing, such as town homes and condominiums. Carpenters provide the beauty and art of structure and make us feel safe and secure traveling back and forth over structures and going in and out of buildings of every form and style.

Becoming a carpenter begins by applying for carpentry apprenticeship, a program which requires 3 or 4 years of schooling and training. However, some contractors will even hire helpers and offer training on the job. Overtime, an apprentice will learn the tricks of the trade and become a full time carpenter with great opportunities to advance, depending on hard work and intensity of ambition.


  • High School Education
  • Physically Strong
  • United States Citizen
  • Pass Substance Abuse Test

An aspiring carpenter apprentice can get started by searching the internet for a good, accredited technical college which offer relevant programs regarding the type of carpentry he or she would like to pursue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three areas of carpentry an individual can pursue, including residential, commercial and industrial fields of carpentry.


Residential carpentry includes build and remodeling homes, building stairs, installing dry walls, doors and cabinets.

Commercial carpentry involves building and remodeling office buildings, medical facilities, schools, hotels as well as retail malls.

Industry carpentry consists of working an in industry settings. The job involves building scaffolding, design forms for pouring concrete in order to build bridges, dams, tunnels, power plants and other heavy construction projects. All three areas of carpentry overlap at some level, especially when it comes to basic knowledge that all carpenters should know.

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After finding an accredited local two year college, an individual should find out about the requirements for admittance and the options for financial support, including grants and loans. Usually if you have a good high school education, a decent G.P.A, a strong math background, mechanical drawing skills, measuring skills, and perhaps shop experience involving welding and cabinet building, you will be admitted in a program with open arms. Nevertheless ,contact the administration offers for detailed information regarding completing forms for admission and financial assistance.

Another important thing an aspiring apprentice should do is to check the graduation statistics of the programs. How many students graduate out the program and go to obtain successful employment in the community? Knowledge of the graduation stats will give you insights into the qualifications and competence of the instructors teaching the programs.


Once you have been accepted in the carpenter apprentice program of your choice, you can set with a counselor and select the courses relevant to your program. Usually, all programs will require a common core of courses. These will include blueprint reading, measuring, welding, scaffold building, mathematics, volume calculation, fall protection, workplace safety, and major safety course, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration instructions. This course set the foundation for advanced studying and training on the job.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, a carpenter apprentice must complete at the minimum of “144 hours of technical training and about 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.” After graduation, a beginning carpenter may make as low as $17, 000 an hour until he is fully trained with experience. The average annual pay for carpentry work is $40,000 an hour. An exceptional 10% can earn more than $72,000 an hour, according to studies.


The future is bright for those who are entering the carpentry industry. However, there are certain qualities an individual need in order to compete for higher paying projects. First, a carpenter must possess good business skills. In order to bid for the best jobs and stand out from among the crowd, an individual must know how to communicate, negotiate and manage budgets. The more business skills you acquire the better your chance of moving up the latter and pass the competition.

Attention to detail is another quality that is critical. Because reading blueprints correctly will make or break the quality of your work, you must be attentive to all the fine details of construction. Getting it right the first time for your potential clients will determine your success, failure and longevity in the industry. Paying attention to details will help you avoid many problems that could cost extra money as well as a legitimate reputation.


Carpentry work can be a fulfilling experience, but it also can be a dangerous work. Each year the injury rate goes up because of carelessness in the working environment. Sprang muscles, falls, serious cuts, broken bones or even death are just around the corner if caution is taken for granted. Therefore, aspiring apprentice must master the safety measures taught the program and keep them in mind at all times. No day should be taken for granted. Enjoy your work. Excel in it. But always be watchful for yourself, your clients and your co-workers.


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