A carpenter is someone who works with various kinds of wooden furniture, wooden fixtures, and finishes. They are hired to either repair a wooden installation, set it, frame it, construct it, or integrate it. From setting windows in homes to repairing creaky wooden tables, a carpenter knows how to do it all.
The path to becoming a carpenter is diverse. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, nearly 50,000 carpentry jobs will be added to the industry within 2018 and 2028. This is a direct result of the 2008 housing bust, which saw a serious lack of carpentry work during the time. As a result, many young aspirants looking for opportunities, turned to different fields.
Due to this emigration, today, there are ample jobs available for carpenters. Given their ability to work up to forty hours a week, as well as a decent quality of pay, more and more people are turning to carpentry.
Who is a Carpenter?
A carpenter is someone who works with wood, and wooden fixtures, furniture, and designs. They specialize in wooden finishing work, know how to set windows, and can also work on insulating spaces. It’s also possible for a carpenter to gain skills associated with roofing as well.
There are heavy physical demands associated with being a carpenter. This is as a carpenter has to do a lot of heavy lifting, lifting large pieces of wood and transporting them. They also need to be dexterous, and may need to climb staircases, and work in high places, especially where construction work is concerned. Since carpenters earn a median salary of $45,590 every year, more and more people are gaining interest in being a carpenter.
How Can You Become a Carpenter?
The basic educational qualification you need in order to work as a licensed carpenter, is your high school diploma. Alternatively, you could also opt for a GED certification. Some carpenters also go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, in a field related to carpentry. However, this isn’t necessary.
Technical and Vocational Schools
To become a carpenter, there are two main paths that you can pursue. The first of this involves entering a training program. These are available from vocational schools, as well as shop classes, with some offering accelerated training programs as well. At the beginning of your program, you’ll have to take an aptitude test that showcase your ability to understand mathematics, and other subjects, necessary to find success as a carpenter.
Instead of vocational school or shop classes, you can also opt to go to a technical school. These usually provide two year lo programs, where you learn many of the skills of the trade. You will be taught how to design, as well as read blueprints. You’ll learn how to prepare estimates for your customers, as well how to order materials, and from where. Aside from this, you may also be exposed to field work as well, where you learn how to be a carpenter, and what a carpenter does.
Going to a technical or vocational school can be the faster of the two options presented to you. This is as the process of being an apprentice, can take a long time, up to four or five years. So if your plan is to learn the skills of the trade fast, then consider opting for a technical or vocational school.
The other option available to you, is to become an apprentice.
Becoming an Apprentice
It can take you longer to become a full-fledged carpenter, should you choose to be an apprentice, up to four to five years. However, you’ll also get to learn more intensive skills, and work under a master carpenter to learn everything they have to teach you.
To become an apprentice, you will need to have a verified employer as your sponsor. You can either approach the union, to help find a master carpenter who can take you on as an apprentice. Alternatively, you can approach a master carpenter directly.
At the beginning of your apprenticeship, you’ll have to complete an aptitude test, that showcases that you have the skills necessary to become a carpenter. You’ll also need to be approved by a committee of master tradespeople, before you can be signed on as an apprentice.
Aside from working under a master carpenter to do field work, you’ll also need to sign up for evening classes, up to two evenings every week. This is in order to ensure that you learn all the information needed to become a carpenter, aside from your field experience. The good news about being an apprentice, is that you won’t have to pay for any of the classes you’re asked to take.
When you become an apprentice, you’ll need to sign a contract of indenture. The master carpenter you’re apprenticing under will sponsor your classes for you. You also get to earn a nominal wage as an apprentice, that increases once you become a full-fledged journeyman carpenter.
After you complete your apprenticeship, you will become a journeyman carpenter and can work for general contractors, speciality contractors, or even yourself. A journeyman carpenter, however, is different from a master carpenter. You’ll need to have additional experience and train, after becoming a journeyman carpenter, to become a master carpenter. Only master carpenters can take on apprentice and teach them how to enter the field of carpentry.
What Does a Carpenter Do?
A carpenter is responsible for measuring, cutting, as well as preparing building materials. They may need to set or repair frameworks, create wooden furniture or designs, or repair existing ones. A carpenter should have strong communication skills, and should be capable of creating designs as well.
If you want to become a carpenter, then there are two main ways you can go about achieving that. The first of these involves attending a technical or a vocational school. This is generally the faster option, taking just under two years to complete.
The second option is to become an apprentice to a master carpenter. If you become an apprentice, then you’ll be able to learn from a master carpenter, but may also need to take evening classes twice a week. It can take you up to four to five years to complete your apprenticeship, however, you’ll have a lot of information and skill that can help you find success as a carpenter.
Irrespective of the path you choose to become a carpenter, there are certain career risks that you should be aware of. You can, for example, get sued by a dissatisfied client, and find yourself in Court. Insurance for carpenters can help you to protect yourself from the most common career risks. With the help of financial coverage, you won’t have to worry about losing a lot of money should you get sued, experience business disruptions and more.
Carpentry insurance can provide coverage from some of the most common career risks you’re likely to encounter. Since you’ll be financially covered against common career risks, that means that you no longer have to worry about how they could affect your finances. If you would like to learn more about insurance for carpenters, then click here.