How do I find a carpentry apprenticeship?
Carpenters are skilled craftsmen (or women) and due to the level of skill required a carpentry apprenticeship is often required to obtain employment in carpentry.
Carpenters work with timber and typically construct and maintain buildings and other wooden structures. The term joiner or joinery may also be applied though this tends to be applied to cabinet and furniture making.
Carpentry work is varied and can involved manual labor and working both indoors and outdoors. Rates of pay will depend upon the carpenters level of skill and experience and the specific area of carpentry (or joinery) that they work in. Competition for carpentry jobs can be high though so anything you can do to give yourself an edge over other candidates in interviews will help – Show me how to give winning interview answers!
Being a practical skill which can also involves a high degree of technicality carpenters usual acquire their skills through a combination of study and practical experience. As with many skills time and experience are invaluable in reaching the required level so carpentry apprenticeships are an excellent way of entering this field of employment.
The qualifications and formal training required to be a carpenter differ greatly depending on which country you work in. Some countries have no formal training requirements so apprentices can easily enter the trade. Other countries have strict standards and trainees must complete a formal apprenticeship of 3 or 4 years and some countries have recognized qualifications which may not be obligatory but will help to find employment.
Carpentry apprenticeships can be completed either within a formal training environment or with a practising carpenter but usually a combination of both formal study and on the job training provides the best opportunity to gain technical skills and practical experience.
Once an apprenticeship is complete the you can then become a qualified or journeyman carpenter but many carpenters choose to seek further qualifications and become master carpenters.
To enter carpentry you will need high school levels of education with acceptable passes in mathematics and English and an aptitude for practical and manual tasks. Subjects covered in carpentry apprenticeships include carpentry theory, first aid and health and safety, planning, building codes and regulations, construction techniques, selecting materials, correct use of hand tools and power tools and wood treatment and wood identification.
As carpentry involves a variety of tasks with varied complexity a carpentry apprentice will usual first become familiar with basic tasks. Carpenters can be permanently based in a workshop, work out on site or a combination of both. Typical construction tasks for a carpenter include fitting doors and door trims, skirting boards, wooden floors, roof structures, timber framing and more and with the use of modern power tools and manufacturing processes has removed much of the drudgery of working with wood.
The skills of the carpenter are constantly in demand. Despite mass production and modern construction techniques the use of natural and renewable materials such as wood remain widespread and a qualiffied carpenter can apply themselves in many woodworking trades. Another advantage to a career in carpentry is that unlike service jobs that are not location dependent a carpenter is unlikely to be outsourced to a low wage economy abroad.