//How to Become a Carpenter
Carpenter at Work

How to Become a Carpenter

  1. Developing of Basic Skills

Carpentry is a skill that once acquired needs to be developed. As one of the oldest trades, it has been in existence for hundreds of years. Initially, people used logs to develop them into beautiful inspiring structures but nowadays, Working as a carpenter involves laying out projects, cutting and turning timber into desired structures and being able to read blueprints. A carpenter, after assembly of materials ensures his work is accurate and is compliant with local building standards.

The following are detailed steps through which one can become a carpenter.

Ensure you are Physically Fit; carpentry is a job that involves heavy lifting. Other than that, one spends almost the entire day standing up and engaging in very physical work. You need to maintain a good eye-hand coordination so as to avoid injuries as well as a good sense of stability.

Get to know what carpenters do;carpenters are passionate about wood work. They build and fix items from timber. They are dexterous with their hands and sometimes work on building repairs. For you to succeed in carpentry, you must be artistic in making furniture among other items and derive passion from working on timber

Know your Main Educational Strengths; do you have good communication skills; both written and oral?Can you with ease solve mathematical problems? Do you understand physical science? These are all basic skills important in carpentry. Other required skills include;

  • Problem Solving Skills; without this skills you will not be able tosolve your problems with customers, tools and even timber. Any arising problem, be it from a stalling tool, breaking boards or dissatisfied customers, should be solved quickly and effectively
  • Being a Detail Oriented Person; will be vital skills in measuring timber and cutting pieces of exact measurements. A whole building can be affected by a stairway that is ill-measured. Sometimes one needs to look at a structure and know the associated problems and how to go about them

LearningBasic Carpentry Tools

There are a lot of tools used in modern carpentry. For anyone aspiring to be a carpenter, the following are the basic and most important ones;

  • Hammer; for driving in nails and pulling them out.
  • Saws; saws are timber cutting tools. They are of different types in terms of sizes and shapes. As an aspiring carpenter, learn about the universal saw and get accustomed the others as time goes by.
  • Tape measure; for making measurements, any project will not commence without proper measurements.
  • Spirit level; are vital for general accuracy and symmetry. With spirit levels, perfect horizontal levels will be attained.
  • Marking tools; are basically pens and pencils that make marks on timber that needs to be nailed or sawed
  1. Carpentry schools and training

To join carpentry schools and training facilities, the basic requirement is high school diploma or equivalent. For successful training, one should also consider taking courses that deal with geometry, algebra, mechanical drawing and physics among others.

Carpentry schools enable students aspiring to be carpenters to be efficient and exercise safety measures on construction sites. They also learn on how to frame windows and doors not to mention laying out rafters and walls. Some programmes also educate on how to estimate material for a given job, others, after successful completion offer certificate on exterior and interior finishing.

Apart from classroom instructions, training is also hands on and takes place in a workshop or lab. Course programmes include; carpentry tools and techniques, construction materials, woodwork calculations and blue print reading among others.

Sometimes carpentry laws and building codes are covered.Other career options e.g. stair construction, finishing techniques and wall construction are covered for one to develop insight in the area of interest.

Some students find work immediately after college graduation. Some enter apprenticeship programmes for valuable hands on experience while others choose to advance in studies via associate degree programmes.

  1. Vocational training programs

Some schools offer vocational training in carpentry. Some of these classes are important in equipping one with basic carpentry skills. Also, one learns how to safely operate drills and use saws. Basics of simple carpentry are learnt and little carpentry experience attained.

Consequently, you can organise with your teacher to assist in grading papers and projects. With access to the workshop, you can use your free time to work on personal projects

Also, talking to another party about your aspirations can be of much help. By speaking out, you will find openings that will lead to apprenticeships, vocational programs or building trades that show different aspects of how one becomes a carpenter.

Some communities offer carpentry classes for beginners. It is therefore important to check out on this. Again, find out if community centres in your township teach carpentry. If none, get to know if there are any such plans in future. Internet searches can also provide valuable information on area carpentry and classes to attend.

For experience, joining a volunteer group is of utmost importance. Some volunteer programmes support construction projects important for gaining hands on experience.

Through the above programmes, one acquires the basics needed to become a carpenter. Career opportunities also increase with experience, plus formal certifications and education.

  1. Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship is the initial stage of formal training. It lasts for approximately three to four years. A lot of time is dedicated to practice and on the job training (technical).

Technical training involves reading of blue prints, knowing about code building requirements, carpentry mathematics and carpentry safety regulations. Sometimes specialised training like building scaffolds and rigging are offered.

Apprenticeship requirements

To get apprenticeship opportunities, some basic requirements have to be met as below

  • Having attained more than eighteen years of age
  • Being physically fit for hard carpentry work
  • Proof of residency or citizenship
  • With high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Passing a drug test

With the above requirements, professional apprenticeship can be attained. Still, if unable to find apprenticeship opportunity, be an on the job helper which you can do freely without minimum education. Being a helper is a proper way of substituting carpentry classes. The company with which you are helping gets to teach you all the merits and demerits of carpentry, its challenges and how to go about them.

  1. Carpentry job opportunities

After training and with a certificate, find yourself a job that involves carpentry. Carpentry is not only about furniture design and construction from timber; it involves construction among other jobs. So, when seeking opportunities, do not confine yourself only to carpentry workshops.

Leaving Behind a Good Work History

In the carpentry profession just like in other careers, you will only be hired if you have a good work history. Learn the carpentry trade well, relate well with colleagues and as times go by you may end up practising as an independent contractor or foreman.

  1. Starting an own carpentry business

With work training and work experience, you now have the confidence of working on your own. With considerable savings, obtain tools and be your own boss.

  1. Keep updating your skills

Refreshing yourself with newer courses will only keep you updated and abreast in the latest carpentry trends. Enrol in any local community college and with the latest skills, seek on ways to improve in the delivery of services.

In pursuing your career goals of becoming a carpenter, it is important to exhaust all avenues including speaking to an experienced carpenter so as to gain insight on what is really expected. Ask as many questions and if you are a person of physical labour and have dexterous hands, carpentry may be for you. Lastly, follow the above provided information for that rewarding carpentry career.

I'm Doug or Benny as my friends refer to me. I am a retired carpenter and I love to research, design and play around with all things in the home. I like sculpting wood but I also love anything which requires time and effort to forge into something more useful or decorative.