How do I Become a Carpenter?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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A person who wants to become a carpenter can learn the trade by learning on the job or at a trade school. It takes up to four years before a carpenter can become skilled at his or her job. These four years are spent in a combination of training on the job and classroom instruction.

Some high schools may offer classes in carpentry to their students. Other beneficial high school courses may include classes in algebra, geometry, geometry, blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, and physics. Upon graduating from high school, some people will find work as a carpenter's assistant and learn from experienced workers. Attending a community college or trade school is another way that prospective carpenters receive further training and experience.

Other people may be offered a formal apprenticeship with a company, participating in on-the-job training in addition to formal training within a classroom. An apprenticeship typically lasts between three to four years. Prospective apprentices must usually be at least eighteen years old.


Anyone who chooses to become a carpenter must possess a variety of qualities: he should possess good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. He must have an affinity for math, able to rapidly perform basic math problems. Apprentice carpenters will learn a varied skill set, including learning to use carpentry tools and machines. They will also learn about form building, layout, rough framing, and finishing. In a formal classroom, they will often learn how to read blueprints, sketching, basic arithmetic computations, safety, and other important facets of the carpentry field.

A person who decides to become a carpenter and who completes a formal apprenticeship receives certification as a journeyperson. He or she may even opt to pursue further certification in pump work, scaffold building, and high torque bolting. Becoming certified in these areas can help carpenters advance in their field and earn higher salaries. If a carpenter works in the construction industry, it may be necessary for him or her to learn Spanish as well. Since a large majority of construction workers speak Spanish, carpenters who wish to advance in this field and communicate effectively with the workers will take the time to learn the Spanish language.

Carpenters perform a wide range of jobs that may include installing kitchen cabinets, building furniture, or helping to construct bridges and highways. They may also repair items and structures made from wood. Some carpenters may specialize in one area of work, while others may focus on several types of carpentry. If a person wants to become a carpenter, he or she should contact local trade schools in the area and speak with companies who may offer carpentry apprenticeships.


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