How Do I Become a Master Carpenter?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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In order to become a master carpenter, a person needs to complete a considerable amount of training in carpentry and to show competency in many different aspects of the trade. People who wish to become carpenters often learn the basics of the trade through either coursework at a vocational school or through an apprenticeship under a skilled carpenter. They can then continue learning the skills needed to become a master carpenter through on-the-job training and study. A variety of different certifications are available to carpenters in order indicating that they are proficient in the craft.

The first thing a person needs to do in order to become a master carpenter is to complete a secondary school education. In many countries, this level of education is required before a person can apply to a vocational school or an apprenticeship. People who have dropped out of secondary school may be able to take equivalency tests, such as the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test in the United States.


After finishing school, a person can either enroll in a vocational school or a university with a carpentry program in order to become a master carpenter. These programs usually last a year or two and teach students the skills they need in order to work as carpenters. Classes often focus a great deal of time on hands-on learning, which is essential when learning carpentry. Alternatively, students may be accepted as apprentices to carpenters and may learn the skills by studying under an experienced carpenter for one or more years.

Once a carpenter's education is complete, various certificates can be obtained. Not every country has a certificate that declares someone a "master carpenter." Some use the term "journeyman" to designate that a carpenter has passed a certification test and is highly skilled in the trade. The exact titles and certificates available to carpenters vary from country to country.

A person who wants to become a master carpenter must spend many years developing and honing carpentry skills. Any person who is a master of a craft or trade has learned a great deal about that trade and worked in it for a number of years. Master carpenters may have also learned about other trades useful in carpentry, such as pump work or scaffolding. Experience in related fields often increases a carpenter's employability.


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