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Helping you find a career in Carpentry

If you like the idea of making a house a home, then carpentry is the industry for you. Carpenters and joiners carefully build furniture, flooring and structural joints out of wood. Carpenters don’t only work on houses, you could also find yourself working on offices and building sites. Anywhere that needs woodwork is a carpenter’s place of business.

If you’re creative, carpentry offers you plenty of things to channel that creativity. You’ll be using your hands a lot, so I hope you don’t mind getting them dirty!

Carpentry can often involve a lot of interaction with customers, so make sure your people skills are up to scratch. If you’d prefer a less customer facing role within carpentry, wood machinists prepare wood for shops and furniture manufacturing and tend to spend more time in sawmills than on-site with customers.

Carpenters tend to work on contracts, meaning that you’ll be hired for particular projects. Consequently, most carpenters are freelancers, but carpenters are always in high demand so you’re unlikely be short of work.

Entry-level carpenters will involve working under a supervisor who will oversee the project. As you gain more experience and rise through the ranks, you’ll start managing teams, taking on larger projects and maybe even setting up your own business!


How to get Carpentry internships, work experience or placements
You can start your career in carpentry by diving straight in as a joiner’s “mate” or an on-site labourer. This will give you the necessary experience to take on more demanding and specific roles within carpentry. Some carpentry companies will train you on the job so you can take on more responsibility.

You can also start out as an apprentice, which is a great way to get a foot in the door of the industry as well as familiarising you with the workdays of carpenters.

You’ll also need some basic maths and literacy skills to follow plans and schematics.

Many larger construction firms will offer work experience programmes via their websites, or they might advertise at your school, college or university. Check with your careers advisor to find out about opportunities, or you may need to take the initiative and apply directly via companies’ websites - it is a good idea to apply for work experience with more than one firm at a time as it can be quite competitive.
Skills & interests you'll need
Carpentry is a physical job, so you’ll need to carry out physical labour over long hours. Teamwork and communication are also key skills as you’ll rarely be working alone. Carpentry can also involve working with power tools, which can be dangerous, so you’ll need to be highly safety conscious - communication can be crucial to ensuring everyone is safe and happy.

Some carpentry positions will require experience, but this can be gained either through apprenticeships or qualifications received from technical colleges.
- Health and safety
- Numeracy
- Organisation
- Planning
- Problem Solving
- Verbal Communication
Read more about the Carpentry industry
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