Carpenter: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

ProfGuide Updated 
Carpenter: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Carpentry is a time-honored profession that involves the crafting, shaping, and installation of wooden structures and objects. The work of a carpenter is diverse, ranging from the creation of custom cabinets and furniture to the construction of large-scale buildings and infrastructure. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.


Carpentry has been an important profession for centuries, with skilled artisans shaping the world around us. Today, carpentry remains a vital profession, as we continue to rely on the skills of these artisans to build and maintain the structures that make up our communities.


There are many different specializations within the field of carpentry. Some carpenters focus on creating furniture and cabinetry, while others specialize in building structures such as homes, commercial buildings, and bridges.

Within these specializations, carpenters may also have further areas of expertise. For example, a carpenter who builds homes may specialize in framing or finishing work, while a carpenter who creates furniture may specialize in custom joinery or carving.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of a carpenter can vary depending on their area of specialization, but some common tasks include:

  • Measuring and cutting wood and other materials to the correct size and shape.
  • Assembling wooden structures and objects, including furniture, cabinets, and buildings.
  • Installing wooden structures, such as beams, flooring, and walls.
  • Repairing and maintaining existing wooden structures and objects.
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints, sketches, and other plans.

Pros and Cons


  • Opportunities for creativity and self-expression through custom work.
  • Job stability and a steady demand for skilled carpenters.
  • Opportunities for physical activity and hands-on work.


  • Exposure to loud noises and potential health hazards, such as dust and chemicals.
  • The physical demands of the job can be taxing on the body, leading to potential injuries.
  • May require working in inclement weather conditions.


In the United States, the demand for carpenters is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. Canada, Great Britain, and Australia also have a steady demand for carpenters, as they continue to build and maintain infrastructure and housing.

Salary Ranges

In the United States, the median annual salary for carpenters is around $49,520. In Canada, the median annual salary is around CAD 51,100, while in Great Britain, it is around £26,520. In Australia, the median annual salary is around AUD 65,000.

Where do Carpenters work?

Carpenters can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Construction sites, building and installing structures such as homes and commercial buildings.
  • Furniture and cabinet shops, creating custom pieces for clients.
  • Home improvement and repair services, maintaining and repairing existing structures and objects.

The work of a carpenter is needed in almost all areas of construction and building, making it an essential profession in our society.

Important Qualities of a Successful Carpenter

To be a successful carpenter, one should possess the following qualities:

  • Attention to detail: Carpenters must be able to accurately measure and cut materials to precise specifications.
  • Physical stamina: The job of a carpenter is physically demanding, requiring strength and endurance.
  • Problem-solving skills: Carpenters must be able to troubleshoot and find solutions when faced with unexpected challenges
  • Dexterity: The ability to work with tools and manipulate materials with precision is essential.

Those who are not comfortable with physical labor or who lack attention to detail may not be well-suited for a career in carpentry.

Step-by-Step Career Path

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Consider enrolling in a vocational or technical school to gain hands-on experience and specialized training in carpentry.
  3. Gain on-the-job experience through an apprenticeship or entry-level carpentry position.
  4. Consider obtaining certification through a professional organization, such as the National Association of Home Builders or the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
  5. Gain further experience and expertise in a specific area of carpentry, such as furniture making or framing.
  6. Consider pursuing higher education or advanced training to become a carpentry instructor or project manager.

How to Become a Carpenter

In the United States, carpenters typically do not need a college degree, but may benefit from vocational or technical school training. Apprenticeships are also a common way to gain on-the-job experience and training.

Some carpenters may choose to pursue a college degree in a related field, such as construction management or architecture, in order to advance their careers or move into specialized areas of carpentry.

Where to Become a Carpenter

In the United States, there are many schools and programs that offer training in carpentry, including:

  • The North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • The Lincoln Technical Institute in Mahwah, New Jersey
  • The Nashville State Community College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • The Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, North Carolina

In Canada, some schools that offer carpentry training include:

  • The British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby, British Columbia
  • The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta
  • The Collège de Maisonneuve in Montreal, Quebec
  • The Ontario College of Trades in Toronto, Ontario
  • The Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

In Great Britain, some schools that offer carpentry training include:

  • The City of Bristol College in Bristol, England
  • The Construction Skills Training Centre in Cardiff, Wales
  • The Edinburgh College in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The Belfast Metropolitan College in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • The Leicester College in Leicester, England

In Australia, some schools that offer carpentry training include:

  • The TAFE NSW in Sydney, New South Wales
  • The Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, Victoria
  • The South Metropolitan TAFE in Perth, Western Australia
  • The TAFE Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland
  • The Chisholm Institute in Frankston, Victoria

Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?

While a degree in a related field, such as construction management or architecture, may be helpful in advancing a career in carpentry, it is not always necessary. Many carpenters enter the profession with no formal education and instead gain experience through on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

In conclusion, carpentry is a diverse and essential profession that offers opportunities for creativity and physical activity. With a growing demand for skilled carpenters, it is a career path that offers job stability and the potential for growth and advancement. Whether through vocational training, apprenticeships, or on-the-job experience, becoming a carpenter requires dedication and a commitment to learning and honing one's skills.

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