Should I Become a Carpenter

Should I become a Carpenter

Median Annual Salary

$53,183.00

Hourly Wage (CAD)

$16.00 – $35.00

Licensing Requirement: Apprenticeable

Description and Responsibilities

Carpenters construct, install, maintain and repair structures and components made of wood and wood substitute structures. They read and interpret blueprints, drawings and sketches to determine specifications and calculate requirements to prepare layouts and ensure these conform to building codes. Carpenters use tools to measure, cut, shape, assemble and join materials made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials. They build foundations, install floor beams, lay sub-flooring and erect walls and roof systems, fit and install trim items, such as doors, stairs, moulding and hardware. Carpenters also assemble and build forms for concrete, wood and metal frame construction. They use plans and instruments to prepare for excavating and shoring. Carpenters may also supervise apprentices and other construction workers and may prepare cost estimates for clients.

There are different specializations within the carpentry trade:

  • Rough carpenters construct forms and assemble basic structures
  • Framing carpenters erect and sheath the frame of houses and other buildings as well as install windows
  • Finishing carpenters work on the final stages of construction, such as the installation of doors, mouldings and stairs

Skills and Attributes

 ​Carpenters should have the following skills and attributes to be successful:

  • Ability to work with precision
  • Accurate and efficient mathematical skills
  • Good observation skills
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Ability to work independently and in a team

Similar Job Titles

  • ​Apprentice Carpenter
  • Finish Carpenter
  • Journeyman/Woman Carpenter
  • Maintenance Carpenter
  • Metal Framer
  • Renovation Carpenter
  • Rough Carpenter

Employment Options

Carpenters typically work 40 hours per week, but may have to work longer hours to complete projects on time. Work may also be seasonal in nature. Construction activity is limited in the winter outside of the Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island/Coast regions. As a result, carpenters in these regions may work longer hours during the summer. Options for work during winter months in these regions may also be limited. Carpenters work alone or in teams. The work environment can be indoors and outdoors, and is often noisy and dirty. Carpenters must take appropriate safety precautions when lifting materials, working from heights and working with equipment and tools.

​Carpenters can work for a wide array of employers, including new home builders and renovation firms, construction firms, building owners, property managers and tenants, building developers and government departments. Some carpenters are union members and a significant number are self-employed.​

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