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How To Become A Carpenter In Australia: Careers In Building And Construction

Carpenters play an important role within the building, construction and renovation industries. They work with wood, usually on construction sites, but may specialise in cabinetry or fine furniture. Carpenters use a variety of hand tools, power tools and heavy equipment to carry out their work. Carpentry is a highly skilled profession and extensive training is necessary. Strength, stamina and a steady hand are also essential qualities to possess.
Pathways

Being a carpenter: daily duties

Working in the construction and repair of both commercial, residential and industrial buildings, carpenters build, install, repair and erect wooden frames, foundations, walls and other structural elements. They cut, measure and shape timber elements, using precise measurements and adjustments. Their day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the specific project they are working on.

Tasks:

  • Studying building plans for each job
  • Cutting, treating and preparing timber
  • Repairing existing wooden fittings
  • Erecting building frames, roofs and floors
  • Maintaining and sharpening tools
Skills

Being a carpenter: skills for success

Carpenters need to be practical, good with their hands and have excellent attention to detail to succeed. They also need good mathematical skills to accurately measure and cut timber and to calculate the materials they will need. It is a physically demanding occupation and may also require working in cramped spaces or at heights. Good communication skills are also necessary, as well as the ability to work with others.
Skills/attributes
  • Attention to detail
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Ability to work independently
  • Good mathematical skills
Specs

Specialised roles within construction

Carpenters can expand on their skills and grow and specialise within different areas of the trade. Different career pathways include more specialised carpentry work, through to owning and operating a business.
  • Cabinetmaker
    A cabinetmaker builds, repairs and installs cabinets, cupboards and other furniture during commercial and residential fit-outs. There is scope to further specialise in this field, working exclusively in shop fit-outs for businesses or installing kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furnishings for residential clients.
  • Fine furniture maker
    Fine furniture makers work as craftspeople, requiring them to design, build and finish custom pieces of furniture for their clients. They work closely to design briefs and use a range of power and hand tools to create wooden pieces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Site foreman
    Some carpenters may progress in seniority on building sites, becoming a foreman responsible for managing all the tradespeople on the site. This role may include task delegation, overseeing workplace health and safety, and ensuring the quality of work on the site.
Pathways

Educational pathways for carpenters

Get started in your new career with a qualification in building and construction.
  • Start your career
    Get started in your new career with a qualification in building and construction.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Targeted training in construction will take your career in a new direction.
  • Build your resume
    Work towards your carpentry career goals by learning new trade skills.
  • Industry requirements
    Accreditation requirements for carpenters vary in each state. In general, carpenters need to hold a building contractor’s licence or work under the supervision of an accredited building practitioner.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your construction career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Industry growth is projected to remain strong with a high number of job openings for qualified carpenters over the next five years.

Resources for Carpenter

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