For someone who loves to build, learning how to become a carpenter is a great business choice. Carpenters have great skill in building in all kinds of construction projects that involve woodworking, and even in a housing slump, the most skilled carpenters are in high demand.
When you learn how to become a carpenter, you might be building scaffolds for construction crews, framing office or residential buildings, or even building entire homes. A love of woodwork drives most carpenters to go into this field, and the freedom of lucrative self employment is an added bonus.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
While you are thinking about how to become a carpenter, you will need to decide if you want to be a structural or finish carpenter. Structural (known as rough) carpentry involves framework, roofing and other construction that contributes to the structure of a building. This work is hidden from view once a building is complete, but it is one of the most important types of work, so you have to be very good at your trade.
On the other hand, finish carpentry is detail work. This includes creating and installing wall trim, cabinets, banisters, and other wood fixtures that are seen by anyone who enters a building. While this type of carpentry isn’t what holds up the building, precision and skill are just as important.
People thinking about how to become a carpenter often only think of hammering nails into wood. But there is a lot more knowledge that a carpenter needs to have. Math and analytical skills are important, and good hand-eye coordination is essential, for example. Carpentry is also a very physical profession, so being able to do physically challenging work for extended periods is something anyone who wants to become a carpenter should be ready for.
Becoming a carpenter is more than just going out and getting a carpentry job. Comprehensive training is a necessary step in the process. Classes in mechanical drawing, mathematics, and shop type classes are all recommended, and most of these can be taken at various vocational or community colleges around the US.
Another way to learn all you need to know is through an apprenticeship with an experienced carpenter. These typically last from 3 to 4 years and can often be found through local unions and trade associations. Once you have completed an apprenticeship, you will be certified as a journeyman carpenter.
From the time you first begin to learn how to become a carpenter and for as long as you are a carpenter, you will never stop learning and perfecting your craft. But for most carpenters, this does not feel like work because they love the trade so much.