Want to be a Carpenter? 5 Things You Need to Know

Are you thinking about becoming a carpenter? Congratulations, you are one step closer to the beginning of your career! However, if you are still wondering if becoming a carpenter is the right job for you, here are some things that are important to consider:

  • Do you work well with others?
  • Do you pay close attention to detail?
  • Were you good at math in high school?
  • Are you good at problem solving?
  • Are you comfortable with handling tools and machinery?

If you believe these things apply to you, carpentry may be the job for you. Here are five things you need to know to help start your career:

  1. Focus on Your Education

You don’t need a college degree to become a carpenter, but to enter a formal apprenticeship program – which you most definitely should – you generally need a high school diploma or GED. While in school, take advantage of classes that may seem boring now but will be invaluable later, such as math. The importance of math in carpentry cannot be underestimated. You will use if for many things, such as taking measurements, determining angles, calculating square footage, and more.  

  • Secure an Apprenticeship

It’s important to secure a place in an apprenticeship program. The best carpenters have been trained by professionals and have had ample hands-on experience. In a formal apprenticeship program, you will  receive on-the-job training, build skills under the tutelage of professionals, and learn about many aspects of carpentry, as well as need-to-know information on building codes, workplace safety, and other practical matters.

  • Choose an Industry Segment

Within the realm of carpentry, there are a number of concentrations, specialties, and subspecialties. There are three primary industry segments: residential, commercial, and industrial. Within those areas, there are carpenters who specialize on specific projects or aspects of carpentry. From rough carpenters and framers to cabinet makers and finish carpenters, each specialty demands slightly different skills – with overlapping skills in general carpentry.

  • Take Classes

Gaining more knowledge is always a good idea. There are number of different programs to help you improve your skills. According to TheBestColleges.com, “Many trade or vocational schools and community colleges offer two-year programs that prepare individuals for careers in carpentry.”  These courses include classroom instruction and hands-on learning.

  • Check Certification Requirements

Licensing and certification requirements vary by state. According to Next Insurance, New York does not require carpenters to have a state license to work. However, some local governments do, so be sure to check. A certification that is not required, but is very popular, is the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. This trains workers in green building and sustainable technology. Having certifications like this will help you stand out from the crowd.

Ready to find your next construction job? You can get access to Building Skills NY construction job and training opportunities by checking out our Job Seekers page.