Carpenters and joiners make and install wooden fixtures and fittings as part of construction projects. They may be involved in new builds or in renovation and alteration of existing buildings and structures.
The Role
  • Measures, marks, cuts, shapes, fits and finishes timber – either by hand or with power tools
  • Restoring and recreating historical buildings as part of interesting heritage projects
  • An excellent working knowledge of wood, its various types and uses is important, as well as knowing how the finished product will fit into a house or building.
  • Ability to use a wide range of tools
  • The opportunity to work outside and erect supporting frames for giant projects such as bridges, roads, dams and buildings
  • Other projects will require work inside commercial and residential buildings.
  • Installing floor joists, floorboards, roof trusses, wall partitions
  • Fitting interior woodwork (staircases, doors, skirting boards, cupboards, kitchens)
  • Understanding technical drawings
  • Having expert knowledge in different types of wood and their uses
  • Newly trained carpenters can earn in the region of £17,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience carpenters can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Senior, chartered or master carpenters can earn in the region of £30,000 - £45,000
Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, and the amount of overtime worked. Self-employed carpenters set their own pay rates.
Qualifications & Training
You don’t need to hold particular qualifications but it’s an advantage to have GCSEs or their equivalent. Subjects such as English, maths, and science would be beneficial. Employers like to see people with some experience of building sites. A construction apprenticeship with a carpentry or building firm is a good way in. Some colleges and training providers help by introducing potential apprentices to interested employers. To find an apprenticeship visit the Government's vacancy website or in Wales, Careers Wales. If you can’t get on to an apprenticeship, or are swapping careers, training providers and colleges run courses on carpentry and joinery, but may charge fees. Ask for details at your local college.