Carpenters build structures, repair buildings, and install furniture, equipment, and other objects made of wood. They may also work in teams or with helpers, and their jobs are often physically demanding. Carpenters must have good hand-eye coordination and be able to use a variety of tools to complete a project quickly and efficiently. Math skills are also necessary, as they measure materials and calculate their quantities.
Carpenters often stay on site for the entire construction process, from planning to completion. In addition, they are usually required to work closely with other trades, which gives them a comprehensive understanding of all the different trades involved. Carpenters may be self-employed or employed by construction companies or carpentry contractors.
Carpenters often work as project managers, supervisors, and team leaders. With years of experience, they may decide to specialize in certain areas of construction. For example, some carpenters may specialize in building stage sets or heritage restoration. Others choose to start their own construction company and train others. In addition, they may even consider becoming a general contractor.
Generally, the first stage in a carpentry career involves obtaining formal training at a local trade school or technical college. Some technical schools offer two-year courses in the field, but most people start their careers as apprentices under an experienced carpenter. During an apprenticeship, a carpenter learns the many tools necessary for the job and math and safety skills.
The traditional tools carpenters use include an adze, hand saw, plane, hammer, and pliers. They also use planes to reduce wood surfaces. A chisel is used to cut forms with a mallet. A rip and crosscut saw is used to cut wood grain and make precise cuts for joints. A trisquare is also used to check the correct angle between two surfaces.
Besides having the basic qualifications, aspiring carpenters must also learn how to use power tools. They must also know how to use protective gear and work in all weather conditions. A high school diploma is optional to become a carpenter, but many employers prefer those who are enthusiastic and follow directions. Some construction sites require carpenters to have Construction Skills Certification Scheme cards, which can be obtained by taking courses at local colleges and training institutions.
Depending on the location, a carpenter may work full-time or part-time. Some may work nights and weekends to meet project deadlines. Working in outdoor conditions can also require long hours and physical endurance. Inclement weather and extreme temperatures can delay construction projects and affect carpenters’ hours.