Carpenter

Alternative titles for this job include Joiner, bench joiner

Carpenters and joiners make and install wooden structures, fittings and furniture.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£38,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 45 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a carpenter

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

College

You could take a college course like:

  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Bench Joinery
  • Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Site Carpentry
  • T Level in On Site Construction

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do a:

  • carpentry and joinery intermediate or advanced apprenticeship with a focus on site carpentry or architectural joinery     
  • wood product manufacturing operative intermediate apprenticeship which has a focus on furniture making

You'll do on-the-job training and spend time at college or a training provider.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

More Information

Registration

Career tips

If you're thinking of changing career to carpentry, look out for short or part-time 'taster' courses at your local college. These are designed to help you find out if carpentry is for you.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a carpenter from Go Construct and House Building Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work on your own
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on where you work, you could:

  • discuss plans and job instructions with clients or site managers
  • cut and shape timber for floorboards, doors, skirting boards and window frames
  • make and fit structures like staircases, door frames, roof timbers and partition walls
  • assemble fitted and free-standing furniture
  • install kitchens, cupboards and shelving
  • build wooden supports called shuttering which holds concrete that has not dried yet in place
  • fit interiors in shops, bars, restaurants, offices and public buildings
  • construct stage sets for theatre, film and TV productions

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, at a client's business, on a construction site or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be dusty, at height and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a site supervisor or construction project manager.

You could also move into:

  • construction estimating
  • contracts management
  • a specialist area like stage sets or heritage restoration
  • starting your own business
  • training apprentices
  • teaching at a further education college

Find out more about teaching in further education from teach in further education.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Joinery Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,504.56 Annually
  • Location: Hartlepool

Architectural Carpenter (Bench Joiner) Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,680.00 Annually
  • Location: DUNTON ROAD, ASHBY MAGNA, LUTTERWORTH

Courses In England

Site Carpentry

  • Provider: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE
  • Start date: 12 September 2023
  • Location: Ipswich

Site Carpentry

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2023
  • Location: Hull

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