“You’ve got to find your passion in life, you’ve got to enjoy work. If you find something that you like to do then go for it.”

We caught up with Tristan Brideson, a carpenter who is finishing off his Certificate IV in Building and Construction with Builders Academy. To read about how he runs his own business, his plans for the future, and how the Cert IV has helped him with his work, scroll through the gallery below. Cheers Tristan!

Name: Tristan Brideson

Age: 25

Job title: Carpenter

“I’m a carpenter. I’ve been a carpenter for eight years. This is my own business – it’s just me at the moment but I’ll be looking to put an apprentice on in the next six months to a year. I do renovations, extensions, decks, pergolas – pretty much any carpentry that needs to be done.”

“I get interesting jobs working solo. It’s client-based and very one-on-one with the client. You are able to tell them exactly what’s going to be happening and, at the same time, they have that rapport with you. It’s a good environment, there’s a lot of work satisfaction. The projects I work on are more personalised. Integrating new and old is much more carpentry-based. Much more of a craft.”

“I did my apprenticeship in 2010. As soon as I finished school I jumped into a pre-apprenticeship. Then I did my apprenticeship. And here I am years later.

I started working domestic and then when I become qualified I started working commercial – all types, really – and now I’m back doing domestic stuff for myself which is the best reward.”

“From a young age, mate, I always loved building cubby houses, skate ramps, that kind of stuff. I thought uni was not for me so here I am. I knew from primary school I wanted to do it. At the time I didn’t know what it was but I knew I wanted to do something hands on.”

“Every job is different. Every renovation is unique in its own way. This is why I like doing domestic carpentry, because you meet different people and deal with different people.”

“I’m finishing the Cert IV. The course has been great. It’s a real mixed bag of people, in terms of some tradesmen and some business people. It was really good to meet people that you don’t everyday.”

“The course has been immediately helpful. When you do your pre-app, you do a little bit of theory but not huge amounts. With your apprenticeship it’s mostly all hands-on, too. In the course you learn all the health and safety, all the legal requirements and how to quote.

The course has also helped me talking to clients one-on-one because now I have more knowledge.”

“To be honest, one of my favourite parts of the course was meeting other people in the industry that are in slightly different areas. You’re not just meeting another carpenter but another dude doing something pretty different. We keep in touch, we’ve been texting each other about the coursework, while some guys, through meeting each other, find work and jobs.”

“In my work, it’s all about changing something that’s originally not very practical for the client. They come to you for help and the end result is that they’ve got a brand new renovation that they can enjoy with their families. It’s rewarding, and that’s why I do domestic work. You get to see the client’s appreciation. That’s the best.”

“For now my plan it’s just continually getting work and providing for my family and doing renovations, extensions, and whatever comes my way in carpentry. It’s early doors for my business so I just want to progress it. Down the track I’ll get off the tools and just run jobs, run my company. And then the building degree down the track.”

“The long-term view is to do the diploma and a building degree, whether that’s in the next two years or five or ten years, who knows, that’s the end result. To put it simply, I’m always trying to better myself, better my potential, better the outcome of life, basically – it’s why I’m doing the course. You’ve got to continually improve and better yourself by learning more.”

Legend. Cheers, Tristan!