Is a Carpentry Apprenticeship For You?


Are you thinking about getting a carpentry apprenticeship? It’s a great way to earn while you learn, and kickstart a rewarding career.

In this article, we’ll share the answers to some questions we get asked often like “How to get an apprenticeship?” and “How long is a carpentry apprenticeship?” Read on to find out if a carpentry apprenticeship is right for you.

Let’s look at the construction industry, what does a carpenter do?

Carpenters construct structures by doing a mix of activities, including:

  • construction
  • renovation
  • erection
  • repair

A carpenter’s main materials are timber, wallboard and plywood.

Tradies and builders often start their careers as carpenters. This is because the skills you learn from carpentry give you a solid basis in many other trades. Carpenters do many different tasks every day. They are always moving and working with their hands, doing a mix of maths and physical labour.

What does a carpenter do at the construction site in an average week?

Some of the most common tasks performed by a certified carpenter include:

  • Look at the specifications and drawings
  • Follow installation guides
  • Get layouts ready
  • Order timber and materials
  • Cut materials to the right size
  • Put cut parts together
  • Lay timber floors, sub-flooring and floorboards
  • Erect (“put up”) framework
  • Check the trueness of structures
  • Fit outside wall cladding
  • Sheath roofs
  • Nail fascia panels
  • Put together prepared wood and fittings
  • Fix existing fittings
  • Cut wood joints

Install window frames

Are carpenters and joiners the same thing

Are carpenters and joiners the same thing?

When we talk about carpenters, we often mean both carpenters and joiners. But carpentry and joinery are not exactly the same things.

Carpenters work mostly outside, “on-site” at construction sites of buildings. Carpenters also do wood fixtures for ongoing jobs at construction sites.

Joiners are more likely to work on wood in a workshop. Joiners do doors, windows, stairs or trusses.

When you study carpentry, you learn to be a carpenter or a joiner. Depending on your particular project and the tasks involved, you may need one skill set more than the other.

How can I become a carpenter in Australia?

To become a carpenter or joiner, you must do courses like the CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry. While completing this training, you’ll also be doing an apprenticeship.

During your apprenticeship, you’ll help a qualified carpenter or builder by doing some of the daily tasks listed above. You’ll also attend a weekly class to learn more about the theory.

Once you have your certificate and finish your carpenter apprenticeship, you can get your builders registration or licence.

Learn more in: What you need to know about the changes to registration and licensing of trades.

Are carpenters in demand?

The good thing about becoming a carpenter is that there are so many jobs out there. In Australia, carpenters and joiners have always been in high demand.

The number of carpentry jobs is growing every day, as the Australian population grows and more builders start new projects.

According to JobOutlook, the number of job openings is going to grow over the next five years. Carpenters also have a lower unemployment rate than the national average.

Once you have this qualification, you can choose to do further study and pursue a career in a manager’s role or even start your own business.

How much do qualified carpenters earn

How much do carpentry apprentices earn?

According to PayScale, the average salary for a carpenter apprentice in Australia is $18.43 per hour or $35,441 per year.

Your earnings will depend on how much you work and how far along your apprenticeship you are. E.g. your wage might go up every 12 months, or after you’ve demonstrated that you have mastered certain skills.

There are several awards for carpenters in the building construction industry. Find out your award rate online at the Fair Work Ombudsman

How much do qualified carpenters earn?

After your carpenter apprenticeship, there is no limit to how much you can earn.

According to PayScalequalified carpenters earn an average salary of $44,000 to $95,000+ a year.

Other things which impact your earnings include:

  • who you work for
  • how often you work
  • the type of carpentry work you do.

As in any job, the more experience you have, the more you’ll earn.

If you are business savvy, you can start your own business and pay your own salary.

How long is a carpentry apprenticeship?

A carpentry apprenticeship traditionally takes up to 4 years to complete. However, the length of your apprenticeship will depend on how many hours you work per week and how quickly you can master the skills you need to become a qualified carpenter.

Start a carpentry apprenticeship with Builders Academy Australia

How to get an apprenticeship in Australia?

The best way to find a carpentry apprenticeship is by doing a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry with a trusted provider like Builders Academy Australia. We can hook you up with a carpentry apprenticeship and assist you with finding the right employer.

We have many industry connections and partners, including Victorian builders and construction companies. Our partners are looking to take on apprentices to join their teams. We also help you build your own industry connections, helping you find jobs in the future.

Another way to find an apprenticeship is by searching for openings on job sites like Seek. Or you can look up builders and construction companies and call to see if they have any openings.

Still not sure how to find a carpentry apprenticeship? Chat with the team at BAA. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Should I do a carpentry apprenticeship through the Certificate III?

If you have the following traits, a carpenter apprenticeship might be perfect for you.

  • Enjoy working with your hands
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Good at maths
  • Didn’t finish high school
  • Enjoy working with your hands
  • Love to build things
  • Enjoy working outside
  • Want to make a real world impact
  • Want job security
  • Want career progression

A carpentry apprenticeship is a great way to earn money while learning a new skill. It allows you to find a stable job and, if you want, to take your career to the next level.

This article has been updated and republished on 28th April 2023.