5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Carpenter


Being a beginner at any job is hard enough without making those embarrassing rookie mistakes.

That’s why we’ve prepared this beginner’s guide to carpentry so you don’t embarrass yourself on site in front of all the other tradies.

From how to measure wood for cutting to how to keep your supervisor happy, this blog will help you go from rookie carpenter to rockstar chippy in no time.

1. Bungling your measurements

One of the first things that you will learn as a beginner carpenter is how to measure wood.

Avoid mistakes in your carpentry measurements by Always writing down your measurements on a handy head of paper.

2. Cutting crooked

As they say in the building game, you want to “measure twice and cut once”!

Measuring accurately is going to be even more important when he comes down to cutting wood.

When learning how to measure wood for cutting, always cut on the waste side of your line, not the side you’ll be using.

3. Using the wrong tools

Part of the fun of being a carpenter is all the different tools that you get to work with.

But the catch is you need to use the right tool for the right job.

For example, avoid using the wrong blade when it comes to cutting your wood.

Always use rip blades to perform ripping which is cutting along grain of the wood,  and use crosscut or trim blades for cutting across the grain of wood.

4. Not sanding everything (yes, everything)

As a beginner carpenter you are going to be very busy juggling multiple tasks.

It doesn’t help that as an experienced chippy, you’re going to take longer to complete each task.

That said, it’s better to be slow and accurate than to cut corners and botch the job.

As tempting as it is not to sand surfaces, never skip this step (or any other!) unless you want the boss to give you a tap on the shoulder.

5. Relying too much on glue

One of your day-to-day tasks will be clamping, which is fastening two pieces of wood together.

It’s extremely important to clamp joints in place while glueing to ensure best strength.

If glue isn’t seeping out from the gap, that means you haven’t clamped tight enough.

How to become a carpenter

Step 1: Go to trades school

Carpentry is one of those jobs that just about anybody thinks they can do.

But the truth is that you really need a lot of training, practice and experience to do the job right.

Do a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry and a carpenters apprenticeship to learn the skills and gain the confidence to call yourself a master chippy and tackle just about any job.

Step 2: Get qualified

Without a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry—the official carpenters qualification in Australia— it can be very hard to get a job because employers and customers want proof that you know what you’re doing.

With 78% of Aussie carpenters qualified with a certificate 3 or higher (a cert 4, diploma, bachelors etc), you need a qualification to compete against other job applicants.

Stand out among all the other candidates by getting your Cert III in Carpentry with Builders Academy Australia.

We’re one of the biggest trades schools in Melbourne and Victoria and have trained hundreds of tradies.

But don’t take our word for it. Even the Australian Training Awards have awarded us Victorian Small Training Provider of the Year in 2020 and the 2021 Australian Small Training Provider of the year.

Step 3: Take the next step in your career

Our Certificate 3 in Carpentry is a popular starting point with tradies because you can use your carpentry skills across almost any area of construction.

The cert 3 in carpentry also lets you work in the building industry for a while until you figure out what your skills, interests and long-term goals are.

With a certificate 3 in carpentry under your belt, you can eventually step up into higher paying roles or add to your qualifications with a certificate 4, diploma or even a bachelor’s degree.

Carpentry is an especially good skill to have if you want to become a registered builder, run your own business, or do a supervisory or management role in the future.

Ready to go from rookie to rockstar with a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30220)? Give us a call today on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form to find out more about this popular course today.