Carpenters are skilled craftsmen who play an integral role in a construction team. Most carpenters are employed by construction companies, carpentry contractors, factory maintenance departments, or industrial plants. A small percentage of carpenters are also self-employed. Carpentry jobs range from apprentice to journeyman, and may even lead to construction supervisor jobs. Some examples of the daily tasks of a carpenter might include:
Reading sketches, drawings and blueprints to plan necessary construction and calculate requirements
Prepare cost estimates and lists of materials
Draft layouts and plans that conform to established building codes
Measure, cut and assemble products made from wood and wood substitutes
Cut, fit and install trim, stairs, doors and mouldings
Build, repair and renovate wooden structures in homes, hospitals and industrial structures
Supervise apprentice carpenters and other constructions workers
Operate various construction tools such as drills, saws and other hand tools
Compile and maintain records and business documents
Manage and compile all the variables that go into building
Carpenter Job Education Requirements
A high school education is the minimum mandatory requirement for carpenter jobs. Aspiring carpenters first obtain certification as an apprentice, which requires a vocational carpentry diploma and an employer willing to guarantee 150 hours of work. Journeyman designation requires completion of a 6,000-hour apprenticeship, which includes classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Journeyman carpenters are also required to pass the Commission de la Construction du Quebec (CCQ) and the Red Seal certification exam.
Carpenter Job Market
Demand for carpenter jobs are closely linked to trends in the construction industry, which experienced a severe contraction during the 21st century recessions. Job growth in carpentry remains sluggish, although more jobs are becoming available as carpenters in the existing labour pool retire. However, the placement rate for carpenters who complete a vocational training program remains high, despite stiff barriers for entry imposed by regulations from the CCQ.
Carpenter Job Salary Information
The average carpenter in Canada earns a salary of C$23.45 per hour. Entry-level carpenters earn an average median wage of C$41,000 per year, while experienced journeyman carpenters will take home a comfortable C$60,000 per year. Factors that influence carpenter jobs salaries include geographic location, years of experience, framing and finishing ability, plus the ability to read blue prints. Carpenters in the later stages of their career often qualify to work as construction managers, a position that pays in the mid six figures. In general, carpenters who work in Calgary earn 21 percent more than average, while carpenters in Halifax earn 16 percent less.