Most carpenters discovered their interest in carpentry during their woodworking class in high school. If one intends to pursue it as a professional occupation, a future carpenter though, must possess certain qualities that will enable them to make carpentry a truly satisfying career.
First off, it is helpful for an aspiring carpenter to be in good physical condition since most woodworking tasks require stamina, physical strength and good body balance. Inasmuch as carpentry work requires precision and attention to detail, hand-eye coordination as well as manual dexterity is also important.
Although skills can be acquired by taking on an apprentice job as a carpenter’s assistant, aspiring carpenters who acquire broader knowledge by taking up a formal carpentry course in a college or university, are better qualified for higher-paying jobs.
Construction or building contractor trade unions are known to offer apprenticeships that involve not only on-the-job-training but also 3 to 4 years of classroom-style schooling to qualified carpentry-aspirants. Usually, they offer this kind of opportunity to those who learn fast and have fair enough knowledge in advanced math, basic computer skills and understanding of safety practices.
High-End Employability of Carpenters
Based on the 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Salary Information for Carpenters, skilled house builders earn a median salary of $43,600 per year. About 25% of those engaged on the low end of this type of occupation, earn at least $33,770 per year. This denotes that about 75% are in the high-end, because they earn more than the median. Accordingly, high-end earners can reap as much as $58,700 annually.
The 2016 Labor Statistics survey also indicated that around 1,025,600 individuals in the U.S. found employment as carpenters.
Most of those who belong to the high end of the carpentry occupation, possess above average carpentry skills, have proficient understanding of building materials, and adeptness in using different carpentry tools.
Taking Up a Formal Carpentry Course to Enhance One’s Skills and Knowledge
The main advantage of taking up a formal carpentry course in a college or university, or with trade organizations is that it gives a carpenter, greater employability potential. That is because they acquire broader knowledge about building materials and tools, in addition to developing better skills needed in house construction jobs.
General Carpentry Skills
Basic carpentry skills relate to measuring and cutting wood for construction. Building a house though requires more skills, which include the ability to understand and follow blueprints, working knowledge of mathematical computations including calculation of angles, thorough understanding of construction methods, and comprehension of building codes.
Knowledge of Building Materials
It is important for a carpenter to achieve structural integrity in completing a house building project. That is why it is essential for carpenters to have thorough knowledge of the different kinds of construction materials to use. Aside from knowing the right type of lumber to use, he must also be knowledgeable about concrete, pipes, fittings, plastics, and composites, including the kinds of nails, fasteners, iron, roofing and the likes, to use for appropriate purposes.
Working with different kinds of construction materials require knowledge and adeptness in using the appropriate tools. Carpenters basically use hammer, saw, chisel, drivers, wood planes, routers and drills. However, since carpentry work must also be finished within the time specified in a contractual agreement, knowledge of power tools can optimize labor hours. Knowledge about power tools is not only about handling, but also about safety measures and proper tool maintenance.