Are you considering becoming a carpenter? Carpentry is a complex job that requires a lot of skill, but it can make for a very rewarding career. To find out what a carpenter might get up to on an average day, just keep reading…
Working as a carpenter is not like holding down a 9-5 office job. As with most trades, carpentry requires you to travel from one location to another, putting your hand to a variety of different tasks and challenges. Here at Access Training, our carpentry courses provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge you’ll need to be a competent carpenter from day one!
Are there different roles within carpentry?
Yes. There are two main types of carpenter:
- Structural carpenters, who help to erect buildings and large projects.
- Detail (or trim) carpenters, who tend to work on standalone pieces and design elements.
The type of carpenter you should become depends on where your passion and skills lie – if you enjoy labouring, being outdoors and working on large projects, structural carpentry is probably the right choice for you. However, if you have an artistic eye and are keen to work on smaller-scale projects, detail carpentry is likely to be a better fit.
Whichever carpentry role you choose, you’re sure to feel a great sense of satisfaction when you pass a completed project that you once worked on. Whether you fitted the doors or built part of the structural frame, you’re sure to find your carpentry role very rewarding.
What are carpenters’ working hours like?
Typically, carpenters are early risers, starting the working day at around 7am. An eight-hour shift is normal, but there are circumstances where the usual working hours might change (for example, if you need to work longer to meet a looming deadline). If you decide to become a self-employed carpenter once you’ve finished your training, you’ll have a lot more flexibility with your core hours, and can work as much or as little as you want.
Whether you’re self-employed or not, you’ll probably find yourself working outdoors and in all weather conditions. Detail carpenters are more likely to work inside, but will still need to be prepared for harsh working conditions and long hours.
What jobs do carpenters do?
While some people believe that carpenters only work with wood, this isn’t strictly the case. In fact, many of the jobs that carpenters do involve working with other building materials like fibreglass, plastic, metal and vinyl.
Structural carpenters can often be found on building sites, where their job is to help erect a large structure like a house or a block of flats. The carpenter’s main role is to shape and join materials in a way that brings the architect’s blueprints to life. This can involve building timber roof frames, installing drywall, or even fitting kitchens and worktops.
Detail (or trim) carpenters, on the other hand, are likely to focus on more creative tasks. These kinds of carpentry jobs include fitting dado rails, skirting boards and other ornamental work.
Other jobs that carpenters may be expected to do on-site include:
- Reading and understanding architectural blueprints
- Using a range of machinery, including drills and saws
- Measuring, cutting and shaping a range of materials
- Building house foundations, walls and roofing systems
- Maintaining or renovating older buildings with structural damage
- Supervising or training junior members of carpentry staff
If carpentry sounds like the job for you, why not take a look at our carpentry training packages? We offer carpentry courses for complete beginners looking to change careers, as well as for experienced carpenters who want to brush up on their skills.
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