Career Profile: Carpenter
Most people like building things at some point of their lives. Do you remember piling blocks on top of each other when you were younger? How would you like to spend your working life building anything from skyscrapers to bathroom cabinets? If you like the idea, you might want to consider a career as a carpenter.
Carpenters do a variety of jobs in any construction project. They help estimate costs, read the blueprints that help builders know what to do, and help measure and cut materials for construction. They might supervise other workers and help make sure that they follow all of the rules for safe building procedures. Being able to follow detailed instructions is important in carpentry work.
Carpenters work with many different tools as they help shape wood or sometimes other materials into whatever structure is needed. Many famous buildings, including the CN Tower in Toronto, have had carpenters involved in the building process. Most carpenters in Canada work in the construction industry, although some still work with smaller projects for individual customers. Some carpenters have their own businesses, while others work for established companies.
What qualities to carpenters need to have? Besides an interest in building things, they need certain personal characteristics. They need to be fairly healthy and strong, with the ability to work when they’re standing, crouching, or kneeling. They need to be good with their hands and to have good balance. Small injuries are common for carpenters, especially when they deal with dangerous chemicals or work with materials that can fly out and hit them. Because of the dangers, an awareness of safety is an important quality for carpenters.
Besides all of these characteristics, carpenters need to have the right mental qualities. Sometimes, carpenters’ work involves quick calculations of measurements, and they have to be good at mathematics. An ability to work well with people is also important, as well as a tolerance for long working days. Both technical and personal skills are important in carpentry work.
Do you have the qualities that carpenters need to succeed? If you do, you can start to plan the next steps of your career. The first step is to find a company or an individual carpenter willing to take you on as an apprentice. After learning on the job and receiving technical training at a school for about four years, you can then take an exam. If you pass, you will be a registered carpenter with the ability to work anywhere in Canada. Salaries in carpentry can range from about $45,000 per year to $60,000, and sometimes even more.
Carpentry is a great choice for anyone who likes to build. If that describes you, a career in carpentry might be your best choice.