You are here

carpenter image

Carpenter Career Overview

Carpenters and joiners make, install and repair all sorts of wood fixtures. These range from windows and doors to floorboards, staircases, roof trusses, partitions and kitchen and bathroom units. 

They may use traditional woodworking tools, as well as specialised power or hand tools, for cutting, shaping, smoothing and finishing. 
A carpenter/joiner might be skilled in bench joinery, woodworking machinery, formwork, site carpentry or shopfitting, sometimes a combination of these. Others train and work specifically in the heritage sector, making, fixing and installing authentic features like gables, architraves and other mouldings.
Carpenters/joiners typically work a set number of hours from Monday to Friday. Weekend and evening overtime is often available. Site work and formwork involves working outdoors, up ladders and on scaffolding or roofs, sometimes in confined spaces. Bench joiners and shopfitters work indoors, where conditions could be dusty. Personal protection equipment should be worn. Many jobs involve travelling to different sites, sometimes with time away from home. 
Carpenters and joiners should have:
  • good practical and hand skills 
  • a responsible, careful work attitude 
  • the ability to follow drawings, plans and written or spoken instructions 
  • the ability to pay attention to detail 
  • team skills, but equal confidence in working independently 
  • an interest in construction. 
Salaries can range from between £8,639 and £14,439 for new entrants and apprentices, potentially reaching £40,000 a year or more for highly skilled carpenters.

Useful websites

Career and Course Articles: 

online magazines