HOW TO BECOME A CARPENTER: Steps On Becoming A Carpenter

How to become a carpenter apprentice in california and texas
South West TAFE

For you to be a good carpenter, you need to be highly skilled and good with wood design. But it is possible to become a carpenter in California or Texas with little or no experience in the carpentry process. This might sound patronizing, but if you have the patience and zeal, getting a degree from a school or starting as an apprentice to a carpenter is the best move for you.

Meanwhile, as an apprentice to a carpenter with no experience, you are still entitled to a good salary. If you are interested in becoming a carpenter, this article is for you. We will discuss how you can easily become a good carpenter from an apprentice stage with no experience to a professional level and also all you need to know as a carpenter in Texas or California.

Who Is a Carpenter?

Carpenters are involved in a variety of construction-related activities. They are highly skilled workers that construct a range of wooden and other material-based buildings, as well as install, erect, and repair them.

Carpenters use raw materials like wood or timber to create wooden fixtures and fittings. You could work as a carpenter, constructing doors, floors, and furniture in new construction, remodeling or refitting existing buildings, creating sets for theaters and film production businesses, and much more. A carpenter may also use different materials like plastic, fiberglass, or drywall when doing so according to standards. 

#1. Duty of a Carpenter 

  • Building foundations, laying sub-flooring, installing floor beams, and installing walls and roofing systems
  • Fitting and stairs, molding, installing trim, doors, and hardware
  • Calculating, cutting, and assembling wood or wood substitutes.
  • Renovation and repair of wooden structures
  • Preparing client cost estimates
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings, and sketches.

#2. Work Conditions of Carpenters 

Carpenters’ working conditions differ depending on the job. Some carpenters work inside and put in a typical 40-hour work week (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). Depending on the needs of the project, other carpenters may work a variety of hours and spend most of their time outside.

There are peak times in construction that will necessitate overtime work, as there are in many other professions. The number of extra hours you put in each week will vary depending on the type of construction you do and the area you work in.

Carpenters might work on their own, in groups, or with assistants. It can be a physically tough job.  The work can be intellectually taxing because you might need to perform quick calculations in your head. Safety comes first in all construction-related vocations, as it does in other professions. Carpenters are instructed to work carefully and adopt certain safety measures to guard against harm.

How to Become a Carpenter With No Experience

You must possess certain qualities in order to become a carpenter. Here are the steps you must follow if you want to become a carpenter but have no past experience in the field:

#1. Become an Apprentice to a Carpenter

You can work as an apprentice for a more experienced carpenter nearby or in your neighborhood. However, you can begin with an unlicensed person who will be more willing to give you a chance. You can pick up practical knowledge and technical skills by working alongside other carpenters. Even though this may be the quickest path to becoming a carpenter, you won’t receive much compensation because, as an assistant, you will be paid significantly less. You pick up knowledge while working, just like an apprentice. But you’ll need to demonstrate that you can work hard and pay attention. After gaining some experience, you’ll be able to advance and even accept a position as an apprentice in a union for a higher salary and perks.

#2. Enroll in Short Carpentry Courses and Get a Degree

You can enroll in carpentry courses offered by a trade school or a community college. A community college or any construction management school in your area may offer carpentry courses. You will learn how to use manual tools like saws, hammers, and drills as well as power tools securely at the school. These colleges provide such courses, which often span many weeks or months. They will teach you the foundations of carpentry and provide you with the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to work in this industry.

The requirements for becoming an entry-level carpenter without experience are a high school diploma or GED. 

#3. Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program

You can become a carpenter by completing an apprenticeship program. The Home Builders Institute offers the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum. To advance in your job, you must pass OSHA’s 10- and 30-hour health and safety courses. Through this program, you will be able to work alongside journeymen to gain first-hand experience. Working with specialists and journeymen in the industry will be possible for you. You cannot study carpentry in a single day or even in a few months. The duration of an apprenticeship in a union or guild is three to four years.

Being an apprentice would allow you to work in a setting where you may practice various carpentry chores to perfect your skills while being under the supervision of knowledgeable experts.

Finally, you might be the kind of person who would make a good carpenter if you are ready to put in the time, energy, and hard work. It is something you have to work on and is not something that just happens. To succeed in this type of career, you must be energetic, love what you do, and have the correct mindset.

How to Become a Carpenter Apprentice

An apprentice is a student under the direction of a certified master contractor or carpenter. You can acquire the skills you need to thrive in the field by becoming an apprentice. Additionally, apprentices frequently receive payment for their work, allowing them to practice carpentry while earning money. A carpenter’s apprenticeship is a period of training during which a novice carpenter learns the craft under the guidance and supervision of a more seasoned carpenter. Most apprenticeships last three to five years on average. Carpenter apprentices receive both traditional classroom instruction and on-the-job training throughout that period.

If you want to become a licensed or certified carpenter, these programs can be helpful because certain qualifications require an apprenticeship or appropriate job experience to qualify.

Throughout your apprenticeship, you will be required to demonstrate mastery of the following skills:

  • Examining blueprints and constructing plans
  • Building codes and OSHA safety requirements, installation, building, or repair of frameworks, fittings, structures, green building, and hazardous materials.
  • The features and attributes of wood, freehand drawing, and basic to sophisticated carpentry methods.

Application Requirements for the Apprenticeship Program

The minimum age for applicants is 18 and they must possess a current driver’s license from this state. The applicant’s math abilities must be at least those of the eighth grade. The applicant must possess proof of legal authorization to remain in the nation, as well as a high school diploma or a GED. The applicant must be in good physical and mental health as he must finish all program phases.

How to Become a Carpenter in California

If you have carpentry experience, I would advise sending an email to the California Council of Carpenters. In the California region you are interested in, they can probably provide you with advice on how to find a carpentry job, whether you have experience or not. If you are interested in learning but lack experience, you might be able to find out how to work with a certified carpenter. If nothing else, they can point you in the correct direction.

However, California generally advises aspiring carpenters to first attend a training school if they don’t have any prior carpentry expertise. Why? The straightforward response is that a lot of them have contacts with unions and contractors in the field that they can recommend to you. Even so, if you follow the regulations, a lot of business associations and construction firms allow, or should we say, hire, promising applicants to work as apprentices. Simply keep an eye out for their opportunities; you can check their websites or get word from friends. The positions are only available for a limited number of people, so don’t wait to apply.

You can apply to these organizations through your industry unions: Southwest Carpenters Training, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California, and Northern California Regional Council. Again, you have to apply early because spots are minimal and on a first-come, first-served basis.

#1. Carpenter Salary in California 

An apprentice might wonder how much a journeyman carpenter makes in California. The average income is $63,248 but it can vary between $54,620 and $72,892 based on significant aspects like your expertise in the industry and the area you’ll be working in. This salary range is calculated using hourly rates and a 40-hour work week. The contract, the business, the location, any applicable collective agreements, as well as the regional and global economic climate, all have an impact on wages. It does not include overtime.

#2. Are Carpenters Needed in California?

The largest single group of skilled employees in California are carpenters. They create, set up, look after, and fix buildings constructed of wood, wood substitutes, and other materials. Carpenters work for building firms, carpentry contractors, and maintenance divisions, and they might work for themselves.

Additionally, of all the trades, carpentry is one of the jobs with the highest demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS). Between 2018 and 2028, the USBLS estimates that over 50,000 additional carpentry positions will become available. 

Moreover, it has been stated that the construction industry’s development and the expanding population will both contribute to an 8 percent increase in work opportunities for this trade until the year 2026.

How to Become a Carpenter in Texas

You can find a lot of things in Texas. This is the largest state in the US. It has favorable weather, a booming market for many trades and occupations, and the city with the fastest population growth. In actuality, Texas is one of the best states to move to.

Many carpenters in this state begin their careers by assisting experts in the field. However, in Texas, starting as an apprentice is another path you might follow to become a carpenter. You can either sign up for a course or submit an application for an apprenticeship offered by a Texas carpentry trade school.

You can get the self-assurance and skills necessary to launch your career by enrolling in their programs. The extensive practical training and classroom lectures that make up the course curriculum will help you gain the skills and information required for the job.

#1. Carpentry Apprenticeship in Texas

The Texas Carpenters and Millwrights Training Trust Fund offers an apprenticeship program for anyone who wishes to become an apprentice to a carpenter in Texas. If you want to sign up for their program, you can find their contact information above.

A typical apprenticeship program in Texas lasts between three and four years, including 200 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Basic to advanced carpentry, mathematics, cost and material calculation, blueprint reading, building codes, proper tool and machine usage, workplace health and safety, and other topics that may be deemed required are often included in the program.

You will receive consistent pay when working at the journeyman level. A great way to gain real-world experience and improve practical skills while working is to become an apprentice.

#2. Salary of Carpenters in Texas

As a carpenter apprentice, it might be in your interest to know how much money you can make doing this job after putting in so much effort. According to the most recent data, the average salary in Texas is $51,451. However, this figure can vary from $44,431 to $59,299 based on a variety of different criteria.

Your ability and experience as a carpenter, the city or municipality where you are, and any other credentials you have under your belt all have an impact on your salary.

As time passes and you develop new skills and abilities, you will have the opportunity to rise within the organization into a more responsible position that comes with a better income.

Carpenters with extensive experience in the industry often transitioned to being independent contractors for professional progression, however many also take advantage of a variety of work options.

How Long Does It Take To Become Good at Carpentry?

Basically, it takes a period of three to five years to become skilled and good at carpentry.

What Are the Top Skills Required for a Carpenter?

  • Mathematics skills.
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Physical strength and stamina.
  • Mechanical skills.
  • Attention to detail.

Is Carpentry a Good Career ?

How much a job pays is a very important factor. The average salary of workers in the construction industry is $51,451. Carpentry is a craft skill that is high in demand and competitive, and this makes it a good career option.

What Are the Duties of Carpenters ?

The duties of a carpenter include installing wooden structures such as roofing frames, and installing fittings like door handles, and hinges. This also includes designing and installing shelves, cabinets and insulations.

What Are the Types of Carpenters?

  • Rough: Here, they are involved in the “rough” part of carpentry such as the walls, beams, roofs, and posts.
  • Finish: Here, the carpenter focuses on staircases, flooring, trims, and moldings.

How to Become a Carpenter With No Experience?

The best approach to becoming a carpenter with no experience is to enroll in a carpenter apprenticeship program, or to learn from an experienced carpenter.

What Does a Carpenter Do?

A carpenter is involved in every aspect of designing with wood. He cuts, designs and builds furniture, shelves, etc. He makes use of heavy machinery to install wall partitions, floorboards. It is necessary to gain general knowledge on the different kinds of wood and their use in both residential and industrial environments.


A career in carpentry can be seen to be a lucrative job with an average salary of $51,451. Carpentry jobs are in high demand. To start a career in carpentry with little or no experience, there must be the zeal and patience to go through the rigorous learning process – either learning from a more experienced teacher or going through an apprenticeship program. The individual must have and also develop the needed skills, and while doing all these, earn a considerable amount of money as salary.

How to Become a Carpenter FAQs

Is it hard to learn carpentry?

No, carpentry is a physically demanding line of work that calls for endurance, and to succeed in this type of career, you must be energetic, love what you do, and have the correct mindset.

How Do I Become A Carpenter In Canada?

Successfully completing an apprenticeship program of three to four years’ duration or carpentry certification typically necessitates four years of experience in the field in addition to relevant coursework from an accredited high school, college, or trade school.

How Do I Become A Carpenter In PA?

The four-year apprenticeship is a state-recognized, registered apprenticeship program in Pennsylvania. To become a journeyman, an apprentice must complete anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 hours of training, including 4,000 to 6,000 hours of classroom instruction.

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