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How high of an education do you need to have a career in carpentry?

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Douglas’s Answer



First of all there are many types of carpenter, for example rough carpentry, framing, finish carpenter plus more . With respect to an educational requirement, a high school diploma would be very helpful for the courses in mathematics, and geometry that you would take and if that high school was a Technical High School which offered classes in carpentry - that would be ideal. Alternately, most, if not all, of the Construction Craft Carpenter Unions have specialized training as a part of their Apprentice Program to teach you the carpenter trade while you are gaining OJT (on the job training). Lastly, there is "on the job training" , with no prior experience (or learning required) in which you would get a job with a company (or individual) that supplies carpentry services and, starting at the bottom, lean the trade. This last option most likely being the lowest pay to start and maybe taking you longer to increase your knowledge and skill level. But, that would depend on the size of the company, the types of services it supplies, and your ability and willingness to learn.

Applying to a local union carpenter apprentice program, whether you want to join a union or not, might be a good way to find out their requirements and the details of their program.

Douglas recommends the following next steps:

  • I would suggest that you talk with carpenters in your area plus review want ads and the internet job postings to determine starting level job availability and skill requirements plus typical starting pay. Higher skills and more experience pays more than lesser skills and less experience.