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What is it like a day in the carpentry business?

Hi I am Ivan Nagasawa from Honolulu Hawaii I am in the program Job Corps trying to get my career moving! I need some advice on how to get into this kind of business. This is the biggest goal of my life I am shooting for! Mahalo Nui Loa ! (Thank You Very Much) #career

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Parthey’s Answer

Hi Ivan!

This is a great question. It is really important to think about how everyday life will look in a job when choosing your path! This answer can depend on how you enter the business. Generally, you can either work for a company/business that is hiring a carpenter or you can work on your own/start your own business.

In the first option, your day will mostly be geared toward completing all the various types of jobs required by the customer, whether that be installing new appliances, electrical fixtures, flooring, countertop, kitchen/bathroom setup, and all the other types of areas where people need help fixing and remodeling within their homes and offices. You would be analyzing each new project, deciding on the right materials to buy, and completing the work according to the plan for the project.

In the second option, you may have all the work mentioned above in option 1 (if you run your business alone), but you will also have to work on finding new projects. This requires a combination of sales and marketing skills to advertise your business and convince people that you can do the best job. It also requires some math and organizational skills to keep your business running smoothly. So part of your day may be time spent on advertising, such as distributing flyers in your local area, attending local festivals and gatherings to advertise there, or building an online marketing strategy.

Parthey recommends the following next steps:

Ask around in your network of family, friends, teachers, counselors, and any other trusted people, to find someone who is currently working as a carpenter. Find someone working for a business, and find someone running their own business so you can compare their experiences.
Ask if you can shadow these people for a day so that you can see in person how their day at work is spent.
If you decide on a path and feel that carpentry is right for you, try to find an internship/assistantship job so you can have some hands-on work experience and make the final decision for yourself. Good luck!
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Shannon’s Answer

Hi Ivan! I’d first like to clarify that I am not a carpenter myself, but my father built a very successful career for himself as a carpenter, so I can share some tips from observing him and helping to work with him.

I imagine there’s something particular you enjoy that’s making you lean towards carpentry, and my advice is to focus on that. You’ll go far if you focus on your strengths and natural interests/abilities. In my father’s case, he was very talented working with wood, so he built a niche business solely creating custom wood railings. Rather than attempt all the various types of jobs that carpentry could entail, he narrowed his business to just one field where he excelled.
You could also focus on what it is that draws you to carpentry. If there’s no one else in the market focused on that and doing it well, then you may have a good opportunity to start your own business. If there’s an existing company that does it, try to work for them.
I hope that’s helpful and best of luck to you!
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