Carpenters construct, erect, and repair structures made of wood or other materials. They may build frames, stairways, doors, windows, and other interior elements of buildings; install cabinets, siding, and drywall; and create brattices  ventilation walls or partitions in underground passageways. Other job duties include reading blueprints, preparing cost estimates, and conforming to building codes. They may also work as part of a team with other specialist tradespeople. Some Carpenters Southend are union members and enjoy the benefits that come with being a member, such as collective bargaining for higher wages.

The skills that are required to be a carpenter include precision, physical strength and dexterity, knowledge of tools and equipment, and the ability to follow instructions. Some carpenters have a bachelor’s degree in carpentry or another relevant field, while others learn on the job as an apprentice. Many carpenters are self-employed and may choose to run their own business, or they may work for a construction company or other enterprise that employs them.

There are two primary ways to become a carpenter: one can attend a two-year technical school, where the tuition comes out of pocket; or, the other option is to join a union local and enter an apprenticeship program where the union pays for your education as you work. The apprenticeship program usually lasts four years and includes a minimum number of hours of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices earn while they learn and start at about 40 percent of a journey worker’s wage. Wages increase at regular intervals throughout the apprenticeship program.

Those who want to be a carpenter should know that this is a dangerous profession. In addition to working with power tools, carpenters are at risk of falls from ladders and scaffolding, injuries from hitting or being hit by falling or rolling objects, and exposure to hazardous chemicals, fumes, and dusts. The physical demands are also high; it is not uncommon for a carpenter to spend up to six hours a day standing or sitting.

Despite these dangers, skilled tradespeople are often very satisfied with their careers. In fact, a recent survey found that 83% of carpenters were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their jobs. This is likely due to the hands-on nature of the work and the opportunity to be creative. Those who do not have a strong desire to be creative or do not want to deal with the hazards of the job should consider other career options.