How to Become a Carpenter's Apprentice

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Becoming a carpenter’s apprentice will further the carpentry skills of a novice, along with teaching him or her new skills and techniques. During an apprenticeship, a student can apply for membership in carpenters' unions and learn about the guidelines and responsibilities of the labor force. The study of math is also a major component of the apprenticeship.

How to Become a Carpenter's Apprentice

Prepare for the apprenticeship. Preparing for a carpenter’s apprenticeship should begin in high school or in a vocational school course. Professional carpenters will expect the apprentice to already possess some knowledge of the career, including past industrial arts training or experience.

Find a program. Finding an apprenticeship program is the next step in working toward the goal of becoming a certified carpenter. Vocational schools and two-year colleges host quarterly career nights and job fairs, and would be a good resource for an apprentice. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union is also a resource for possible apprenticeship programs.

Earn while you learn. Earning money while learning is an important facet of the carpenter’s apprenticeship program. Typically, there is no charge to enter into an apprenticeship program agreement. The money earned at the beginning of the training will equal to about half of what a “journeyman” or fully certified union carpenter will make. Periodic pay increases typically occur every six months during the apprenticeship. A full apprenticeship routinely lasts four years.

Learn to read plan drawings. Reading plan drawings and illustrations will be one of the first aspects of training. This skill will be addressed throughout the apprenticeship program. Learning how to understand and edit plans is one of the most important aspects of becoming a master carpenter. During this process, the apprentice will also be required to learn the basic concepts and rules of the National Building Code.

Learn to classify building materials. Classifying construction materials, especially different types of wood, will also be an integral phase of the training process. The apprentice will learn how to characterize wood depending upon its specific properties and types. After an apprentice carpenter is able to memorize and apply these skills, the training will evolve into understanding the techniques involved with both roof and stair building.