Carpenters and joiners make and install wooden fixtures and fittings as part of construction projects.
- Apprentice carpenters can earn between £5,300 and £15,000 a year, depending on their age, stage and where they live
- Newly trained carpenters can earn in the region of £15,000 - £17,000
- Trained with experience carpenters can earn in the region of £17,000 - £29,000
- Senior, chartered or master carpenters can earn in the region of £29,000 - £40,000
Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, and the amount of overtime worked. Self-employed carpenters set their own pay rates.
Qualifications and Training
You don’t need to hold particular qualifications but it’s an advantage to have GCSEs or their equivalent. Subjects such as English, maths, and science would be beneficial.
Employers like to see people with some experience of building sites. A construction apprenticeship with a carpentry or building firm is a good way in. Some colleges and training providers help by introducing potential apprentices to interested employers.
As an apprentice you will earn a training qualification known as the diploma or technical certificate and a work-based qualification known as an NVQ. It also includes basic English and maths (called Functional Skills, or Essential Skills in Wales) and Employee Rights & Responsibilities to help in the workplace, along with personal learning and thinking skills. To find an apprenticeship visit the Government's vacancy website or in Wales, Careers Wales.
If you can’t get on to an apprenticeship, or are swapping careers, training providers and colleges run courses on carpentry and joinery, but may charge fees. Ask for details at your local college. This could help you progress into an apprenticeship.
In Scotland the best way to become a Carpenter/Joiner is through a Modern Apprenticeship. This involves a 4 year apprenticeship with an employer and a structured training programme in college where you would work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 3 (SVQ Level 3).