It depends...

There is no standard timescale for how long it takes to become a qualified carpenter. It depends on a variety of factors, from the level of apprenticeship you are taking to the type of carpentry you want to do.  

The different types of carpentry 

There are several different types of carpentry, and this will affect the length of time before qualification. A construction site will employ many different kinds of carpenter, and each will have different demands and training methods. For example, you could be a rough carpenter, a trim carpenter, framer or roofer.   

Alternatively, you could work as a joister, installing floor joists in a building. Or a green carpenter, a trade that involves using freshly cut trees to make furniture or other objects. Scenic carpenters build theatrical sets and stage elements for venues. Find out more about the different types of carpentry 

The different levels of carpenter 

There are several grades that a carpenter can reach in their career:  

Newly trained

Carpenters who have just completed their intermediate apprenticeship.

Trained/advanced Trained carpenters with several years of experience to their name.
Master, senior or chartered

Carpenters with the skills to handle any task in their particular area of carpentry. 

Carpentry apprenticeships 

You could become a qualified carpenter in only two years, if you take a full-time intermediate carpentry apprenticeship; however, the same apprenticeship could take four years if it is part-time. For those who want to become master carpenters or specialise in certain areas of woodworking such as heritage work, the career path to a higher carpentry apprenticeship can take up to six years of full-time work and study.  

This can be longer if the learning element of the apprenticeship is taken part-time, day release or block release.  

Find out more about how long a carpentry apprenticeship lasts 

Carpentry qualifications 

There are three levels of carpentry qualification that apprentices of each level can undertake: 

  • NVQ Level 1 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery – the most basic carpentry qualification  
  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery – the qualification an intermediate apprenticeship leads to  
  • NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Site Carpentry/Bench Joinery – advanced or higher apprentices would take this course. 

Find a carpentry apprenticeship at Talentview

If you are interested in becoming a carpenter, there are a wide range of carpentry and joinery apprenticeships available at Talentview Construction 

Find out more about a career as a carpenter

A career as a carpenter brings a high degree of job satisfaction. You could be working on major construction projects, historic renovations or using specialist woodworking techniques. Find out more about the carpentry trade at Go Construct: