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Apprenticeship

Carpenter

Carpenters construct, erect and repair buildings and other structures made of wood, wood substitutes, steel and other materials.

  • Avg. Salary $72,634.00
  • Avg. Wage $33.30
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 17,900
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson, Cribber, Framer, Scaffolder

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Carpenter is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Carpenters
NOC code: 7271
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to prepare layouts that conform to building codes using measuring tools

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking to apprentices and other construction workers to supervise their activities

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to build foundations, install floor beams, lay subflooring and erect walls and roof systems

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Carpenters' duties vary with the type of job:

  • In residential jobs, they crib the basement, build the house framework, walls, roof, exterior and interior finishes, and install doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, stairs, handrails, panelling, moulding and ceiling tiles.
  • In commercial or industrial jobs, they build concrete forms, scaffolding, bridges, trusses, trestles, tunnels, shelters, towers and other structures.
  • In maintenance jobs, they repair and remodel existing structures of all kinds.

Some carpenters specialize in a particular type of work such as framing, bench work or finishing work.

Most carpentry tasks involve:

  • reading blueprints or getting instructions from a supervisor
  • doing the layout (selecting materials, planning sequences and methods of work, measuring and marking materials to avoid costly mistakes or omissions)
  • cutting and shaping materials, and joining them with nails, screws, bolts or glue
  • checking completed units to be sure they are level, square, plumb and the right size, shape and location.

Carpenters must work accurately and economically, and follow national and local building codes.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Carpenters may work alone, in teams or with helpers. Working conditions vary. On some jobs carpenters work primarily indoors, are permanently employed and work a regular 40 hour week. On other jobs, they work primarily outdoors, are subject to seasonal unemployment and routinely work overtime in peak periods.

There is some risk of injury due to slips, falls and falling objects, and when working with sharp hand and power tools. Carpenters may routinely handle items weighing up to 25 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Carpenters need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time
  • manual dexterity
  • balance for working on scaffolding
  • the ability to solve arithmetic problems quickly and accurately
  • the ability to get along well with others on a work team.

They should enjoy creating things with their hands and working with wood.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2017

To work in Alberta, a carpenter must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.  

The term of apprenticeship is four years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Apprentices are required to provide their own tools. 

Carpenter apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • Grande Prairie Regional College in Fairview
  • Keyano College in Fort McMurray
  • Lakeland College in Vermilion
  • Lethbridge College
  • Medicine Hat College
  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • Northern Lakes College in Slave Lake   
  • Red Deer College
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

SAIT also offers technical training by distance delivery.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

Lakeland College

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Northern Lakes College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2017

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Most carpenters are employed by construction contractors, are self-employed or do construction or maintenance work for government agencies, utility companies or manufacturing firms. Employment prospects for carpenters vary considerably depending on the season and economic conditions.

Experienced carpenters may become foremen, subcontractors, construction superintendents, contractors or project managers. They are involved in every step of construction and this overall knowledge is an advantage when applying for supervisory positions. Alberta certified journeyperson carpenters who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

In Alberta, 82% of people employed as carpenters work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 19,000 Albertans are employed in the Carpenters occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.2% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 38 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $25 to $38 an hour plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice carpenters earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70% in the second, 80% in the third and 90% in the fourth.

Carpenters
NOC code: 7271

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $37.00 $29.64 $30.00
Overall $24.00 $37.22 $33.30 $35.00
Top $28.00 $60.31 $38.48 $36.92

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Construction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Educational Services
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

55%
55%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

18%
18%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

 

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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