Carpenters construct, erect and repair buildings and other structures made of wood, wood substitutes, steel and other materials.
Construction Tradesperson, Cribber, Framer, Scaffolder
In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.
The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:
Interest in precision working to prepare layouts that conform to building codes using measuring tools
Interest in speaking to apprentices and other construction workers to supervise their activities
Interest in compiling information to build foundations, install floor beams, lay subflooring and erect walls and roof systems
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.
Carpenters' duties vary with the type of job:
Some carpenters specialize in a particular type of work such as framing, bench work or finishing work.
Most carpentry tasks involve:
Carpenters must work accurately and economically, and follow national and local building codes.
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.
Carpenters need the following characteristics:
They should enjoy creating things with their hands and working with wood.
To work in Alberta, a carpenter must be ONE of the following:
To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:
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:
SAIT also offers technical training by distance delivery.
For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.
The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.
For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.
Carpenters construct, erect and repair buildings and other structures made of wood, wood substitutes, steel and other materials. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.
Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Carpenter Trade Regulation, you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.
The term of apprenticeship for apprentice carpenters in Alberta 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 in each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.
Carpenters trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.
Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).
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:
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.
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.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
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* 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.
Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.
|Health Care & Social Assistance||$88,361|
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 call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports 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.