Do you have a flair for handy work? Do you have technical handcraft and woodworking skills?
If so, choosing the career path of being a carpenter would be a great choice!
In this blog, you will get all the necessary information you need on how to become a carpenter in Australia.
Overview of Carpentry in Australia
Carpentry is a mind-engaging and creative occupation which involves the use of technical knowledge and materials handling.
This occupation requires precision, focus and tactical skills in site activities like cutting, joining, installing, measuring and other general construction processes.
Size of the industry
Currently, there are over 92,000 carpenters in the Australian workforce.
About 44% of carpenters live outside capital cities in Australia.
New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of employers of carpenters.
Here below is the percentage of carpenters in different areas of Australia by state and territory:
- New South Wales 31.6%
- Victoria 29.2%
- Queensland 20.9%
- Western Australia 8.9%
- South Australia 5.1%
- Tasmania 1.8%
- Australian Capital Territory 1.6%
- Northern Territory 0.9%
This is why it is necessary to consider a potential career path when selecting a city to study. Click here to find out how to choose a city to study in Australia.
Industries where carpentry services are required
The Construction industry employs up to 89.3% of carpenters in the Australian workforce. The construction industry makes up the largest share of all their employers. Carpenters in this industry offer services such as:
- Wood Construction
- Fitting and Installing beams, stairs and frames
- Repairing and Renovating wooden structures
Other industries account for the remaining 10.7% of the carpenters’ population. The industries include:
- Manufacturing 2.3%
- Administrative and Support Services 1.0%
- Public Administration and Safety 0.9%
- Other industries 3.9%
Hours of work
In Australia, around 87% of employed carpenters work full-time hours in all their jobs combined.
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their primary job.
This is the same as the all-jobs average in Australia (44 hours per week).
About a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
The average age of carpenters in Australia is 32 years, which is much lower than the all-jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of carpenters are within the age bracket of (25 to 34) years.
With over 92,000 carpenters in the Australian workforce, women account for just 1% of the entire workforce, while men account for 99%.
This is 47% below the all-jobs average (48%) for women and 51% above the all-jobs average for men.
What are the skills and requirements needed to become a carpenter in Australia?
Here are some essential skills you must have to be a qualified carpenter in Australia:
- Woodwork skills
- Critical thinking
- Good communication
- Great physique
- Problem-Solving skills
- Creative thinking
- Building and construction skills
- Technical and Handy skills
- Mathematical skills
- Mechanical skills
Note that skills can be improved through training or experience.
What are the tasks and duties of a carpenter in Australia?
Here are some of the tasks and duties performed by carpenters:
- Fitting and installation of woodwork
- Measuring, Cutting and Joining woodwork to set up frameworks
- Repair of wearing fittings
- Construction of layouts using wood and other materials
- Install key locks, door knobs, doors and window frames
- Constructing wooden structures like chairs, tables, cupboards and wardrobes
- Reading blueprints and drawing structure plans
- Carving, Assembly, Flooring, and Roofing
- Conduct building maintenance inspection for furniture and fittings
How much do Carpenters earn in Australia?
Carpenters earnings are very relative and based on the experience, specialisation, skill sets, and qualifications of the professional in question.
On average, a carpenter’ full-time earnings per week is $1,358, which is roughly around $70,000 per year.
The hourly wage for a carpenter is between $25 to $45 in Australia.
Essential steps to becoming a Carpenter in Australia
In order to become a carpenter in Australia, you must hold a vocational qualification in carpentry. You don’t need to hold a degree to become a carpenter.
Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to become a carpenter in Australia:
Step 1: Complete a Certificate III in Carpentry
To become a carpenter in Australia, your first step is to complete a certificate III course in carpentry.
When starting this course, you need to have a minimum education requirement of Year 10 or Year 12 (High School Certificate) or its equivalent.
It is important that you have good understanding of subjects like mathematics and English.
As an international student, you are also required to have an IELTS score of at least 5.5 overall and be above 18 years at the time of application.
For local students, they can complete this course as a part of an apprenticeship program.
The apprenticeship usually lasts for 4-years while concurrently undergoing Certificate III training. Here, you will learn from the best and most experienced in the profession on the day-to-day basics.
You would learn how to quote for a job, read blueprints, run a business while dealing with customer requests and so on.
But international students need to attend a full-time course at the chosen educational institution where both practical and theoretical experiences are acquired. The course duration for international students is between 18 and 24 months.
As it is a trade course, international students might have to complete 360 hours of vocational placement while doing this course. Most of the time, this is arranged by your school or institute you are studying with.
As an international student, if you want to start working as a carpenter in Australia, then you will need to participate in a Job Ready Program.
Job Ready Program is an employment-based skills’ assessment program which helps to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills to work in your desired profession in Australia.
This program involves multiple steps and is run by TRA. You can get more details about this program here.
The average cost of this training ranges from $10,000 to $17,000 per year. Note that these details are slightly relative depending on what part of Australia you would be undergoing your training and your citizenship.
Also, enrolling in a Certificate IV In Building And Construction (Building) will help you further advance your skills in the field.
Step 2: Explore Carpentry Specialisations
After completing a Certificate III in Carpentry, it is ideal that you pick out a specialisation in the profession.
This will help you focus on any specialties of your choice during your apprenticeship training experience. Some areas in this occupational field are:
- Rough carpentry
- Ship carpentry
- Residential Carpentry
- Industrial Carpentry
- Ship carpentry
Note that some of the above fields require further specialised training.
Step 3: Apply for a Construction Induction Card (White Card)
Every professional who wants to work in the construction industry in Australia must get a white card by undergoing construction induction training.
A white card is a short course that allows the person to work on any construction site in Australia.
It is necessary for a carpenter to get a white card before any permission to work on-site is granted. Also, note that some employers expect you to have a driver’s license and personal tools.
You can read our complete guide on how to get a white card here.
After this step, you become a qualified carpenter. You might decide to keep working with your current boss where you did your apprenticeship (but as a qualified carpenter) or you could start your business.
What are some popular institutions to study carpentry in Australia?
Some of the popular institutions to do a carpentry course in Australia include:
- Insight Academy
- Victorian Institute of Technology
- Salford College
- RMIT University
- Melbourne Polytechnic
- TAFE NSW
- Federation University
Future growth of carpentry career in Australia
As per the Labour Market Insight website, it is expected that future growth in Carpentry will be stable.
While it might not be the most flashy occupation when it comes to future growth, the need for carpenters will always be a priority in the construction or residential development.
Obtaining the right certification with experience and skills in this industry would help you scale up the positional hierarchy.
And this is everything you need to know about becoming a carpenter in Australia. Let us know the next career you would like us to cover in the comment section below.