Carpenters (NOC 7271)

About this job

Carpenters construct, erect, install, maintain and repair structures and components of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • are employed by construction companies, carpentry contractors and maintenance departments of factories, plants and other establishments
  • may be self-employed
  • must be able to work precisely and solve mathematical problems accurately and efficiently
  • must have good observation skills, as well as the ability to handle multiple tasks
  • should be able to work well within a team
Common job titles
  • carpenter, boat
  • carpenter, bridge
  • carpenter, construction
  • carpenter, rough
  • carpenter, sign
  • carpenter, stage / studio
  • carpenter, boat
  • carpenter, bridge
  • carpenter, construction
  • carpenter, finish / interior finish
  • carpenter, floor / access floor specialist
  • carpenter, form / concrete form builder

Duties

Carpenters: 

  • read and interpret blueprints, drawings and sketches to determine specifications and calculate requirements
  • prepare layouts conforming to building codes, using measuring tools
  • measure, cut, shape, assemble and join materials made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials
  • build foundations, install floor beams, lay sub-flooring and erect walls and roof systems
  • fit and install trim items, such as doors, stairs, moulding and hardware
  • maintain, repair and renovate residences and wooden structures in mills, mines, hospitals, industrial plants and other establishments
  • supervise apprentices and other construction workers
  • may prepare cost estimates for clients

Work environment

Carpenters typically work 40 hours per week, but may have to work longer hours to complete projects on time. Work may also be seasonal in nature. Construction activity is limited in the winter outside of the Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island/Coast regions. As a result, carpenters in these regions may work longer hours during the summer. Options for work during winter months in these regions may also be limited.

Carpenters work alone or in teams. The work environment can be indoors and outdoors, and is often noisy and dirty.

Carpenters must take appropriate safety precautions when lifting materials, working from heights and working with equipment and tools.

Insights from industry

Future demand for workers will depend on growth in the Construction industry. Slowing growth in residential construction will likely have a considerable effect on future employment job opportunities, as more carpenters work in this area.

Experienced and/or certified carpenters will likely have an advantage in finding work.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

People typically begin in this occupation by working as carpenter apprentices or as construction labourers.

With experience and additional training, carpenters can move into supervisory positions, such as foreman or construction superintendent. They may also become self-employed and work as contractors or subcontractors.

Additional resources