If you are thinking of changing your career path, carpentry sounds like an interesting choice. But there might be one question in mind - can you be part of the industry despite not having a background or experience at all?
Luckily, you can! With the right skills, character, and knowledge, you can make yourself marketable and valuable in the field.
Even without experience and background in carpentry, you also need proper education to be fit for the role, which we will cover.
Education can be achieved by taking the carpenter training in Connecticut and joining a union is the popular route.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process.
You will also learn the basic requirements to become a carpenter. We’ll discuss also tips on how to land a job despite having zero experience.
This information is all equally important because by learning about those things, you’ll determine if carpentry is the right choice for you.
So without further ado, read on…
Routes You Can Take to Become a Carpenter
Apply to the union to become a carpenter apprentice
There are many different ways to become a carpenter, but the common path to take is by joining an apprenticeship program. This program is a 3-4 year apprenticeship training covering on-the-job training. You can apply for an apprenticeship from companies, unions, or government agencies. The great thing about becoming an apprentice is you are paid while you are learning from the apprenticeship program. See below unions where you can apply for apprenticeship training.
In this program, you will gain carpentry experience by working with journeymen and other carpentry workers. With the supervision of carpentry professionals, you will be involved and assigned to various carpentry jobs to develop and improve your carpentry skills.
Apply for carpentry training programs offered by your local college or trade school
Check out your nearby schools that have carpentry courses. Trade school or community college can provide you the basics of carpentry such as working with manual and power in a shorter period as compared to the apprenticeship program. Despite that, you will still gain the knowledge and experience that you need in carpentry.
Diligence, time, and labor are the primary things you need to possess to become an effective carpenter. It's not as easy as a snap, it's something you have to earn and work for. You need to have passion, eagerness, and character to succeed in this career path. See below the school where you can apply for a training course.
Work as a helper or as a carpenter assistant
This way, you can grow your career as you start possessing a carpentry background and skills. Working with carpenters gives you technical competency and techniques. As a carpenter assistant, you can start applying what you have learned from your training programs.
Becoming a carpenter helper could be the quickest path to achieving your dream to become a carpenter. The downside is there's lesser pay for being an assistant.
Carpenters Training Schools and Unions in Connecticut
Community College That Offers Short Course
- Eli Whitney Technical High School
100 Fairview Avenue, Hamden, CT 06514
Unions That Offer Apprenticeship
- Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut, Inc.
35A Robert Jackson Way, Plainville, CT 06062
Phone 860-529-5886, Fax 860-529-6778
- Carpenters Local 326
500 Main Street, Yalesville, Connecticut, 06492
Phone: (860) 352-1130
- New England Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund
00 Main Street, Yalesville, Connecticut, 06492
Phone: (203) 284-1362 Ext. 3
- Construction Education Center
35 Robert Jackson Way, Plainville, Connecticut 06062
Phone 860.529.5886, Fax 860.846.6929
How to Join Carpenters Union in Connecticut as an Apprentice
- Know the requirements beforehand. This is to make sure you have what it takes before joining the apprenticeship. This makes you save time and effort. Basically, the minimum requirements you need to have is you need to be at least 18 years old, have completed high school, and be physically fit. Other requirements may still vary.
- Start contacting a union that offers apprenticeship training, see above for the contact info of the organization you want to make an inquiry with.
- Submit your application. Nowadays, application forms can be downloaded and requirements can be submitted online. To do these, visit the website of the union, and browse through it to know more other information.
- Wait for their feedback. After submitting all the requirements, you will then receive a notification informing you for the interview schedule.
- Pass the interview. Just like a job application process, an interview has to be passed in order to gain entry into the program.
Minimum Requirements You Need to Have to be a Carpenter
Carpentry is not all about physical work. It involves some soft skills and fundamental abilities to fit the criteria. Here below are some of the criteria and skills you have to obtain if you wish to pursue carpentry:
- You must be physically fit and conditioned because this job has a lot of physical work. Strength and endurance are needed for this career.
- Great hand-eye coordination is a must in operating tools. Otherwise, there's a risk of injuries if you do not have an excellent hand-eye coordination
- You must have math skills, good attention to detail, and problem-solving abilities. Inaccurate measurement may lead to the destruction of materials.
- You should be knowledgeable about safely using carpentry tools and machines. You should exercise proper maintenance of the tools and equipment.
- Knowledge of how to use a computer and the software related to carpentry is necessary
- Because you'll be working with different carpentry professionals and superiors, you need to have effective verbal communication skills.
- Carpentry involves a variety of tasks that you need to know. This makes you marketable in more than one field in carpentry.
- You need to comprehend well what the project requires and stick to the instructions given.
Salary of Carpenters in Connecticut
Connecticut pays well. If you’re going to work in this state, you are going to get an average salary of $66,532 according to the latest July 25, 2023 report of Salary.Com. But that’s not it. Depending on the qualifications and experience you have, the salary may fall between $57,495 and $77,038. In the neighboring state of Massachusetts, the salary is a little higher.
The demand for carpenters will never cease, it continues to grow. This is due to the boom of construction and population growth that opts for contractors to construct more homes and buildings.
If You are an Apprentice, Here’s an Estimate What You’re Going to Get
- 1,000 hours = 50% of journeyworker’s rate
- 2,000 hours = 55% of journeyworker’s rate
- 3,000 hours = 60% of journeyworker’s rate
- 4,000 hours = 70% of journeyworker’s rate
- 5,000 hours = 75% of journeyworker’s rate
- 6,000 hours = 80% of journeyworker’s rate
- 7,000 hours = 85% of journeyworker’s rate
- 8,000 hours = 90% of journeyworker’s rate
Again, the rates may vary depending on the union or organization where you are taking the apprenticeship program.
What do carpenters typically do?
The daily task of a carpenter involves analyzing and following the blueprint, installing, repairing, and building constructions and wooden materials. But the job of a carpenter is not limited to wooden materials as he or she may also involve drywall, plastic, and more into their work.
There are pros and cons in carpentry that you must know before deciding to be part of the industry. The disadvantage, there's a lot of physical and risky work in carpentry. There's a lot of lifting and moving heavy objects. There's also working on ladders and working in confined areas.
If you're up for the jobs, the advantage in the industry is that carpentry jobs are always highly in demand. That is because the housing financial crisis in 2008 resulted in workers leaving the workforce in the construction industry, including carpentry. This opened up opportunities to many until now.
Before we begin, here's a fact that's worth noting for- having zero experience is not a hindrance to being a fully qualified carpenter. It takes a good attitude and the right skills to fit the role. Learn how to gain the education you need to quality being a carpenter despite having no experience at all.
Getting a Job Even You Don’t Have the Experience as a Carpenter
Now that you have different options to start building your career in carpentry, the next step is to find a job. Here are some tips on how to land a job as a carpenter even without experience.
- Create your resume and cover letter based on your job description. Showcase the courses, apprenticeships, internships, and on-the-job training you've had. Include the soft skills that you think you can use in your job. The goal is to make yourself marketable, hence you need to draft a resume and a cover letter that's specific and detailed. Just make sure what you write is true and accurate.
- List down networks of people who can help you in your career. Inquire from relatives and friends if they can refer you to employers they know. If you have somebody in mind that's connected to construction and carpentry, you can send a message and inquire about the same.
- Find a career placement firm that can offer you a job. Directly looking for job agencies sends the message that you are actively looking for work. These job placement agencies work hand in hand with companies. They can look at their database to search for an opening for you. They can aid and mentor you on your job-hunting journey.
- Obtain education and carpentry training program. Carpentry firms may decline you for your lack of experience in the industry. If they have done so, show them what you can contribute by presenting your educational attainment, certificates, training completions, and other qualifications you gained. Being persuasive can be a factor they're looking for to hire you.
Contacting the Authorities
State of Connecticut Department of Labor - Office of Research
200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109
Carpentry is one of the oldest construction industries that's still in demand. You can get good pay as a carpenter there are different routes to take to become a carpenter. If you have no experience yet in the field, you may be declined by the companies you have applied for. I hope you have learned from these tips to get a job. Note that there are employers who are more leaning to hire people with the right attitude and character.