You might find yourself sitting on your desk realizing that a 9-5 office job isn't the right path and you’re thinking of becoming a carpenter in Massachusetts.
You think of a work where you do various activities every day and something that requires you to be physically moving.
A career that gives you mind and body exercise can be beneficial for you. With that, why not switch to being a carpenter?
Carpentry, regardless of the area of specialization, is always in high demand. Carpenters get the benefit of learning the different works in carpentry and the flexible working hours.
If the perks and the nature of work sound ticks your boxes, chances are you are going to succeed as a carpenter.
If you're interested to start your career in carpentry, follow these step-by-step ways to become a carpenter:
How to Become a Carpenter
There are only a few requirements you should comply with in becoming a carpenter in Massachusetts. The most common steps to become one are as follows:
- Attain a GED or a high school diploma
- Apply in a carpentry training program or be an apprentice
- Pursue further education in carpentry
- Obtain in-demand skills
Step 1 - Attain a GED or a high school diploma
Applying for an apprenticeship program usually requires a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This is because high school students can start to learn the basic skills and tools in carpentry from math, drafting, and carpentry lessons. These subjects give a head start for students on the methods and carpentry jargon used in apprenticeships. It gives a background in an apprenticeship so they won't have to start from scratch.
Fortunately, some apprenticeship programs let students work with licensed carpenters before graduation given they are due to receive their diploma.
Step 2. Be a carpenter apprentice
Construction unions or employers typically offer apprenticeship programs for prospective carpenters. It takes 3 to 4 years to complete the program under the leadership of fully qualified carpenters and construction workers.
At first, you will be taught the fundamental knowledge that is critical in carpentry. The topics that could be covered are:
- Math skills
- First aid training
- Understanding blueprint
- Other carpentry procedures
Afterward, apprentices will be taught on-the-job techniques, where they will learn the following:
- Interior and exterior finishing
Aside from all the congratulatory remarks after completing your apprenticeship, you will also be certified as a journeyman. The next step for you is to further develop your skills and experience by earning certification or enrolling in a trade or vocational school.
If you want to be an apprentice, contact the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund, see below for their information and make an inquiry when is their opening for application.
If an apprenticeship isn’t to your liking, you can train to be a carpenter by undergoing a training program that is usually offered by a training school, see the list of the vocational schools below.
Step 3. Pursue further education in carpentry
Formal carpentry programs in technical schools or colleges are not required to become a carpenter. But you may still contemplate attending formal programs to hone what you've learned and to stand out from other carpentry candidates. If you're lucky, some apprenticeships provide course credit that can help you earn an associate's degree.
If you choose to pursue further education, here are the topics you can possibly learn:
- Carpentry math skills
- Stair construction
Earning a certification or an associate's degree or certificate in carpentry can increase your salary because these educational attainments can get you to higher positions.
Step 4. Obtain in-demand skills.
You have obtained a high school diploma, journeyman certification, and additional education. The next path for you is to choose a specialization-roofs, infrastructure, cabinets, what have you. A specialization will give a niche that allows you to effectively market in the industry.
You can also consider learning an additional language that is often used in your area. This gives you the edge to get an interview among others as some companies may favor working with bilinguals.
Carpenter Training Schools in Massachusetts
- North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund
Boston Carpenters Training Center, 750 Dorchester Avenue, 2nd Floor, Dorchester, MA 02125
New England Carpenters Training Center, 13 Holman Road, Millbury, MA 01527, Phone: 508-792-5443
750 Dorchester Ave., Boston, MA, 02125, Phone: (508) 792-5443
- AGCMA - Associated General Contractors of Mass
888 Worcester Street, Suite 40, Wellesley, MA 02482-3708
- Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School
100 Hemlock Road, Wakefield, MA 01880
- Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School
565 Maple Street Hathorne, MA 01937
Main Office: (978) 304-4700
- Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School District
147 Pond Street, Franklin, MA 02038
- North Bennet Street School
150 North Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109
- Worcester Public Schools
20 Irving Street, Worcester, MA 01609
- Medford Public Schools
489 Winthrop Street, Medford, MA 02155
- South Hadley Public Schools
153 Newton Street South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: 413-538-5063; Fax: 413-532-6538
- Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School
220 Sandwich Rd., Bourne, MA 02532
- South Shore Regional Vocational Technical High School
476 Webster St., Hanover, MA 02339
Phone: 781.878.8822 | Fax: 781-982-0281
- Diman Regional Vocational Tech High School
1082 Davol Street, 2nd floor, Fall River, MA 02720
- Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
100 Cook Street, Billerica, MA 01821
Phone: 978.667.2111, Fax: 978.663.6272
- Rindge School of Technical Arts (RSTA)
459 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
617.349.RSTA (7782), Fax: 617.349.6770
- Holyoke Public Schools
57 Suffolk Street , Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 534-2000, (413) 534-3730 (fax)
- Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School
207 Hart Street, Taunton, MA 02780
p: 508-823-5151, f: 508-822-2687
- Quincy Public Schools
34 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA 02169
- Silver Lake Regional School District
260 Pembroke Street | Kingston, MA 02364
Phone 781.585.3844, Fax 781.585.6544
- Somerville Public Schools
8 Bonair Street; Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 625-6600, x6100
- Franklin County Tech School
82 Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls, MA 01376
Phone: (413) 863-9561, Fax: (413) 863-4231
- Greater Lowell Technical High School
250 Pawtucket Boulevard , Tyngsborough, MA 01879
- Greater Lawrence Technical School
57 River Road, Andover, MA 01810
- Minuteman Technical InstituteMinuteman Technical Institute
758 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421
- Lower Pioneer Valley Career Technical Education Center
174 Brush Hill Ave, West Springfield, MA 01089
Ph 1-413-735-6300, Fax 1-413-735-6315
- Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School
250 Foundry, Rt. 106, South Easton, MA 02375
- Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
1050 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
978-345-9200, Fax: 978-348-1176
- Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical School District
1121 Ashley Boulevard – New Bedford – MA – 02745
- Northern Berkshire Regional Vocational School District
70 Hodges Cross Road North Adams, MA 01247
P: (413) 663-5383, F: (413) 664-9424
- Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
215 Fitchburg St, Marlboro, MA 01752 | Phone 508-485-9430 | Fax 508-460-3472
- Nashoba Valley Technical High School
100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886,
Phone: 978-692-4711, Fax: 978-392-0570
Salary of Carpenters Working in Massachusetts
If you’re thinking about how much carpenters make in this state, well, according to the latest July 25, 2023 report of Salary.Com, the average salary is $67,180 yearly. Your experience and qualifications dictate how much you would get, so depending on those, you could make between $58,055 and $77,789.In the neighboring state of Connecticut, the salary is a little lower.
The demand for carpenters not only in Massachusetts but nationwide is hockey stick growth this is due to the boom of the construction industry. Now is the time to enter this field.
What Skills are Required for Carpentry?
Carpenters do a lot of work on construction. To become a successful carpenter, you should have the necessary skills:
- Hand-operated skills: carpenters know how to use different carpentry tools accurately.
- Mathematics: One thing by which math skills is applied in carpentry is to gauge if there are sufficient materials. Percentages, geometry, and square footage are also some of the lessons in math that are often used in carpentry
- Stamina: The long hours of working with heavy tools and constructing materials can be exhausting. Constructing tools and materials are often heavy and carried or moved around. Carpenters require physical stamina to carry these materials and to make it through the day.
- Business skills: Many carpenters choose to start their own carpentry business. Thus, they need to have business skills like marketing and customer service to manage the business.
- Problem-solving skills: A project may not pan out the way it was planned. Hence, carpenters should possess problem-solving skills to avoid problems and resolve conflicts as they come.
Job Description of a Carpenter
The usual daily job of a carpenter involves reading the blueprint and constructing materials. They also install, cut, and shape materials. Carpenters should know how to must smooth and erect frameworks. They also examine damaged structures and decide if replacement is needed.
Carpenters may also supervise and instruct construction workers or helpers. They should see to it that the finished work is done based on the requirements and specifications of the project.
During the preplanning, they might also need to use computers, software, and other technology tools for their blueprint designs, drafting, and calculations. Many employers require carpenters to supply their tools on the job.
To prevent harm and injuries, carpenters wear protective equipment like boots and hard hats. Because of the physical work, it's inevitable for carpenters to be injured. Still, safety measures are always in place and prioritized to prevent these unwanted events in the workplace.
What is a Carpenter's Typical Schedule?
Many experienced carpenters work full-time, and even at extended hours because of deadlines that need to be met. Because of the flexible working hours, they may also work during the evenings or weekends. The schedules can vary from time to time based on their projects.
Career Advancement Opportunities
A fully qualified carpenter in Massachusetts can enter a supervisory or managerial role by becoming a project manager or a carpentry supervisor. They can also pursue a degree in construction management to land a more senior job.
If you are losing hope in carpentry because you have no experience in the field, great news for you! The process to get there might be long and difficult, but if you work diligently and invest time to learn, you can be as successful as anybody else. With the best attitude and skills, you can become a fully qualified carpenter.
The wide and various scopes in carpentry can give you the opportunity to switch into different specializations. You can also pursue additional education to give you a higher chance to climb up the ladder.