How to become a carpenter in MontanaIf you love working with your hands and have a knack for carpentry, becoming a carpenter in Montana could be the perfect career choice for you.

The pay is good and demand for carpenters is great now and in the coming years. These are just some of the reasons that would encourage you to enter this career.

Aspiring carpenters must first understand what education is required to become a carpenter, where they can begin that educational process and what type of job opportunities are available to them once they graduate.

If you’re interested in becoming a carpenter, read on to learn more about what it takes to get started as a carpenter.

In this article, we discuss the school where you can take short courses and the organization where you can join the apprenticeship program...

Read on...



Carpenter Training Schools in the State of Montana

  • Gallatin College MSU
    101 Hamilton Hall, PO Box 170515, Bozeman, MT 59717
    Tel: 406-994-5536, Fax: 406-994-5577

  • University of Montana Catalog
    Lommasson Center 201
    Contact: 406-243-7692

  • Montana Technological University
    1300 West Park Street, Butte, MT 59701
    Contact: 800-445-8324

  • City College at Montana State University Billings
    3803 Central Avenue, Billings, Montana 59102
    Phone: 406-247-3000

  • Flathead Valley Community College
    777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901
    (406) 756-3822 (800) 313-3822
    225 Commerce Way, Libby, MT 59923
    (406) 293-2721

  • Helena College University of Montana
    1115 N. Roberts Street
    Phone: (406) 447-6900, Fax: (406) 447-6397

  • Great Falls College MSU
    2100 16th Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 59405
    Phone: 406.771.4300, Fax: 406.771.4317



What You Need To Know Before Entering this Trade

There are a few things you should know before you get started on the path to becoming a carpenter.

Since there are many different types of carpenters, specific job duties will vary, depending on which type of carpenter you become. Some carpenters specialize in residential building and repairs, while others specialize in commercial building projects.

Carpenters who build and repair wooden boats are called shipwrights. Carpentry can be physically demanding work. You may work long hours, often in extreme weather conditions.

You may also be required to lift heavy objects or climb ladders or scaffolding. If you’re interested in becoming a carpenter, you should be in good health and physically able to withstand long hours and heavy lifting.

If you would like to take a certificate program or a degree in carpentry, inquire with one of the training schools mentioned above. They might have a program that suits your need.

In many cases, experienced individuals started as helpers in construction sites, learning from colleagues and superiors, they then elevate themselves by taking a short course, a degree, or an apprenticeship program.



Educational Requirements

The type of carpenter you want to become will also determine your educational requirements. There are a few different types of carpenters, each of which requires a different level of education.

The type of carpenter you become will depend on your interests and strengths and will be determined by what you study in school.
Usually, the education requirements you need to have in order to start the trade are:

  • Be good in math and calculation
  • Completion of high school, or a GED
  • Related high subjects such as geometry, and algebra would be a great help but not required
  • The ability to read blueprints and other technical drawings is ideal
  • Completion of a pre-apprenticeship program or a short course is preferred in order to get accepted into an apprenticeship program

If you want to become a construction carpenter, an apprenticeship is your best bet. There are schools that offer a construction carpenter program, so you will have to learn a different trade if you want to become a carpenter with a construction degree.



The Road to Becoming a Carpenter

If you decide to become a construction carpenter, you will start by gaining work experience as a carpenter’s assistant.

In most cases, you can find work as an assistant straight out of high school. You will assist a more experienced carpenters also called a journeyman and learn the basics of the trade.

You may also help with job site deliveries and other tasks unrelated to carpentry. You should expect to spend about three years as a carpenter’s assistant before applying for an apprenticeship.

Becoming an apprentice requires passing a test administered by a state-run apprenticeship program. You should talk with your state’s Department of Labor to learn more about becoming an apprentice.

You may also want to contact local contractors and construction businesses to find out if they offer apprenticeships.

Here are the organizations in the state of Montana that offer apprenticeship programs:

  • Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Center
    780 Carter Drive, Helena, MT 59601
    Phone: (406) 443-3255, Fax ph: 406 443-3813

  • Dick Anderson Construction (DAC)
    Located in Helena, MT
    Visit the website for more information on how to join

  • Montana Contractors Association
    1717 11th Avenue, Helena, MT 59601
    Phone: (406) 442-4162



How to Become an Apprentice

While each state has its own specific requirements, all states require apprentices to be at least 18 years old and be enrolled in a state-approved training program.

You may need to take a test, have a high school diploma or a GED and have a background check done before you can be accepted into an apprenticeship program. Requirements vary depending on the organization where you are joining.

As an apprentice, you will learn about carpentry, construction methods, safety procedures and mathematics.

You will also spend a significant amount of time on the job site, helping your supervisor with various carpentry tasks. Most apprenticeships last between three and four years, depending on the program and organization where you are joined in.

If you would like to sign up for an application, contact one of the organizations mentioned above by visiting their website or by personally dropping by their office.

Here’s the step-by-step in joining:

  1. Complete the requirements – it is important for you to have the correct and complete requirements; your application would be put in vain if you don’t have the necessary documentation for the application, they would just reject it and select others.

  2. Secure an application form – you can visit the website of the organization you want to participate in, and you can either download the form or register online.

  3. Submit the requirements and the application – you can drop by their office to submit; while other organizations require their applicants to register online.

  4. Attend the interview – once your application is deemed complete, the organization will contact you for an interview. There you need to prove yourself that you are the right person to become one of their apprentices.

  5. Pass the substance abuse test and physical exam – this is the final stage, when you reached this, it means you pass the interview. You just need to submit yourself for these tests. After passing, you will then be listed in their qualified apprentices' register.

  6. Wait for the call for deployment – In just a week or two, you will receive a notification for employment. Congratulations, you’re on your way to being an apprentice.



Other Skills You’ll Need to Be a Carpenter

Becoming a carpenter requires proficiency in a number of skills. You will need to have a good understanding of construction materials and practices, as well as a sound knowledge of mathematics and physics.

You will also need to be physically fit, as the work can be physically demanding at times. You will need to be proficient in reading and writing, as well as computing, as you will be expected to do a significant amount of making calculations.

These are just a few of the skills you will need to become a carpenter. Before you start down the path to becoming a carpenter, make sure you fully understand what skills are required for this type of work.

You may want to enroll in a carpentry program at your local community college or take a carpentry class at a vocational school. See above trade schools and community colleges that offer carpentry programs.

Carpenter Salary in Montana in 2023

According to July 25, 2023 survey of, the carpenters working in Montana make an average salary of $56,432. Depending on the experience and qualification of an individual and the location, the salaries range between $48,767 and $65,344. If you will work in the neighboring state of Wyoming, the salary is almost the same.

People with experience are more likely to get hired for a good job opportunity than those who do not have any experience. However, carpenters with experience should take into consideration the location where they will be working as it has an effect on how much they’re going to make.



Where to Find Job Opportunities in this State

If you decide to become a residential carpenter, you may find plenty of job opportunities in your local area.

Residential carpenters specialize in building and repairing wooden decks and fences, installing wooden stairs and building wooden sheds and playhouses.

Most residential carpenters work for construction companies, building new residential neighborhoods or remodeling houses. You can also become a residential carpenter on a full-time or part-time basis as a self-employed contractor.




If you love working with your hands and have a knack for carpentry, becoming a carpenter could be the perfect career choice for you.

Aspiring carpenters must first understand what education is required to become a carpenter, where they can begin that educational process and what type of job opportunities are available to them once they graduate.

If you’re interested in becoming a carpenter in Montana, you need to spend some and effort but the results are great. The demand for carpenters now is high and will continue in the next coming years.

Start now, take the first step, and be a carpenter…

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