How to Become a Carpenter in NYBecoming a professional carpenter is challenging because it takes a serious amount of time and time but it is also a well-paying job that attracts both young individuals and old-timers alike.

If you’re good at working with your hands and passionate about creating something from wood, you may be a good candidate to be a carpenter.

If you are inclined in building cabinets, walls, roofing, frames and anything about wood, a profession in carpentry may be the job you want to pursue. Becoming a carpenter in New York starts by acquiring an education.

If you think that being a carpenter sounds easy, you’re wrong. It takes proper training and a lot of skills to become one aside from the time you have to spend to complete on-the-job training.

To simplify everything, we made this short article to guide you on your journey.

Please read on…



How to Become a Carpenter

  1. Before you invest money and spend time and effort in the training, you need to have a better grasp of the nature of the job of this trade and a clear idea of the nature of the work of a carpenter. Before you make a final decision that, being a carpenter is the job you want to pursue, ask yourself these: do you have the qualities of being a carpenter and do you love working outdoors?

  2. Develop your skill set. Find a training school where you can take the training. There are 2 approaches to get the skills, you can either apply for an apprenticeship program or take the initial training course at the school near your location. Below is the list of carpentry training schools in NY and some criteria to follow when choosing.

  3. To expand your skills and knowledge, take the apprenticeship training. By being an apprentice, you will work under the supervision of qualified carpenters and other professionals through on-the-job training. It will take about 4 years to complete such a program and you will be paid for that period. It is a great chance to make a living while learning to be a carpenter. If you wish to become an apprentice, you may contact the New York City District Council of Carpenters or the Local 20 Carpenters Union, their contact information is indicated below.

  4. Choose a specialization. You can become a residential, commercial or even an industrial carpenter. If you could choose where you want to be specialized you can increase your rate. While general carpenters usually have varied skill sets, being specialized can become an added advantage.



Carpentry Training Schools in New York

Going to a carpentry school is one of the ways you can do to enter this industry. In case you get accepted, you will get the best opportunity to work with the experts to learn the techniques of the trade. If you are looking for a school in New York where you can enroll in a class or training, here are some of them:

  • New York City District Council of Carpenters
    Phone: (212) 727-2224; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • NYC Department of Education – Office of Adult and Continuing Education
    Contact: 718-935-220, 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675)

  • Carpenters Apprenticeship School
    140 E 26th St, New York, NY, Phone: +1 212-684-7851

  • School Cooperative Technical Education
    321 East, 96th Street, New York, NY, Call: 212-369-8800 ext 1351

  • Local 20 Carpenters Union
    900 South Ave #54, Staten Island, Call: Phone: +1 718-568-4530

  • Apex Technical School
    24-02 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City, (212) 645-3300

  • Barry Tech
    1196 Prospect Avenue, Westbury, NY, (516) 622-6800

  • Hammerstone School
    3285 Jacksonville Road, Trumansburg, NY, Phone: 607-351-6878

    200 BOCES Drive, Yorktown Heights, NY; Phone: 914.248.2451

  • Rockland BOCES
    65 Parrott Road, West Nyack, NY; (845) 627-4700

  • Mohawk Valley Community College
    1101 Sherman Dr, Utica, New York; Phone: (315) 792-5400

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, Phone: (585) 475-2411

  • Suny College of Technology at Delhi
    2 Main Street, Delhi, Phone: (607) 746-4000

Since taking carpentry training is expensive, you would want to commit a mistake in choosing the right school. Here are some of the criteria that you can follow when enrolling for a class.



How to Choose the Best School to Enroll

When you’re starting out and don’t know at what school to enroll in, create a set of criteria to help you in choosing the right school. Here are some of the tips you can follow:

  • When choosing a carpentry school, look for a curriculum that offers you a certification that adheres to current industry standards and that the school offers instruction in the use of specialized tools.

  • Choose a carpentry training program that includes certifications in OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour safety training and First Aid Training and CPR. These are added credentials you show to a prospective employer when you graduate.

  • To become better skilled in terms of the building codes, the school’s training program should include the current building codes so that your knowledge about is up-to-date. The school must teach plans on buildings that actually have been built and not only in theory.

  • The school’s training program should also give solid importance to construction safety like working in confined spaces, ladders, scaffolding, emergency response, fire prevention and many others that may be deemed necessary.

  • Find a school that has a linkage to a union or contractor so that you can place them for possible paid on-the-job training, that way, you won’t be having a hard time finding an entry-level job.

Carpentry training incorporates classroom training and hands-on exercises. The classroom is usually done during the weekend or in the evening while the hands-on training is done under the direction of a supervisor in the field.


How Much Does It Cost to Enroll in Carpentry Training Program

This may be the next big thing spiraling in your mind -the cost of becoming a carpenter. Before we continue to answer that question, you should know by now that going to a carpentry school is a common way to get an education and there is an involved investment to spend on.

The cost of taking the carpentry training is $15,000 to $17,000 but it typically falls between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the comprehensiveness of the course and the standard of the school. Other fees such as study materials, textbooks, room and board, safety equipment and other basic tools may or may not be included. Please remember that the numbers I mentioned above are not usually the final expense you will pay.

This is a serious amount of money to spend. Things may become complicated if you don’t have yet the money in your pocket to pay for the tuition. There are also ways to defray the cost of tuition as mentioned below.



Ways to Fund Your Schooling

  • Avail the New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds, click this page to know more. 
  • You can significantly reduce the cost of taking the carpentry training if you take it in the public or community college in your area because the school usually offers a tuition discount for residents.
  • Find financial aid. Talk to the school if they offer such assistance. Many trainees have lowered their tuition fees by availing of financial support from the school.

Requirements to Become a Carpenter

  • If you have a firm grasp of engineering and are good at math and if you have attention to detail, are some of the basic requirements.
  • Good working attitudes are also a must.
  • Be physically fit and with good stamina is one of the attributes of a carpenter. You need this because of the nature of the job physically demanding.
  • You need to be 18 years old of age (17 can be accepted in the training), and with a high school diploma or GED certificate as its equivalent.
  • You need to have manual dexterity since you will be working with your hands and know how to use tools that carpenters use.
  • You need to have problem-solving skills.



How to Become a Carpenter Apprentice

One of the benefits of being an apprentice is skill specialization. The apprenticeship program is a great opportunity for beginners to work with other professional carpenters in the actual work scenario enabling you to acquire their techniques to be good at what you do.

The apprenticeship program usually takes about three (3) to four (4) years to complete. You will earn a wage doing the on-the-job training while learning the skills needed. Upon the completion of the apprentice program, you will earn the qualification of a journeyman. This means you can now become a crew leader, a foreman, a team supervisor, or even establish your own contracting business, the possibilities are endless and it’s up to you what route you want to take.

If you think you want to become a carpenter apprentice, you may keep in touch with the Local 20 Carpenter Union in the information stated above.



How Much You Can Earn as a Carpenter in New York

If you are thinking about how much you would get doing carpentry work in New York, well, the average salary of a carpenter in this state is $65,871 as of July 25, 2023, according to Salary.Com, but it falls between $56,924 and $76,273 depending on some factors. In the neighboring state of New Jersey, the salary is a little higher.

The factors that affect your salary are the location where you are working in New York, the certification under your belt, the number of years of experience doing this trade, and other relevant skills you can apply for the job.

The job outlook of the carpentry trade is good. According to BLS, this trade is going to have an 8 percent growth in terms of jobs and employment opportunities between now and the year 2026 which is superb compared to other vocational trades.

The main reasons behind the demand and growth are that the construction itself, the industry that employs most carpenters, is in full swing; the population is growing dictating the need to construct more houses and remodel homes; and the government’s expenditure to build more roads, bridges and other infrastructures.



Is Being a Carpenter a Good Job to Get into

Being a carpenter can be a rewarding and fulfilling career for many individuals. Whether or not it's a good job to get into depends on various factors, including your personal interests, physical capabilities, and career goals. Below, we'll explore the advantages and potential challenges of becoming a carpenter:


  1. Skilled Trade:  Carpentry is a skilled trade that offers the chance to work with your hands and create tangible results. Watching a project come to life from scratch can be deeply satisfying.
  2. Job Stability:  As long as there are buildings, there will always be a need for carpenters. While economic downturns can affect construction projects, in the long run, carpentry remains a stable field.
  3. Diverse Opportunities:  Carpenters can work in various areas, from residential construction to commercial projects, or even specialize in areas like cabinet-making or furniture design.
  4. Physical Exercise: Carpentry can be a physically demanding job, which can help keep you active and fit.
  5. Opportunity for Entrepreneurship:  Many carpenters eventually start their own businesses or become contractors, which can be financially rewarding.

Potential Challenges:

  1. Physical Demands: The job can be tough on the body, with potential risks of injury. Proper training and adherence to safety guidelines are crucial.
  2. Economic Fluctuations:  The construction industry can be sensitive to economic shifts. During downturns, projects can be limited, affecting job opportunities.
  3. Continuing Education: As with many trades, carpenters often need to update their skills and knowledge due to new construction methods, materials, or tools.
  4. Outdoor Work: Many carpentry jobs require working outdoors, meaning you'll be exposed to various weather conditions.
  5. Job Competition:  In some areas, there might be high competition for carpentry positions, especially for high-paying or specialized roles.

For those who enjoy hands-on work, problem-solving, and seeing the direct results of their efforts, carpentry can be a fulfilling career choice. It's essential to weigh the benefits against the challenges and consider how well it aligns with your personal and professional aspirations. If you're passionate about the trade and are prepared to address its challenges, being a carpenter can indeed be a good job to get into.



To Make a Conclusion

Becoming a carpenter in New York is a good career choice. You would not be running out of employment opportunities as the demand for this trade will continue to grow. You just have to spend the time and effort into getting educated. You may spend a big investment in taking the training course but it is an investment that is worth it. You can easily recuperate it in just a short period because the salary of carpenters in this state is high.

We would like to greet you again and wish you good luck on your journey ahead.

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