Getting a job as a carpenter can be hard today. With so many people looking for such a competitive occupation, most employers want to hire experienced workers. Becoming a carpenter is something you don’t just wake up and decide to do the day before. It takes training and skill to become a carpenter.
The most popular path most people take in getting into this trade is by joining a carpenter apprenticeship program in Wyoming which can take years to accomplish. In fact, 4 years is the duration you have to spend to complete an apprenticeship program before becoming a journeyman.
The journeyman carpenter is basically someone who had gained practical skills and knowledge and completed the apprenticeship program.
Journeyman has the best opportunity in the industry. Their wage is considerably high and can in fact start their own contracting business. Being a journeyman is the level to strive for in those years while in the program.
Now that you made your decision and you are considering becoming an apprentice carpenter in Wyoming but are still unsure of how to get started. Then, in this article, you should learn the steps involved in the process.
How to Join the Carpenter Apprenticeship Program
- If you are going to join the program, make sure you have what it takes to get accepted. At the minimum, you need to have a high school diploma or GED certificate, you must be in the good physical condition as the nature of the job as a carpenter requires it, and you have to adhere to other requirements. See below list.
- Choose a school or institution that offers an apprenticeship program. You can easily find one in this state, we prepared the list of schools, please see below. It is up to you where you want to apply but if I were you, do your assignment first where is the best to join. Ask your friends or colleagues and inquire about their feedback of the school where you prefer to enroll.
- Visit the school website. There you can find the process and requirements you need to submit and the registration date and deadline.
- Submit the application together with the requirements. Submission can be done online but you can also drop by at their office to personally submit the application.
- Wait for the interview. Actually, it takes about 2 weeks to receive a notification about the interview. So be sure to check your email for the notification. Passing the interview is easy, you just have to present yourself well, showcase your skills that can contribute to the job, and answer this simple question: why do you want to be an apprentice carpenter?
- If everything goes well, you will receive a call from the school telling you of your joining date. Congratulations! You can begin the journey, the opportunities are now in your hands.
The carpenter’s apprenticeship program is a free program that offers people the opportunity to be trained at no cost. The duration you’ll spend in the program is 4 years which is mostly an "on-the-job" portion where you will be equipped with the knowledge and experience required to work as a journeyman carpenter. After completion, you will have the skills and knowledge to search for employment or continue your education.
Requirements You Need in Applying
- A high school diploma or GED certificate
- Must be 18 years old upon the date of application
- Must be in good physical and health condition
- Completion of a pre-apprenticeship program or sufficient experience in the construction industry will certainly help in getting accepted.
- Must have legal status to work in the US
- Must be able to understand and comprehend the English language
- In some cases, prior to applying, applicants may be asked to undergo a substance abuse test.
Schools and Unions That Offer Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships prepare students with the skills they need to succeed as highly skilled carpenters in this growing industry. If you are looking for a school that offers such a course, here are the institution where you can apply:
- Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns
1981 Double Eagle Dr. Suite C., Sheridan, WY 82801
- Wyoming Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship & Training
Carpenters Local 1564
300 North Park Street 82601 Casper, Wyoming
Phone: (307) 265-2437, Fax:(307) 266-0006
- Sheridan College
1 Whitney Way, Sheridan, WY 82801
Phone: 307-675-0505, Phone: 888-675-0505
- Gillette College
300 West Sinclair, Gillette, WY 82718
Phone: 307-681-6000, Phone: 888-681-6070
If you’re looking for a short course or certificate in carpentry, these schools have something to offer:
- WCA Regional Training Center
2220 Bryan Stock Trail, Casper, WY 82601
(877) 265-1645 Toll-Free, (307) 237-4400, (307) 237-4422 Fax
- Casper College
125 College Drive, Casper, WY 82601
The Cost Involved
Just like we said, the program is free to join. However, there are some fees that you need to shoulder such as the following:
- Registration fee – this is usually around $50
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) – boots, hard hat, gloves, goggles, and vest cost somewhere around $250
- Beginner’s tools and equipment – prepare $200 to have a basic level of tools
- Textbooks and handouts - $50
- Union fee (if you’re joining a union – it ranges between $200-$450
These are ballpark figures, the cost depends on the union or sponsors you will be joining.
How Much is Your Wage as a Union Carpenter in Wyoming
Based on our research, the latest annual wage of a carpenter apprentice in Wyoming is $56,779 on average. The numbers vary considerably, the factors that affect it are the location where you’re working in this state, the years of experience you have under your belt, and the skill level you have. This number is based on the latest report of Salary.com. Again, depending on the above-mentioned factors, the salary can range from $49,066 and $65,745. If you will work in Nebraska, the salary is a little higher.
The program is 4 years to complete or that is about 8,000 hours. Since the pay you will get vary depending on the hours you’re in the program, sponsor and location, here is a general reference of how much you will make as an apprentice.
- 1,000 hours = 50% of journeyman’s rate
- 2,000 hours = 55% of journeyman’s rate
- 3,000 hours = 60% of journeyman’s rate
- 4,000 hours = 70% of journeyman’s rate
- 5,000 hours = 75% of journeyman’s rate
- 6,000 hours = 80% of journeyman’s rate
- 7,000 hours = 85% of journeyman’s rate
- 8,000 hours = 90% of journeyman’s rate
As an apprentice, you will also receive the perks and fringe benefits of other tradespeople.
Our Apprenticeship program will provide you with an exciting opportunity to learn new skills, broaden your knowledge of the construction industry, and support you as you develop and grow your career with us.
Do You Need To Go to College to Become a Carpenter Apprentice?
The beauty of the apprenticeship is that applicants don’t have to go to college in order to join. Although, a related college degree will certainly help you pass but is it is not a strict requirement.
Joining a carpenter apprenticeship program is like attending a vocational school. You need to gain the confidence to work independently and earn the practical skills needed for the job.
The sponsor or employer does care more about you learning hands-on training so that you can contribute more to the workforce and be proficient with the job.
The on-the-job experience plays a vital role in the program.
Are You Joining a Union? Here are the Benefits
Many people take the route union route because of the perks and benefits the union offers. Here are some of what you can get when joining a union:
- Apprenticeships are widely valued and respected career pathways; it is highly recognized in the industry.
- Apprentices learn on the job while earning a salary
- The program matches you with a job that lines up with your interests and strengths.
- You’ll receive a better wage – you will be assured that the agreed wage in the contract is followed.
- There is a higher standard of training – every apprentice will get the current standard of training, and your skill won’t get obsolete.
- You’re covered by benefits such as medical and health insurance, life, accidental and disability benefits, and pension programs.
Choosing to become a carpenter in Wyoming is a decision grounded in both tradition and opportunity. This expansive state, known for its scenic vistas and close-knit communities, also boasts a thriving construction landscape. With every new residential and commercial project, there's a renewed demand for skilled hands that can craft, restore, and innovate. The state's unique focus on sustainable and energy-efficient building practices also means that carpenters have the chance to be at the forefront of modern construction trends.
Yet, as with any career path, it's essential to approach carpentry with an understanding of its demands. Beyond mastering the craft, carpenters in the state often find themselves adapting to its distinct climatic challenges and the evolving needs of its residents.
In the final analysis, becoming a carpenter in Cowboy State is not just about joining a profession; it's about contributing to a growing legacy, building structures that stand as testaments to skill, dedication, and the indomitable spirit.