Is a Carpenter Apprentice a Paid Position?Is a carpenter apprentice a paid position? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by those who are looking for an early career. Apprentice is the path what most people take in order to enter this occupation.


Carpenter apprentice is usually a very well-paid position. In fact, you can make a good living while learning the “ins” and “outs” of the trade. It generally gives the opportunity for a lot of experience while learning everything that is involved in carpentry and working with other experienced carpenters too.

As an apprentice, you learn the skills through on-the-job training. He or she can gain experience making the work of a fully-fledged carpenter more effective. This can be done by learning new techniques and doing tasks that will ensure that job is properly done in a safe and efficient manner.

Normally, to become an apprentice, you must apply for the position that is commonly offered by a local union or sponsor. Once you have been accepted, you will learn the trade by working alongside a qualified person also called a journeyman.

By reading this article, you will learn about how much you get paid and some of the qualifications and skills needed to become a carpenter apprentice.

If the Position is Paid, How Much Can You Get

An apprentice carpenter is someone who is learning to become a master carpenter, which essentially takes 4 years of practice and getting qualified. To translate that duration, it takes about 8,000 hours of field experience to complete the program.

In terms of wages, an apprentice carpenter can earn depending on the journeyman’s rate. To give you an idea of how much you can make, here’s a simple matrix:

  • 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 you can see from the matrix, as you go along in the program and as you gain the skills, incremental raises happen this is because your level elevates as well.

Every tradesman who wants to earn more should think about how much he can get. Take into consideration all factors which affect the wage of carpenter apprentice. These are the size of the project, work location, or region and whether the program is offered by a local union or private contractor.



Other Privilege You May Receive Aside from the Pay You Get

  • Paid time off – this is the number of days you get for working a year. Read this to know more about vacation policy.
  • Paid sick time – depending on the policy, you may be qualified for a number of paid sick days.
  • 401(k) – this is the retirement and pension plan; you may qualify for this if you’re already a carpenter or a journeyman.
  • Health insurance – everyone needs this because the nature of the job is risky.
  • Dental insurance – you will also covered by this benefit when you work as an apprentice.
  • Vision insurance – eye check happens once a year, be sure to have this benefit, it is not cheap getting vision checked.
  • Disability insurance – everyone needs this, the nature of the job of carpenter is physically demanding, you don’t know when an accident will happen.
  • Life insurance – you and your family may be covered by this.



There is No Cost to Apply for Carpenter Apprenticeship Program

The apprenticeship programs provided by unions, training centers and other organizations are a great way to get the skills that you need to become a highly-skilled carpenter.

There is no cost involved in applying as long as you meet the qualifications. This factor is what attracts most people who are planning to enter this profession. Applying for the program is very much like applying for a job. You have to go through the normal hiring process and pass the interview.

However, please be reminded when joining a union, that there is some cost involved such as registration fee which must be settled upon indenture into the program and the usual union dues. Read this article to know more about union dues.

Other costs that you must shoulder are the purchase of PPE and tools required for beginners. Don’t you worry, it won’t cost you that much to acquire those necessities.

These programs can be a great deal of fun, and they will give you access to lots of different carpentry resources. Getting involved with a carpentry apprenticeship program can also boost your chances of becoming a highly skilled carpenter in the future.

Career Outlook of Carpenters

Carpenter apprentices are skilled craftspeople who have yet to be fully trained journeymen but would already be qualified to work on their own. Traditionally, they were a transition point between the entry-level and journeyman stages of a carpenter’s professional life.

There are many paid carpentry apprenticeships in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were more than 2.2 million carpenters and joiners this year. In the coming years, there were even more carpenters working in private industry and not enough work for them all.

There are hopes that this problem will be solved with the introduction of health care reform. To help fill this need, many states are offering training programs to help bring new workers into the trade. Some of these programs are designed specifically for young people who may not have traditionally pursued a career in carpentry.

In Conclusion

That’s the beauty of becoming a carpenter apprentice, it a paid position, you get paid while learning the trade. Many unions and contractors can take you in as part of their workforce. They are willing to train you at no cost.

We wish you good luck in your chosen career!

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