What Does a Carpenter Do?

Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, you’ll need carpenters to do the work. These skilled tradespeople work with different types of wood to construct and repair furniture and other wooden structures. They also build frames and erect walls, floors and doors in buildings.

This three year managed apprenticeship is ideal for those who want to enter the construction industry as a carpenter in Auckland. It covers the skills you need for success including health and safety, building and trade mathematics and hands-on workplace learning.

Job description

A carpenter works with wood to construct, install and repair structures and fittings. They typically work on residential, commercial and industrial projects. They must be proficient in using hand and power tools and able to read blueprints to understand the dimensions of different components of a building.

They may specialize in framing structures for houses or external/interior walls, windows, doors, and stairs. They are also expected to inspect and repair existing frames, joists and timber structures. They are also required to have a high level of accuracy and precision in their work.

A carpenter’s career is highly flexible and offers many opportunities for further education and advancement. They can choose to study for a degree in construction management, become a project manager or start their own business. They can also become a member of the New Zealand Army and enjoy unrivalled training, adventure and travel opportunities. They will be paid a competitive salary, plus allowances for time spent overseas or on operations.

Education and training requirements

In New Zealand, there are no specific education requirements to become a carpenter. However, secondary school students can find out more about the profession by studying subjects such as physics, maths, technical drawing, woodwork and English to NCEA Level 2. Pre-trade training is also available at some polytechnics.

This managed apprenticeship is ideal for students who want to work in the construction industry but don’t have a trade qualification. It combines theory units delivered in classroom-based tutorial groups and practical workshop experiences with on-site workplace learning under the supervision of an employer.

The programme covers the full spectrum of residential carpentry skills including framing structures for houses, walls and windows. It also includes working with cladding and other finishes to buildings. This skill set is useful in upgrading leaky homes and earthquake-prone buildings. It can also lead to the opportunity to progress to site management.

Work environment

A carpenter’s work environment can be dusty, dirty and noisy. It also involves working outdoors in all weather conditions. However, the pay for carpenters is good, and working as a carpenter can be very satisfying.

Some carpenters work as contractors or for small building firms. Others specialise in residential or commercial construction. Experienced carpenters can also move into supervisory or management positions.

New Zealand has a high proportion of people who work from home (WFH). This research provides an insight into WFH in the built environment, but more work is needed to investigate other factors that may influence whether or not someone enjoys their WFH arrangement. This could include examining the differences between workers in different industries or ethnic groups, or looking at the impact of different housing types on WFH arrangements.


A carpenter’s salary can vary widely based on location, job type, and experience. A new carpenter may start at an average of about 20400 NZD, but this can increase to as much as 58000 NZD with experience. This variance is known as the range, and it’s important to consider when evaluating a job opportunity or deciding on a career path.

Using the median salary as an indicator can help carpenters determine if they are being paid well enough for their skills. If their salaries are lower than the median, they can try to raise them by asking for a pay rise or by looking for another job.

Whether you want to design antiques or build wooden staircases in homes, a career as a carpenter can be a great choice. You will be able to use your creative and technical skills to create beautiful designs that add value to any space. In addition, you will be able to work with natural materials like timber and wood, which can make your job very rewarding.