How to become a carpenter

There is an overwhelming demand for good carpenters. A good carpenter is professional, skilled and delivers what the customer wants. His craft is unique and stands out. He uses the best of tools to get the job done. He understands the nuances of the wood he uses. A good carpenter has no trouble finding employment.

So how does someone become a good carpenter? 

First is to realize that carpentry is a noble profession and career path. Our society tends to over value degrees compared to vocational skills. So the Universities continue to pump out graduates with degrees but with no skills. Degrees have their place but what society needs are practical skills. A noble profession is one which serves a human needs. People need chairs, doors, stools, tables, cabinets, wardrobes, desks, etc. The list is endless!

Next we need to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills to become a good carpenter. I would recommend a mix of apprenticeship, formal vocational training and self education. The idea is that you find a good carpenter who is willing and able to teach you. You pay them to learn and work for them for free for a period of say two to three years. You also enroll for evening or weekend classes at a vocational school near you. Then you use YouTube and the internet to reinforce the practical learning about everything to do with carpentry. You dedicate the next three years of your life doing this. You immerse yourself in this trade. You watch and learn from the experts. You analyze the gaps in service. You get a sense of what customers want. You understudy the trends. You figure out the supply chains of wood and equipment. You figure out the equipment. You study how the business works. You get customer contacts. You prepare to break out on your own. 

You then emerge from your apprenticeship after three years and start your own gig. At this point you have some experience and a few people will take a chance on you. Deliver the jobs to the best of your ability. You register your own business and lease a workshop. As business grows you employ other carpenters. Integrity and professionalism are the cornerstone of your business. People begin to trust you. You establish a Facebook page and showcase your work. You dedicate the next three years to establishing your brand.

The money starts to flow in. You wonder why you wasted so much time at University. Your parents lied to you. Not everyone could become a doctor or an engineer or lawyer. So you settled for a random degree on campus only to end up with no employment. Why didn’t anyone tell you about the noble profession that is carpentry. You look around and see all the other noble professions. You see the honorable plumber, the electrician, the hair dresser, the chef, the builder, the makeup artist, the mechanic, etc. They are so many of you. You don’t seem to run out of employment. You are self employed. You’re living decent lives compared to other degree holders. You then realize that carpentry is indeed a noble and profitable vocation… 

and anyone can become a carpenter!

One comment

  1. Hello , I pursued the same path after my degree , i studying at Nakawa vocation in evening class after my day job. 2 years down the line , course is done , I used my salary to buy heavy duty planing , surfacing and morticing machines . what you can perhaps add is the need to pick a line of work ( you can be a shuttering carpenter, furniture carpenter or specialize in doors ,frames and surface finishes) or deal I’m purchase and treatment of timber . But your point is valid , pursuing a vocational job after a university degree is an excellent idea. No regrets


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s