Carpenter apprenticeships

We’re here to help you get started in a new trade career. 

Find out more about carpenter apprenticeships or get your CV in-front of loads of great employers who are looking for talented and ambitious people just like you. 

An apprenticeship in carpentry can help you kick start your career in the trades industry. 

Be in control of your own future by choosing an apprentice that’s right for you.

Learn essential skills and knowledge that will help you excel in your trade career, including:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of technical plans, as well as repairing and maintain machines and tools
  • Ability to work well in a team setting, as well as individually

Common responsibilities of a carpenter include:

  • Taking measurements and preparing the site
  • Designing and creating drawings for construction projects
  • Construction and installation
  • Liaising with clients, suppliers and other tradespeople
  • Repairing and renovating any additional joinery refurbishments

This carpenter apprenticeships guide has all the information you need to work out if a career as a carpenter is the right option for you. As well as activities to help you test your skills and help with finding an apprenticeship.

What does a carpenter do?

Carpenters play an important role in construction and home renovation.

As a carpenter, you can expect to cut, shape, design, repair, build and install various items from wood.

There are various types of carpentry work and jobs, including: rough carpentry, joiner, trim carpentry, cabinet carpentry, ship carpentry, framer and roofer. 

A main part of a carpenter’s day-to-day tasks is communicating with clients from idea phase all the way through to completion. It’s key to making sure they’re happy and it’s a final product they’re pleased with.

How much does a carpenter earn?

£ 30000
Per year

A carpenter can expect to earn anywhere between £17,000 – £40,000 per year depending on various factors, including technical skills, specialisms and location. 

However, carpentry is a craft skill that is in high demand, and so a career as a carpenter offers brilliant earning potential. Carpenters can earn as much as six figure salaries when they go self-employed or set up their own business. This is known as becoming a sole trader or business owner.

How much does a carpentry apprentice earn? 

The average apprentice wage to start with is at least £5.28 per hour if you’re aged 18 or under, or you’re aged over 18 but still in the first year of your apprenticeship. After this, your wage can increase alongside the length of time of your apprentice. 

Construction site

How much does a carpentry apprentice earn per hour?

Age Hourly wage
Aged 18 and under £5.48
Aged 19-20 £7.49
Aged 21-22 £10.18
Aged 23+ £10.42

What does a carpenter's salary mean in real terms?

£ 20000
Per month after tax

Based on a salary of £40,000 a year, a carpenter would earn £2,601 per month after tax.

Earning potential and salary information can sometimes be overwhelming when it’s just a number, so we’ve explored what a top carpenter salary would look like against day to day spending.

From cinema tickets to takeaways, we’ve compared what a top monthly salary looks like against some everyday lifestyle costs.

525 Nando’s Chicken orders
Love a trip to Nando’s as much as the next person?

£2,601 is the equivalent of 525 Nando’s Chicken orders – so there’s plenty of chances to order a cheeky Nando’s.

*Based on a Nando’s ¼ Chicken worth £4.95
Pairs of Yeezy trainers
Carpenters work hard, so it makes sense that they earn enough cash to splash out on trends.

£2,601 is the equivalent of 13 pairs of Adidas Yeezy trainers – so you can have a different pair for every day of the week, and then some.

*Based on Yeezys costing £200 a pair.
PlayStation 5’s

Whether you love to play Call of Duty with your mates or prefer FIFA, a top carpenter monthly salary of £2,601 is the equivalent to 7 PlayStation 5’s – so you can game until your heart is content.
*Based on a PlayStation price costing £399.

Flights to Europe
If you have the travel bug and love to see the world, then a career as a carpenter will help you explore on your vacations.

The monthly salary of a top carpenter could get you 118 flights to Europe. Flight prices vary across the UK, but this gives an indication of affordability.

*Based on a flight costing £22.

How can a carpentry apprenticeship help me start my career?

Beginning your career in trades through an apprenticeship is the best first steppingstone to a successful future.

You’ll not only learn skills and specialisms through a ‘classroom’ learning environment, but you’ll also get on-the-job experience. As you work through your apprenticeship, you may find your passion in a specialist field, or find you’re comfortable with being a jack of all trades. It’s during this time that you’ll polish your craft and build a brighter future.

As a carpenter, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and experience many perks, like working with your hands, gaining repair skills, flexible working hours and enjoying the excitement of having no two days the same.

Skilled tradespeople are in huge demand – we need nearly one million new workers in the industry to help keep up with demand. So, if an apprenticeship in carpentry looks appealing to you, now is the perfect time to start.

How long can it take to do a carpentry apprenticeship?

Depending on the level of your carpentry apprenticeship, and your pathway, a typical course will last two to five years. 

Let’s take the entry level for a carpentry apprenticeship at Level Two and split out the usual programme expectations. 

September 2023

Register for our Jobs Board

The Get In programme is actively looking for young people like you to match up with employers looking for carpentry apprentices. Register with our platform here to get your career started.

September 2023

September 2023

Submit your CV

The next step is to submit your CV on our jobs board.
No CV? No problem. Read our guide to applying for an apprenticeship to get your CV sorted.

September 2023

October 2023

Get matched with an employer

Use our jobs board to find an apprenticeship opportunity near you and find your perfect employer.

October 2023

November 2023

Interview for an apprenticeship

If your application for an apprenticeship is successful, you’ll be invited to interview for the role. It’s natural to get nervous before an interview, so don’t worry. Read our guide on how to nail any apprenticeship interview to make sure you’re prepared for any questions you might get asked.

November 2023

December 2023

Secure your apprenticeship

If your interview goes well, you’ll be offered a role as an apprentice (Congratulations!) If it doesn’t, then try not to feel too disheartened. It can sometimes take a little while to find the right employer for you, and interviews are part of that process of understanding if you’re both a good fit for each other. So, take your time.

Once you’ve found the right employer and secured your apprenticeship role, you’ll be given a start date to join the company.

December 2023

January 2024 - January 2028

Earn whilst you learn as an apprentice

2-5 years of training on the job

You’ve made it! You’re now on your carpentry apprenticeship, learning all the key skills you need to make it as an carpenter.

During the course of your apprenticeship, you’ll work alongside qualified carpenters to support them on designing and constructing structures for homes and commercial buildings. This could be in large facilities and construction sites that give you access to lots of different opportunities to perform hands-on work.

You’ll learn important skills for your future job as a qualified carpenter, such as how to read building plans and designing your own building plans, as well as how to communicate with different people to understand what they need from you to get buildings completed. This will all be under the watchful eye of the qualified carpenter you’ll be assisting, and you’ll often work closely with them as well as collaborating with other members of the construction staff.

As you progress in your role, you’ll start to work more independently and complete tasks on your own.

January 2024 - January 2028

January 2029

Qualify as a carpenter

It can take 2-5 years to qualify as a carpenter. Once qualified, experienced carpenters can earn up to £40,000 a year when employed at a company. Self-employed carpenters and sole traders who set up their own companies can earn much more than that.

January 2029

How can Checkatrade's Get In programme help me start my carpenter  career?

Our mission is to generate 25,000 apprentices over the next three years to help bridge the UK skills gap and improve career satisfaction. The younger generation is the key to building a better and brighter future.

If you’re a go-getter, looking for a career in trades, then we’re offering a simpler way to get you in front of potential employers.

Apply for a carpenter apprenticeship

Checkatrade’s Get In Programme can help you find an carpenter apprenticeship with an employer.

Here’s how it works…

Register your account

Employers looking for an apprentice can easily find you, and together, you’ll start your apprenticeship journey.

Upload your CV

Employers looking for an apprentice can easily find you, and together, you’ll start your apprenticeship journey.

Find your employer and apprenticeship 

Employers looking for an apprentice can easily find you, and together, you’ll start your apprenticeship journey.

How do I know if a career as a carpenter is right for me?

Any career in the trade industry will require you to get stuck in.

You’ll need to enjoy practical activities, have a creative mind, be on your feet a lot of the day, travel from job to job, and love a hands-on role.

A career in carpentry can be busy, busy, busy so you’ll need to be motivated and hard working to get the job done.

It can be hard to know which career is right for you, so check out some of the resources below to explore the key skills carpenters need to be successful.

Get In The Game: explore life as a carpenter

We’ve explored the skills carpenters need and have through the lens of gaming. Based on popular gaming styles, we’ve created gaming characters that show the kinds of strengths and skills carpenter apprentices need to make it in the ‘game’ of a career as an carpenter.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Explore the information below to find out.

Meet Chip: the carpenter gaming character

Ready to groove your way to victory? With sand and debris swirling around you, this character will keep you grounded.

Chip has the capability to level their spirit no matter where they are.

Feeling most at home in the outdoors, this character will allow you to axe your way through any situation.

Chip has the potential to floor you with their strength and plant their roots in any mission.

Chip is a bronze level rare character. We actively need more players like them in the game. Can you help? 

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a carpenter? 

How rare is Chip?

3,500,000 Coins

If you needed in-game currency to buy a character like Chip, you’d need the maximum value to buy them. That’s because the skills Chip brings are top of their game. In real life, carpenters have to go through a long process to qualify to make sure they have all the skills the need to be a success. 

Bronze level rarity 

Chip is a bronze level rare character, because there aren’t enough characters like them. In real life, there aren’t enough carpenters in the industry. So we need more players like Chip, and like you, to take on carpentry roles in the UK. 

Timber power control

By utilising the energy from nature, Chip is an essential character in the trade ‘game’. In the real world, carpenters play a key role in keeping every day life moving. They use their natural abilities to build and renovate wooden fixtures and fittings, most of what we see around us. The world as we know it couldn’t function without them.

What skills does an apprentice carpenter need to have?

Chip is a good example of the kinds of skills a carpenter apprentice will need to have naturally, as well as the skills that will develop through your apprenticeship.

Natural skills

These are skills you will naturally have or be interested in using.

Interest in hands-on work
Interest in DIY projects
Problem solving

Skills you develop

These are skills you will develop during your apprenticeship. 

Technical skills
Placing safety first
Working with a team and on our own

Test your skills with this electrician scenario game

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Coming soon: interactive video content

Try your hand at Chip’s carpentry skills with our interactive video content. Coming soon. 

Think you could make it as a carpenter?

Employers are looking for talented young people just like you to complete an apprenticeship. Earn whilst your learn as an apprentice and get a job as a carpenter.  

Which character suits you?

Not sure if a career as a carpenter is right for you?

Take our quiz to find out which trades role you should play. 

What's it like being an electrician in real life?

"I love being able to do something different and be somewhere different every single day, from domestic work to industrial. My apprenticeship set me up to be able to do it all.”

Lauren shares how growing up around family DIY projects sparked her intrigue in a career as an electrician, and how her apprenticeship unlocked her potential.  

Read more about young people in trades careers

From how to get started in your trades career to tips on creating a CV and writing a cover letter, get all the best advice to launch your trades career from the experts at About Apprenticeships.

Get In the know

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to apprenticeships, but we’re changing that! We’ve created a range of blogs and articles just for you, packed with useful info.

From creating your covering letter and CV, to preparing and nailing your apprenticeship interview. You’ve got this.

Join the movement

We’re actively looking for young people like you to help us build a better future. 

The UK is facing a major skills shortage. We need tens of thousands more plumbers, electricians, joiners, and other tradespeople – and we’re looking to find bright, new apprentices to help plug the gap.

We’re looking for young people aged 16 to 25 who want to take control of their own futures.