Of all the construction jobs in Australia, one of the most important deals with carpentry. When you consider the traditional house building required to construct mining villages combined with the construction requirements for new mine sites and oil rigs, carpenters fill important jobs in the Australian resource industry.
One might believe carpentry only has to do with the installation of kitchen cabinets and designing intricate bookshelves but that assumption is incorrect. Carpentry is even needed in the design and building of bridges, tunnels, mine shafts, highways and sewerage systems.
A carpenter works with wood, fibreglass, plastic and drywall to construct, install and preserve furniture and buildings.
Types of Carpenters
The Wikipedia website
contains a comprehensive list of the different kinds of carpentry disciplines found throughout the world.
- Finish carpenter or joiner specialises in furniture making, cabinetry, fine woodworking, model building, instrument making, parquetry and joinery.
- Trim carpenters specialise in moulding and trim, such as door and window casings, mantels, baseboard, and other types of ornamental work. Cabinet installers may also be referred to as trim carpenters.
- Cabinetmakers do fine and detailed work specialising in the making of cabinets made from wood, wardrobes, dressers, storage chests, and other furniture designed for storage.
- A ship's carpenter specialises in shipbuilding, maintenance, and repair techniques and carpentry specific to nautical needs; usually the term refers to a carpenter who has a post on a specific ship. Steel warships as well as wooden ones need ship's carpenters, especially for making emergency repairs in the case of battle or storm damage.
- A scenic carpenter in filmmaking, television, and the theatre builds and dismantles temporary scenery and sets.
- A framer is a carpenter that builds the skeletal structure or framework of buildings. Techniques include platform framing, balloon framing, or timber framing.
- A luthier is someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments.
- A formwork carpenter creates the shuttering and falsework used in concrete construction.
- In Japan, Miya-daiku (Temple carpenter) performs the works of both architect and builder of shrine and temple.
- Green carpentry is the specialisation in the use of environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable sources of building materials to use in construction projects.
Carpenter Job Tasks
Carpenters are highly sought after in the construction industry and many construction jobs are awarded to workers with carpentry skills. They need sound knowledge in:
- Reading blueprints
- Understand local building codes
- Measuring, marking and arranging materials
- Cost estimating
- Construction remodelling
- Floor, wall and roof framing
- Installing and finishing drywalls
- Cabinet making
- Construction of stairs
- Finishing exteriors
- Roofing techniques
- Tools and safety issues
Depending on a carpenters area of expertise they can work in both residential and commercial construction and remodelling. Speciality carpentry contractors may only focus on some regular tasks like erecting scaffolding or constructing wooden forms for pouring concrete.
According to the United States of Labor Statistics
“Some carpenters build tunnel bracing, or brattices, in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air through the passageways and to worksites. Others build concrete forms for tunnel, bridge, or sewer construction projects.”
Training, Work Environment and Future Prospects
A variety of training options are available in Australia. You can study via correspondence, at TAFE, various training institutes, on the job training or via an apprenticeship program. Carpentry can be a physically demanding job requiring long hours of standing, bending, kneeling and climbing and most often one will be outdoors.
Visit our Training and Development
page for more information about training opportunities in Australia.
Future prospects are deemed to rise as the economy starts to shift with the opening of new mining projects. A large percentage of carpenters in the current workforce are already at or approaching retirement age and these vacancies need to be filled. As with any career prospects the people who apply themselves and continuously learn about new techniques and technology will have a greater success of having a well paid and permanent job position.
Carpentry is in high demand across the board of various industries and is especially in demand in mining, oil and gas, and energy sectors. Within the construction industry it is imperative to have knowledgeable carpenters who are skilled in various areas as they will be designing and implementing new buildings, bridges, freeways, mine shafts and sewerage systems.
Various study options can lead you into a fulfilling and enjoyable career as a carpenter.
Visit our Construction Sectors
page for more information on all the sectors needed to support the resource industry.