Carpenter Kaihanga Whare

Carpenters work mainly with wood to repair or install foundations, walls, roofs, windows and doors in buildings.

Carpenters may do some or all of the following:

  • study building plans and architectural drawings
  • select building materials
  • measure and cut materials to the right size and shape
  • construct building frames and install cladding on the inside and outside of buildings
  • install windows, staircases and doors
  • renovate and do repair work on older houses. 

Physical Requirements

Carpenters need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong as building work can involve a lot of heavy lifting.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for carpenters includes:

  • draughting
  • woodwork
  • labouring on a construction site
  • any other building trade experience.

Personal Qualities

Carpenters need to be:

  • accurate and efficient
  • comfortable working at heights and in confined spaces 
  • safety-conscious
  • able to work well in a team and good at communicating
  • able to follow instructions
  • organised.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for carpenters includes:

  • draughting
  • woodwork
  • labouring on a construction site
  • any other building trade experience.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but NCEA Level 2 maths, construction and mechanical technologies, design and visual communication, English and science are useful. 

Year 11 and 12 students can learn more about the construction industry, and gain relevant skills, by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Carpenters can earn around $17-$23 per hour per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Carpenter are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Experienced carpenters may progress to become self-employed or work as building contractors, or move into supervisory or management roles.  

Carpenters may specialise in either commercial or residential carpentry.

Carpenter