What is Carpentry?

Carpentry is the art of building things – most often using wood – and it’s one of the oldest and most respected of all the trades. It can involve building furniture, flooring, frames and foundations for industrial, residential and commercial purposes, as well as renovating or repairing structures that are already built.

Carpentry jobs can also include any of the following;

  • Cabinetmaker
  • Framer
  • Registered Builder
  • Carpenter
  • Foreman
  • Project Manager
  • Building Inspector

Carpentry in Australia

There are currently over 125,000 carpenters working throughout Australia for industries such as building and construction, retail, manufacturing, and technical services.

Approximately 93% of Australia’s carpenters work full time, with the average working week being 40.4 hours long, and the highest concentration of jobs can be found in New South Wales (35.4%), Victoria (27%) and Queensland (18.1%).

Most of Australia’s carpenters get their start via carpentry apprenticeships, which usually involves 3-4 year programs that include both in-class and on-the-job training. Carpentry wages vary mostly depending on your level of experience, and the average salary for carpenters in Australia right now is $73,000.

Carpentry Courses

One of the many attractive features about a career in carpentry is that you can get started almost straight away; however, considering that 72.4% of Australia’s carpenters have completed at least a Certificate III in Carpentry, a little training will go a long way.

Whether you’re searching for introductory carpentry courses, want to take a specialised cabinetmaking program, or would like to build upon your existing skills and step into roles such as foreman or project manager, TAFE courses can connect you with the training you need most.


The most popular TAFE carpentry courses are our certificate level programs, as they provide the technical information you need to get started and are the perfect complement to the on-site training you’ll get in a carpentry apprenticeship. Whether you have your heart set on becoming a registered builder or just want to take your handy-man skills to the next level, these hands-on programs will advance your skills and confidence in a hurry.


If you have some carpentry experience already and would like to expand your horizons, consider investing in a diploma. Not only will you develop a full spectrum of carpentry skills, but you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the current state of Australia’s building and construction industry. Whether you’re considering a mature age carpentry apprenticeship and want to stand out from the crowd or are dreaming of starting your own business, a diploma will have you on track for success.

Bachelor Degree

Those interested in taking on management roles – such as building inspector or project manager – will gain a world of benefits from a bachelor level degree. A Bachelor of Construction, for example, will enhance your knowledge of all aspects of building processes, while also enabling you to focus on a field of interest, such as low rise building. A bachelor degree can take upwards of three years to complete and provides a fantastic way to future-proof your skillset.

The wide range of courses offered through TAFE all have one thing in common, which is that you will get a world-class level of education no matter what program you take. Best of all, you will have all the support you need every step of the way, ensuring that you graduate with the confidence you need to thrive.

Career Prospects in Carpentry

The building and construction industry has experienced strong growth in recent years, particularly in the carpentry profession, where job levels have risen by 4.3% over the past five years alone. According to the latest industry data, this positive trend is expected to continue with more than 135,000 carpenters predicted to be working Australia-wide by 2020.

Is a Career in Carpentry Right for You?

If you want a job where you get to work with your hands, you’ll love carpentry, as you’ll be building things on a daily basis, so you’ll need to be good at reading plans, solving problems, and managing your time effectively.

A good carpenter must also be fit, strong, and have exceptional hand-eye coordination, clear communication and mathematical skills, and you need to be able to work just as well independently as you do when part of a team.