Carpenter Kaihanga Whare
Carpenters work mainly with wood to repair or install foundations, walls, roofs, windows and doors in buildings.
Some building work has to be carried out or overseen by a Licensed Building Practitioner. To get a licence, you have to prove your experience and/or have appropriate qualifications.
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.
Carpenters need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong as building work can involve a lot of heavy lifting.
Useful experience for carpenters includes:
- labouring on a construction site
- any other building trade experience.
Carpenters need to be:
- accurate, efficient and organised
- comfortable working at heights and in confined spaces
- able to work well in a team and good at communicating
- able to follow instructions.
Carpenters need to have:
- building and carpentry skills
- knowledge of building methods and materials
- a basic level of maths
- skill interpreting drawings and architectural plans
- the ability to properly use and maintain tools
- an understanding of building and safety regulations.
- usually work regular business hours, but may also work weekends
- work on building sites and in existing buildings
- work in conditions that may be wet, muddy, dusty, noisy, cramped or at heights
- travel locally to building sites.
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths, construction and mechanical technologies, design and visual communication, English and science to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Year 11 and 12 learners can find out 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 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.
These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.
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.
Years Of Training3-4 years of training usually required.
There are no specific requirements to become a carpenter as you gain skills on the job. However, many employers prefer to hire carpenters who have or are working towards a qualification.
To become a qualified carpenter you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) oversees carpentry apprenticeships. The New Zealand Certified Builders Association also run an apprentice scheme through the Industry Training Association – Building (ITAB).
Experienced carpenters with no qualifications can ask BCITO to have their skills assessed and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).
A New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry can also be completed through carpentry apprenticeships with the New Zealand Army.
- Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation website - information about carpenter apprenticeships
- New Zealand Certified Builders website - information on the ITAB apprentice scheme
- Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation website - find out about getting your trade experience recognised
- Defence Careers website - information on carpentry apprenticeships with the NZ Army