Career Change for a Carpenter (With Tips and Careers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Carpentry is a profession that usually provides an abundance of transferable skills, such as time management, attention to detail and teamwork. If you're a carpenter but feel like a career change, your transferable skills can help you gain employment in many industries. By reviewing some tips and potential job opportunities, you can determine effective pathways for changing careers. In this article, we provide some tips for a career change for a carpenter, discuss the benefits and list several careers you can consider.

Tips to consider for a career change for a carpenter

Below, you can find several tips to consider for a career change for a carpenter:

Identify your skills

Your current skills can determine the careers that may be available to you. As a carpenter, you may have likely gained many technical and interpersonal skills that can transfer to different career responsibilities. The most common carpentry skills are usually communication, teamwork, attention to detail, time management, integrity and awareness. Most of these skills can assist you in gaining employment in different industries. For example, attention to detail and awareness can be crucial skills for the role of an inspector or machine operator.

Related: What Is the Importance of Soft Skills? (7 Key Reasons)

Review your passions and interests

If you're passionate and interested in specific activities, you can try to find employment in a career that shares them. For example, if you're passionate about helping others, you might consider the role of a firefighter, as they often assist the community. A firefighter role can require physical fitness, awareness and dexterity, which you might have developed through carpentry.

Establish a time frame for changing careers

If you want an immediate career change, you may have limited options because some careers can require several years of training and learning to become qualified. Similar to carpentry, you might require a three-year apprenticeship if you want to change careers to another trade. The careers that require no training or qualifications might not provide a substantial salary and might involve mundane tasks. Depending on your personality, you might gain career satisfaction from jobs that challenge you and require elements of critical thinking.

Research job prospects

If you're considering a specific career, you can research the job prospects and opportunities. Some jobs can be relatively niche and rarely have vacant positions available. You can still apply for these roles, but it can be important to understand that you might wait several months before a job opportunity becomes available. If you want an immediate career change, you can consider careers in growing industries, as they often have regular vacancies available.

Related: 14 Questions to Ask a Recruiter About Your Next Job Prospect

Consider opportunities for career advancement

If you want to improve your salary and work in an industry where you can advance your skills and knowledge, you can consider a career with good promotion opportunities. As a carpenter, you may have opportunities to advance your career in the building industry. You can consider the role of a building supervisor, estimator and builder. These roles are still in the same industry, but they typically involve responsibilities that differ extensively from a carpenter.

Try to gain experience in different careers

It can be a good idea to gain practical experience in the role you're considering. This may be challenging, depending on the career change. For example, if you want to become an engineer, you may require qualifications before gaining work experience. There are many jobs, though, that can allow you to experience a career or shadow a professional in that career. For example, if you want to become a machine operator, you can gain employment as a general labourer, as they often work alongside machine operators.

Develop your skills

If you identify an industry or career you want to enter, you can review the typical skills involved. This can help you identify your own skills that might require development. For example, if you want to become an estimator, you might feel that your mathematical skills are lacking. You can then determine actionable steps to improve your mathematics. There is typically a variety of methods for improving interpersonal and technical skills. You can regularly practise skills, attend workshops, complete online courses or attend formal educational institutes.

Related: 12 Cognitive Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

Benefits of changing careers from carpentry

The benefits you gain from changing careers can depend on your personality, interests, passions, skills and career aspirations. The benefits of changing careers are essentially subjective, so some might apply to you, while others might not. Below, you can find the typical benefits of changing careers from carpentry:

  • Better job satisfaction: If you've been a carpenter for an extensive period, the role might not excite you, which can lead to low job satisfaction. By changing careers, you can change your working environment and complete new responsibilities that might improve your levels of job satisfaction.

  • More challenging responsibilities: If your current role doesn't challenge you, you might find the duties mundane and repetitive. Changing careers can be an excellent method of gaining employment in a challenging role, which can excite you and improve your work environment.

  • Higher salary: Depending on the career change you're considering, it may provide a higher salary. It can be important to understand that some careers might not initially offer a higher salary, but they may have opportunities for career advancement.

  • Skill development: By changing careers, you can experience new responsibilities that might require unique skills. This can be an excellent method for developing your skill set.

  • Less physical requirements: Carpentry can be a physical job that might be challenging in later stages of life. If you change careers to a less physically demanding role, you might work longer shifts and complete duties more efficiently.

5 potential careers for a carpenter to change to

There are many careers you can consider when changing from carpentry. Some might require extensive qualifications, but if you have time to study and commit to learning, they can provide you with a high salary and exciting duties. The easiest careers to change to are typically those in the construction industry because you might already have the skills and knowledge to complete their responsibilities. If you want an entirely new working environment, you might require additional qualifications and training. Below, you can find five careers to consider, along with their typical duties and national average salary:

1. Engineer

National average salary: $52,560 per year

Primary duties: An engineer is a qualified professional who designs and inspects structures and products. There are many engineering fields, such as mechanical, software, civil, construction and aeronautical. There are typically opportunities for entry-level and junior positions, which can make it easier for changing careers. An engineering role might require a three-year bachelor's degree related to engineering.

Related: How to Become A Contract Engineer (With A Step-by-Step Guide)

2. Skilled labourer

National average salary: $31.28 per hour

Primary duties: A skilled labourer usually has the fundamental skills of all trades and can instal, repair and maintain many structural and mechanical objects. They can conduct duties for most trades, except for electrical and plumbing services, as they can require licensing and registration. A skilled labourer shares many skills with a carpenter and might be one of the easier careers to transition into. This profession can be lucrative when in remote areas on a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) schedule.

3. Demolition worker

National average salary: $62,338 per year

Primary duties: A demolition worker de-constructs buildings and structures in a controlled and safe manner. They often use explosives, sledgehammers and heavy machinery to destroy structural members, such as interior walls, load-bearing elements, windows and ceilings. This can be a particularly satisfying job, especially for professionals in the construction industry. For a carpenter, de-constructing buildings rather than constructing them might be a refreshing change.

4. Firefighter

National average salary: $91,383 per year

Primary duties: A firefighter operates several equipment and vehicles to contain fires and rescue community members. They may also be first-responders, which means they attend emergencies of all types, from fires to road incidents. This can be an extremely satisfying career because firefighters have the opportunity to help the community and save lives. This role shares many skills with carpentry, primarily physical dexterity, awareness and teamwork.

5. Construction estimator

National average salary: $98,221 per year

Primary duties: A construction estimator is a professional in the construction industry who reviews building plans to determine project costs and resource requirements. This is primarily an indoor career that involves many responsibilities with data software and design tools. An estimator reviews building plans, determines the types of materials, identifies the number of resources and estimates a reasonable project cost. Estimators, along with project managers and builders, may use this information to determine an appropriate tender value.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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