Carpenters

(NOC 7271)

in All Trades and Transportation

Carpenters construct, erect, install, maintain and repair structures and components of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials. They are employed by construction companies, carpentry contractors, and maintenance departments of factories, plants and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate decline sharply employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline significantly over the next few years, which will limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Carpenters most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 43% of Carpenters who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,527. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$20.00

Median

$31.10

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,640

Minimum

$26,101

Median

$59,012

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Carpenters construct, erect, install, maintain and repair structures and components of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials. They are employed by construction companies, carpentry contractors, and maintenance departments of factories, plants and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Carpenters perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings and sketches to determine specifications and calculate requirements.
  • Prepare layouts in conformance to building codes, using measuring tools.
  • Measure, cut, shape, assemble and join materials made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials.
  • Build foundations, install floor beams, lay subflooring and erect walls and roof systems.
  • Fit and install trim items, such as doors, stairs, moulding and hardware.
  • Maintain, repair and renovate residences and wooden structures in mills, mines, hospitals, industrial plants and other establishments.
  • Supervise apprentices and other construction workers.
  • May prepare cost estimates for clients.

Sample job titles

  • apprentice carpenter
  • boatbuilder
  • carpenter
  • construction carpenter
  • framing carpenter
  • journeyman/woman carpenter
  • prefabricated house carpenter
  • renovation carpenter
  • rough carpenter

Skills

This work requires good hand-eye coordination, spatial perception, and material handling abilities. You should be in excellent physical condition and be willing to work under adverse weather conditions and at heights from ladders, staging, and rooftops. You must also be able to follow instructions and cooperate with others as part of a team. Some artistic ability is an asset.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in carpentry is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for carpenters is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified carpenters upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

Jobs in the construction industry are strongly affected by seasonal changes and general economic conditions. As a result, workers in these jobs should be prepared for periods of unemployment. Also, many work on a project basis and can expect periods of unemployment throughout the year. The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

5,220

employed in 2016

89.3%

employed full-time

28.7%

self employed

1.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

32.5%

Halifax

18.1%

Southern

17.1%

Annapolis Valley

16.2%

Cape Breton

16.1%

Northern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

83.3%

Construction

1.7%

Management, Admin & Other Support

1.6%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

1.6%

Retail Trade

1.5%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

29.5%

45-54

26.5%

55-64

16.8%

35-44

13.8%

25-34

7.7%

65+

5.8%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

33.5%

Trades certificate

$31,311 median annual income
22.5%

High school

$23,458 median annual income
21.7%

College certificate or diploma

$26,270 median annual income
17.6%

Less than high school

$23,568 median annual income
3.4%

Bachelor's degree

$21,528 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Carpentry/carpenter

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to lay out, cut, fabricate, erect, install, and repair wooden structures and fixtures, using hand and power tools. These programs include courses in technical mathematics, framing, construction materials and selection, job estimating, blueprint reading, foundations and roughing-in, finish carpentry techniques, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Carpenter Millwright Trades College (CMTC) Inc.

1000 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 0C2

(902) 252-3553

Marine maintenance/fitter and ship repair technology/technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair outboard and inboard engines; test, maintain, and repair steering devices and electrical systems; repair metal, wood, and fibreglass hulls and vessel components; fabricate and maintain sails; and repair and balance propellers and drive shafts.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Boat Builder

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
Carpenter

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association
124 Chain Lake Drive, Unit B
Halifax, NS B3S 1A2
Tel: (800) 668-2001
Fax: (902) 450-5448
Construction Association of Nova Scotia
260 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 3
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1V9
Tel: (902) 468-2267
Fax: (902) 468-2470
Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers
P.O. Box 3040
Paradise, NL A1L 3W2
Tel: (709) 364-5430
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

EXPERIENCED RED SEAL CARPENTER WANTED

10 year experience Carpenter for hire!

Framing Carpenter

Siding Installer

Restoration Carpenter

Construction Journeyperson / Apprentice Needed

Full Time Carpenters Needed ASAP

Flooring Installer Needed ASAP

Hiring carpenters

Carpenter/apprentice

View all job postings