OFO No: 641502

Other names for Carpenter: 

  • Bridge / Construction / Wharf Carpenter 
  • Carpenter Contractor 
  • Carpenter Maintenance 
  • Fixing Carpenter 
  • Formwork Carpenter 
  • Mine Carpenter Rough Carpentry 
  • Prop and Scenery Maker 
  • Shutterhand


Youtube clip – Watch Carpenters at Work

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Carpenter?

Carpenters are in demand!

A Carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with wood.  A Carpenter makes, fixes and installs furniture and other wooden objects.  Experienced Carpenters can also design items and make custom-designed furniture. 

Some Carpenters work on building sites – hanging doors, making specialised window frames and pergolas, cupboards, wall unites etc.  This kind of work is manual labour.  Some Carpenters work indoors and outdoors.

Carpentry work can be divided into two categories:

  • rough carpentry
  • finished carpentry

Carpentry is a skill is gained through experience and study of wood work.

What does a Carpenter do?

  • liaises with clients or builders with regard to their requirements
  • quotes and sources materials
  • makes cupboards, wall units, roof trusses, pergolas, special window frames and doors etc
  • remodels
  • makes furniture
  • manages staff
  • checks quality control

Are you … ?

  • passionate about wood and wooden items?
  • good with your hands?
  • creative?
  • practical?
  • able to read and write?
  • able to do standard grade mathematics?
  • analytical?
  • knowledgeable of equipment, materials and building techniques?
  • able to understand verbal and written instructions?
  • able to organize assigned tasks for yourself and or a team?
  • happy and comfortable with doing heavy labour?

How do I become a Carpenter?

You can choose one of these career pathways:


  • Apprenticeship (training at a TVET college with practical training under a qualified artisan)
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Construction Carpenter (Manufacturing Products from Wood) Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate (Engineering Studies) N1, N2 and N3
  • Trade Test


  • Artisan Internship
  • Trade Test


  • RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) for Artisans: CLICK HERE
  • If you have already been working a long time as a Carpenter without qualifications, you may be able to get your qualification through RPL
  • Trade Test


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Furniture Polisher, Set Designer … or … Saw Operator

Is becoming a Carpenter the right career choice for me?