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Carpentry is part of the Construction, Plumbing and Services industry which has two main sectors: Residential building, and non-residential building.

Carpenters may be part of building new houses, apartments, offices, schools, or renovating old buildings.

Sectors in the industry

  • Erecting the floor and wall framework
  • Pitching roofs
  • Erecting suspended ceilings
  • Laying timber floors
  • Building window frames, sashes and doors
  • Joinery and staircases

Sources: Master Builders Australia

Employer profile for the industry

The carpentry and joinery sector employs over 123,000 people with the vast majority of the workforce working for small businesses with less than three employees. 

Employment is expected to grow by about 8% to 2018.

Employment growth is dependent on general economic activity, the ease of borrowing money for building projects, and demand for housing, offices and infrastructure like hospitals and schools.

Sources: Artibus Innovation

Typical features of the workforce

  • Nearly 80% of the workforce is full-time
  • Women make up less than 12 % of the workforce
  • Almost 60% of the workers have completed Year 12 or equivalent
  • 58% of the workforce holds a Certificate III or IV qualification and less than 10% hold higher education qualifications.

Sources: Australian Jobs

Jobs in Demand

Carpenters, Joiners and Shopfitters are occupations that have been identified as being in skill shortage on the National Skills List.

Licensed occupations and registrations

There are a wide range of licensing requirements across the states and territories for a number of occupations in the Building and Construction industry.

Access state and territory regulatory authority sites across several occupations through the Australian Government’s Licence Recognition website.

Safe Work Australia also provides links to all state and territory information.

Work Health and Safety

Under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation all people working on construction sites must complete general construction induction training.  This is often referred to as a ‘White Card’, or ‘Blue Card’ depending on the training done or the location.  In any case, it’s needed before entering a construction site.  Safe Work NSW provides information in this area for states and territories.

Key Occupations



Stair Builder

Shop Fitter


This industry is positioned in the following groups


Building & Construction

Work Type

Practical & Manual

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Career Pathways

Carpentry is part of the Construction, Plumbing & Services Industry and has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector

Download The Quiz

Ben - Apprentice Carpenter

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Blake - Apprentice Carpenter

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Charlie - Apprentice Joiner

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Georgina - Joinery Apprentice (Stairs)

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James - Apprentice Shopfitter

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Jamie - Apprentice Carpenter

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Liam - Apprentice Carpenter

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Matt - Apprentice Stairs Joiner

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Matt - Apprentice Shopfitter

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Matt - Apprentice Joiner

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Nolan - Apprentice Carpenter

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Shane - Apprentice Carpenter

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Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers. Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry. Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • Supply Nation
  • Master Builders of Australia
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Employer Sites

  • AI Group
  • Lend Lease
  • Mirvac
  • Metricon
  • Hutchinson Builders
  • Probuild
  • Parkview Group
  • CPB Contractors
  • BGC Group
  • ADCO Constructions
  • Richard Crookes Constructions
  • Scentre Group
  • Hamilton Marino