Carpenters and joiners cut, shape, join and install building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, timber bridges or concrete formwork. 

Where carpenters and joiners are employed

Carpenters and joiners can work in both residential and commercial construction sites. Most carpenters and joiners are employed on housing and construction projects, civil engineering projects, and in maintenance roles in large factories, hospitals, institutions and private homes. Many carpenters and joiners specialise in areas such as framing, fixing or formwork. Carpenters may work as subcontractors, employed by building and construction companies or be self-employed.

With further training and experience, a carpenter or joiner can become a building supervisor, building or construction manager, building inspector, technical teacher, estimator, building contract administrator or purchasing officer.


Full-time carpenters and joiners in South Australia generally earn less than $600 per week.

Graph of pay scale for Carpenter and joiner

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 4,152 people employed full-time as carpenters in South Australia, compared with 3,448 in 2006.

How to become one

To be a carpenter or joiner, you will need to complete an apprenticeship in carpentry or joinery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require year 10. For more information see apprenticeships.  Ask your career adviser about starting this training in school.

Workers in the construction industry must complete safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). In South Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by SafeWork SA.

See courses related to this occupation.

Licensing or registration requirements

In South Australia, there are currently no licensing or registration requirements for carpenters and joiners.

Many employers will require a minimum of a Certificate III education level or a trade certificate.

If you have experience but no formal qualifications, you may be able to have your skills assessed to the minimum education level required by industry through a Registered Training Organisation authorised to deliver the relevant course.

Recognition of qualifications obtained outside Australia

If you have overseas gained qualifications, training and or experience as a Carpenter you may be able to gain recognition to assist you to meet industry requirements. You can visit a Registered Training  Organisation for information about recognition of prior learning to an Australian qualification level.

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

Share Print

Choose your career