Carpenters and Joiners
Carpenters and Joiners construct, erect, install, renovate and repair structures and fixtures made of wood, plywood, wallboard and other materials, and cut, shape and fit timber parts to form structures and fittings.
studying drawings and specifications to determine materials required, dimensions and installation procedures
ordering and selecting timbers and materials, and preparing layouts
cutting materials, and assembling and nailing cut and shaped parts
erecting framework and roof framing, laying sub-flooring and floorboards and verifying trueness of structures
nailing fascia panels, sheathing roofs, and fitting exterior wall cladding and door and window frames
assembling prepared wood to form structures and fittings ready to install
cutting wood joints
may construct concrete formwork
may repair existing fittings
may work with plastic laminates, perspex and metals
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 87% of people employed as Carpenters and Joiners work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 21 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,432 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,193
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,809
Median hourly earnings are $35, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Carpenters and Joiners||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Carpenters and Joiners work in the Construction industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Carpenters and Joiners||All Jobs Average|
Around 63% of Carpenters and Joiners live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Gold Coast
- Melbourne - South East
- Melbourne - Outer East
- Melbourne - North East
- Sydney - Inner South West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Carpenters and Joiners is 32 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Carpenters and Joiners||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III in carpentry or joinery is usually needed to work as a Carpenter and Joiner. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
Registration or licencing may be required.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Carpenters and Joiners||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||8.4||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Carpenters and Joiners who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
43%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
41%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Talking to others.
Using maths to solve problems.
37%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
37%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Fixing machines or systems.
Looking for ways to help people.
34%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
81%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
52%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
51%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
50%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
49%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
47%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
38%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
29%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
29%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
27%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
24%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
See details that are far away.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Communicate by speaking.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
41%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
79%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
71%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
61%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
61%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
55%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
54%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
52%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
50%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
50%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
48%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
48%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
47%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
46%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
46%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
45%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
44%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
39%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
38%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
36%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
36%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Talk with people face-to-face.
95%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Work with people in a group or team.
91%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
90%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Talk on the telephone.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
88%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
88%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
87%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
87%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
85%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
85%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
85%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
84%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
84%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
84%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
83%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
79%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2031.01 - Construction Carpenters.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.