Top 16 Carpentry Skills for Career Success
If you are a carpenter or are looking to get into the carpentry career, there are certain skills and qualities you need to develop to be best in your work delivery and have a successful career.
This post highlights those skills and qualities that can make you a better carpenter, but before we go into them, let’s see who a carpenter is
Who is a Carpenter?
A carpenter plays very important roles in the construction industry, generally working on residential and commercial projects; and working both internally and externally in the homes of customers and building sites in all weather conditions.
Carpentry covers a wide array of construction services such as cutting, shaping, installing materials, and erecting framework for roads, bridges, dams, and buildings.
Carpentry is strongly associated with other parts of the construction industry, usually for commercial purposes.
16 Skills and Qualities to be a Good Carpenter
1. Communication Skills
Having good communication skills assist carpenters to communicate well with clients, taking time to listen carefully to clients so they can understand what they need.
Customers appreciate carpenters who listen to their needs and explain things such as complex technical issues kindly and vividly to them.
Communication skills help carpenters to easily take in information and pass it along. They need to listen attentively to understand various directions and distinctly speak up when they have questions.
Carpenters need to develop proficient language skills in order to be accurate and concise in their speech, and be able to listen to other workers.
It takes a team to build; therefore, carpenters must learn to possess good communication and interpersonal skills so as to effectively get along with others on the job.
2. Mechanical Skills
Carpenters need mechanical skills to work effectively and efficiently with diverse tools and machines, such as extension ladders, electronic and laser levels, and rotary tools like power saws.
Carpenters should be comfortable operating and repairing these tools, and using them to shape or cut materials to specified dimensions.
Carpenters also need to make use of their experience to apply these mechanical tools, operate machines and maintain equipment, especially in construction, repair and restoration of bridges, highways, buildings, ships and other structures.
3. Math Skills
Carpenters need math skills to plan a project and measure materials to be cut and installed. When planning a project, they need the ability to read blueprints and make measurements, as well as calculate costs to ensure that the project meets the budget.
All of the work of carpenters include working to exact measurements and detailing every part of their measuring and working with wood.
They use algebra, arithmetic, geometry, statistics and calculus to measure materials, add up volumes and complete other project-planning tasks.
Carpenters need to know the practical uses of engineering science, such as engineering techniques to design and production; and applying mathematical principles.
Carpenters use estimating skills to calculate sizes, distances and quantities of material, and how much time and money they need to complete the project. The reason is to finish a job on time and within budget schedule.
Math skills help carpenters to use numbers, fractions, and percentages to solve problems and communicate solutions, and also to easily place orders and competently perform money-related calculations.
4. Detail Oriented
Carpenters must be extremely precise with their work so as to measure sizes and distances of items exactly when installing household items. They need an eye for detail in making measurements and fitting structures.
Carpenters need to consider that all the surfaces must be level when securing floorboards, adding finishing touches to kitchens and skirting boards.
They need a good eye for detail to enable them use tools like spirit levels, and when they need to add carpentry design details into wooden structures to turn plain wood into admirable works of art.
5. Problem-solving Skills
To be good on the job, carpenters need to have excellent problem-solving skills to help them work their way out of complex designs. Things may not always go as planned, leaving you with the option to make smart and quick changes using your inner mind.
Problem-solving skills give you the ability to easily recognize a problem, identify why it is a problem, and then create and implement a solution. You can watch to see how well your attempted solutions work so you can revise them as needed.
6. Critical Thinking Skills
Carpenters face sudden issues during building, but with critical thinking skills they can easily get those problems solved.
In carpentry work, it is sometimes required to adjust plans to get through different available projects.
Carpenters therefore need to use their critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities in combination with logic and reasoning to anticipate possible problems and then develop solutions.
They have to think critically to solve issues such as projects running longer than expected, or errors occurring such as materials arriving late or in the wrong size.
They can consider using imaginations sometimes to combine ideas or information in new ways, or make connections between ideas that seem unrelated to others.
7. Physical Strength and Stamina
Physical strength helps carpenters to lift and wield heavy tools and materials such as lumber, while physical stamina gives them the ability to stand, climb, lift objects and bend down for long periods.
Physical stamina also helps carpenters to work in tough weather conditions, while physical health helps them to avoid having physical limitations that prevent them from lifting and carrying heavy tools and equipment.
Not only do carpenters have to lift heavy pieces of wood, but they also have to lift and move heavy equipment, and even work at heights on scaffolds.
They need sound health to help them conquer difficult situations and carry out their carpentry work successfully.
8. Training and Experience
A good carpenter must have proper training and enough experience. Experience creates room for improvement in skills, speed, and problem solving abilities; training as well makes carpenters competent with tools and equipment.
Carpenters get experience through apprenticeships and other on-site learning programs where they can learn key techniques and skills; and it is important to learn methods of work properly and safely before starting out as a carpenter.
9. Computer Skills
Computers are part of high technological devices that carpenters need to use alongside hand tools.
Getting familiar with accounting and job estimating programs can be essential for all carpenters who aspire to advance in their career.
Another program that carpenters need to use is the project management software needed for completing an electronic list of tasks.
They also use spreadsheet programs to perform project planning functions; and word-processing software to easily communicate with clients and managers about design, scope, and status of a project.
10. Learning Skills
Carpenters need to understand that getting new information and learning new things will help them to make right decisions at appropriate times, and also solve both present and future problems.
They can choose to use training and instructional methods and procedures that are appropriate for the situation when they learn or teach new things.
11. Listening Skills
It is also beneficial for carpenters to give full attention to what other people are saying; they need to carefully understand the points being made.
They should listen cautiously to people’s speeches, taking note of voice and body language. They can then respond in a manner that shows a true understanding of what is said.
Carpenters should learn not to interrupt at inappropriate times, and if they are to ask questions they should do that appropriately.
12. Good Manners
It is helpful and part of carpentry work for carpenters to show good manners when working in people’s homes. Showing good manners includes treating the customer with respect so that they can hire you the next time when they have another job.
You don’t take what doesn’t belong to you in another person’s residence and your speech and actions should be mild to people around you. Talk with politeness and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
If you really want to be known as a perfect team player, you should make contributions to the team you work with; offer ideas and efforts, and do your share of the work to be done.
Teamwork skills enable you to encourage other team members, and resolve differences for the benefits of the team.
This quality can also enable you to responsibly and appropriately challenge existing policies, procedures or authorities for constructive reasons.
14. Hammering Skills
Carpenters should learn how to professionally and properly hammer a nail. They should learn to hammer the nail as straight as possible using a pilot hole if the nail is passing through a knot in the wood.
The professional way to hammer a nail is to hammer the nail in place with two or three whacks. You should not underrate hammering skills as they can help you when people want to see how you handle projects.
Sometimes, you don’t know they are watching you while you do your work, including how you hammer nails.
15. Tool Skills
When you are building a house and you need to use wood and other materials, you will need to cut, drill, nail, and so on, and the only way this becomes easy and possible is when you are able to use tools like chisels, wood planes, drills and drivers, saws and routers, and hammers and nailers.
Consider most of the tools used for construction of houses as power tools. You should understand very well how to work with these power tools safely and effectively as well as how to maintain tools in good working order.
Other tools that are commonly used in carpentry are leveling or alignment tools such as plumb bob, laser level and bubble.
Carpenters must also know how to use measuring tools such as the tape measure, rigid measure, framing square, speed square or carpenter’s square, and calipers.
16. Technical Drawings
If you are working on a new building or a new kitchen fitting for existing homes, part of your job as a carpenter involves working with architects.
You will be required to work within the specifications of technical drawings that are created through CAD, (Computer Aided Design) software.
You may not be skilled or qualified in using CAD systems to work, but you will need to at least have skills to understand and work to the technical drawings presented to you.
Carpentry Skills for Resume
If you are writing a resume for a carpentry job, you can make a strong skills or competence section by using the carpentry skills and qualities provided above.
If you are a thoroughly skilled carpenter, you will have more customers knocking on your door for your service or employers falling on one another to get you to join their team.
Being skillful helps you to work and deliver project according to the customer’s specifications, and also to handle some difficult situations that a non-skilled carpenter cannot handle.
Therefore, if you want to be that carpenter everyone respects for the quality of work he/she does, then make sure to develop the qualities and skills provided in this post.
Did you find the carpentry skills and qualities highlighted in this article useful in becoming one of the best in your career? Please, leave a comment in the box below. And if there are additional qualities you have found beneficial in improving your performance as a carpenter, please share it too.