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4 Years
Job Zone

In Summary

The Carpenter and Joiner cuts, shapes and joins wood and wood based products using a wide range of hand tools, e.g. hammer, planes, chisels, screwdrivers and measuring tape. They also use power tools and cutting machines.

Gerard, Tom & David from P & L Carpentry, Co Meath talk about apprenticeships and working with the RSTC Training Centre

Carpenters and Joiners use their skills to set out and construct roofs, install floors, stairs and window, built-in furniture and hang doors. They also manufacture doors, windows, stairs and shopfronts, etc.

The Carpenter and Joiner has to study drawings, use simple maths and select materials to meet design requirements.

The place of work may vary. Depending on the type of work done, it could be on site, in a workshop or in a private dwelling.

Click the photo above to view the Carpenter/Joiner brochure

View details from Apprenticeship.ie

View Occupational Profile 

To view full details of this occupation, view information from our Careers database for the following occupation: Carpenter / Joiner

Entry Requirements

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age. 

The minimum educational requirements are: 

Grade D or "Achieved" in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,


The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course,

Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable.

You must obtain a job as an apprentice in your chosen occupation. Your employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment.

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Construction Studies
  • Materials Technology


Phase 1: With Employer 

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks) 

Course Content: 

  • Induction
  • Basic Hand Tools and Joints
  • Roofs
  • 1st and 2nd Fixing
  • Machinery and Joinery

Phase 3: With Employer 

  • Work Based Training and Assessments 

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks) 

Course Content:

  • Site Work
  • Roofs
  • Joinery 

Phase 5: With Employer 

  • Work Based Training and Assessments 

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks) 

Course Content:

  • Roofs
  • Joinery
  • Basic Site Setting Out and Levelling

Phase 7: With Employer 

  • Work Based Training and Assessments 

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed. 

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft - Carpentry & Joinery

Training is provided by the following institutions:

This list is up to date as of June 2019

Apprenticeship training takes place in various locations around the country. The list above is by no means exhaustive and training providers are subject to change. Please check with your local Education and Training Board (ETB) to get more information about specific training locations for this apprenticeship. To check your local ETB use this link and select your county.

Skills & Qualities

As a Carpenter and Joiner you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for shape.

The Carpenter and Joiner must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness

Core Skills

  • Construction of upper floors  
  • Construction of flat roofs
  • Construction of pitched roofs
  • Construction of hip roofs
  • Construction of pitching roofs (trussed)
  • Construction of load and non-load bearing partitions
  • Fabrication and erection of formwork for walls, columns, floors, stairs 
  • Construction and hanging of the following: Framed and sheeted doors, Panelled doors, Flush doors
  • Construction and installation of internal and external door frames
  • Construction and installation of windows
  • Carrying out 1st and 2nd fixing on buildings
  • Operation of the following powered hand tools: Saw, planer, drill, router, screwdriver, ballistic gun, router, sander, jig saw

Specialist Skills

  • Construction of moulds
  • Construction of centres for arches
  • Construction of specialist type joinery
  • Construction of fittings
  • Setting out buildings
  • Site levelling

Work Activities

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced Craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with wood and allied materials
  • Being accurate with measuring and craft calculations
  • Working with technical drawings and diagrams
  • Working with hand and power tools or machinery
  • Operating, controlling and adjusting equipment/machines
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Working at heights
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Can be based in a workshop, factory or construction site
  • Being physically active
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn

The Carpenter & Joiner is also required to work in a cross section of domains within the overall trade. The following are some examples: 

Joinery Shop: 
This section of the occupation requires the Carpenter & Joiner to engage in setting out, production and assembling items of joinery which include stairs, doors, windows and built-in furniture. 

Site Work: 
Site work is the construction of buildings or houses which require 1st fixing, formwork roofs and 2nd fixing. This section is split into two categories, constructing/civil engineering contracts. 

Maintenance work requires the Carpenter & Joiner to carry out a variety of tasks in general maintenance and upkeep of public and private buildings, e.g. shops and factories. There are other areas associated with the trade which include: renovating buildings, shopfitting, exhibition/display work.

Career Progression

For top-level carpentry apprentices with an ambition to progress, career progression routes would include:

  • Site manager
  • Contract Manager
  • Clerk of Works

Starting your own business is also a desirable step for those with entrepreneurial flair.

The trade is also very transferable across the country as well as being valuable internationally.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement.

These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in institutes of technology, schools of management and professional institutes. Many apprentices use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

Getting an Apprenticeship

In order to secure an apprenticeship, you must first secure a contract with an employer. You must apply directly to an employer rather than the training provider. Once you have found an employer to take you on as an apprentice, your employer must then register you as an apprentice with SOLAS.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.

 Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.

Finding Vacancies

Finding an employer or registering your interest with an official Coordinating Provider is one of the first things you need to do to start an apprenticeship.

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Online Jobsites

Here are some direct links to employment websites that frequently list apprenticeship vacancies.
Note: These websites may include vacancies that are not QQI accredited Apprenticeships.

Current Apprentice Carpenter Jobs (Where Available)

Apprenticeship Courses

Search for Apprenticeship Carpenter / Joiner courses.

Pay & Fees

The employer pays the apprentice while s/he is being trained on-the-job. A training allowance is paid by the local ETB while the apprentice is attending the off-the-job training, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Generally, the rates of pay are based on a percentage of the fully qualified rate for the occupation:

  • 1st Years – 33.3%
  • 2nd Years – 50%
  • 3rd Years – 75%
  • 4th Years – 90%

Training Allowances

A training allowance is paid by the local ETB to apprentices while attending off-the-job training. In some cases, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs may be paid if deemed eligible. The sector the apprentice's employer is engaged in will determine the allowance payable. These allowances are calculated on the gross wages paid by industry in each sector. The amount the apprentice gets will generally be less than that, as it is based on the net take-home pay of the relevant sector. The weekly gross wage norms for different industries can be found here 

Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is charged to students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology (IoT). Apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. For further information, click here.

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