Carpenters erect, build, repair, and maintain structures, fixtures, furniture and other items using different types of materials, including wood and lightweight steel. In a shipbuilding environment, carpenters build forms, scaffolding, shelters, towers and other structures. 

Carpenters are expected to be able to work from blueprints and schematics, design good work layouts, apply the right measurements, and pick the right materials in order to make sure they build, repair or maintain the best structures possible. A passion for detail and precision comes in handy when embarking on a fulfilling career in carpentry. 

  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings and sketches to determine specifications and calculate requirements in conformance with building codes.
  • Measure, cut, shape, assemble and join materials made of wood, lightweight steel and other solid substances.
  • Build foundations, install beams & scaffolding and erect walls & roof systems.
  • Fit and install trim and other finishing items such as doors, stairs, mouldings, hardware and other fixtures.
  • Prepare and forecast project or construction costs.
  • You enjoy physically active and constantly changing work in a cutting-edge environment.
  • You enjoy basic problem solving using solid arithmetic skills and sound logic.
  • You like to see the results of your hard work and craftsmanship immediately.
  • You consider yourself a master of manual dexterity and really enjoy working with your hands.


Careers as a carpenter in the BC shipbuilding & ship repair Industry usually begin with an apprenticeship in Red Seal trades or with a job directly at a shipyard. Many get their start in shipbuilding as a shipyard labourer prior to being accepted into an apprenticeship program.

Discuss possible career steps with your school counsellor, career counsellor, or a union hall representative and consider high school trades programs and post-secondary pre-apprenticeship programs as a great place to start learning about the trades. 

ACE-IT High School Program (ELECTRICIAN)


Most apprenticeships require you to  have a high school diploma and to complete a foundations certificate as a prerequisite prior to starting your apprenticeship. Check with available training providers to learn their specific eligibility requirements. 

There are different pathways you can take in order to become an carpenter. In order to be eligible for industry certification as a carpenter, you can complete a three to five-year apprenticeship program or you can apply a combination of over four years of practical work experience as a carpenter, plus some high school, college or other industry courses.


Red Seal trade certification allows for movement between provinces.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program


Employer sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through an application process. Union sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through their trade union and can be recruited by employers based on the needs of a shipyard.


Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools or other expenses. If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the Red Seal program for information on how to get started.