Carpenter or builder? Which career path to choose

Carpenter or builder? Which career path to choose

Whether you want to be a carpenter or a builder, you’ll have a rewarding career ahead of you. With the construction industry still booming in Australia, you’ll have great job opportunities well into the future. But how do you know whether you should pursue carpentry or become a builder? Let’s tease out the differences and the benefits of each.

What is a carpenter?

As a carpenter, you’ll build and fix buildings using wood and other materials. You’ll create things like home framing, roofs and floor. You might even work on infrastructure like roads and bridges.

Typically carpentry duties include:

  • Following designs and plans
  • Install windows, doors, molding, and other parts of homes
  • Measure materials and cut them to specifications
  • Fix or replace frameworks and structures
  • Work with a team of carpenters and labourers

How to become a carpenter

To become a qualified carpenter in Australia, you need to do your 4 year apprenticeship while studying a CPC30211 Certificate III in Carpentry. This training will give you the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to do a job you can be proud of, and will open up heaps of job opportunities.

When you study your Cert III in Carpentry with BAA, you get the best education in the industry. We’re an award-winning registered training organisation and have trained thousands of Aussie carpenters in Vic, NSW and Queensland.

We help hook you up with an apprenticeship, and while you study, our experienced trainers and mentors will help get you job-ready for the future.  

What is a builder?

A builder is usually a qualified carpenter or tradie who has gone on to get their building licence. They are qualified to do bigger projects. They also have more skills and knowledge in managing teams or businesses. Unlike carpenters, builders tend to get off the tools.

Builders do the following daily tasks and duties:

  • oversee, coordinate and manage project
  • construct, repair or renovate homes and other buildings
  • complete projects from start to finish
  • make sure health and safety regulations are followed

How to become a builder

To get your building licence and become a builder, you will need to prove your skills and knowledge in an application to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). 

This process is very involved, which is why many builders choose to do the CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction or the Diploma of Building and Construction (CPC50210).

During your cert IV and Diploma, you learn everything you need to know to be a builder, to run your own business, and to pass the application. 

At BAA, we give our students extra support in the form of a building registration mentorship. This free mentorship comes with the Cert IV and helps you pass the VBA application with flying colours.

Depending on your state and residency status, you could be eligible for government funding for this course. If you live in Vic, you could be eligible for a government subsidy through the Victorian Skills First program. Get in touch to learn more.

BAA offers advice on how you can get government subsidies, but we also offer different payment options and plans to suit your needs.

Our payment options include:

  • Direct Deposit or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
  • Credit Card or Cheque
  • Victorian Skills First subsidy
  • Payment plan with Debit Success

Builder or carpentry salary 

When it comes to choosing your career, salary considerations are nothing to sneeze at.

While a high salary is great, it also comes with more responsibility—and that might not be worth it for you.

While the builder salary is slightly higher than the carpenter salary, consider your values and preferred lifestyle before making a decision.

The average carpenter earns $30.44 per hour, or about $63,000 per year.

The average builder earns $37.45 per hour or nearly $78,000 per year.

These Payscale stats are based on averaging hundreds of recent carpentry or builder salaries in Australia. 

Want to become a builder or carpenter?

If you’ve been tossing up between carpentry and becoming a builder, you’ll now know that whichever one you choose, a rewarding construction career awaits.

If you become a carpenter, you’ll be a tradie with the option of working for a company or even starting your own small business. 

Carpentry is great if you want to dive into work straight after your apprenticeship and avoid further studies. It’s also good if you’re not keen on the responsibilities of becoming a builder.

But if you’re up for a bigger challenge, set your sights on becoming a builder. With your building licence, you can work on larger projects, lead a bigger team, and earn a higher salary.

Got questions about the CPC30211 Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211)? Give us a call today on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form, and one of our course advisors will get in touch soon.