Journeyman Carpenter Continued Education

Milwaukee Tools GRID Apprentice Program

We’ve partnered with Milwaukee Tool’s GRID apprentice program to walk you some tips for Journey.

Now if you’re an apprentice and want to learn more tips and tricks like this, please click the link in the description below to take you to the GRID website. 

It’s free to sign up, and you’ll have access to exclusive promotions and contests, you’ll have the ability to network with other apprentices from across the country, and you can check out industry articles and videos to help you kick-start your career. 

Like in any other trade or profession, the best carpenters are lifelong learners. Trade skills are not things you learn once and then you’re set for the rest of your career. Like many skill sets, you need to get your reps in and approach this as an educational journey that will last your entire career.

Like most career fields, things eventually evolve. 

Carpenters are unique as they are the only tradespeople who are involved in a construction job from start to finish, and being familiar with all of the different trades makes them particularly invaluable.

For carpenters, that evolution may take the form of building code changes, improvements in technology, the development of new installation techniques, products, and materials.

Staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices, can make you a better carpenter and advance your skills.

I look at this in three ways:

  1. Self-Taught
  2. Informal
  3. Formal

Some of the “self-taught” ways I try to stay sharp is by attending remodeling trade shows, reading trade magazines, visiting best-practice Websites and YT channels.  This gives me exposure to new trends, products, and ideas. 

All of which I can do further research on, try out, and learn from my mistakes and experiences.

Informal Education

Informal education takes guts because you have to check your ego at the door. “Informal education” for carpenters can be obtained directly through on-the-job experience. 

This method is done by doing or asking to assist on a project out of your wheel-house, and comfort zone. Taking on something you’re not good at.  Being the help-er You see what I mean by “it takes guts?”

Look taking chances, trying new things is a GREAT way to improve your skills. Be the best wing-man and “be the sponge” – learn, do and ask questions.

Formal Education

“Formal Education” can be achieved in several ways. Joining professional organizations like NARI or NAHB is a start.  Many of these organizations offer professional development and specialty courses such as;

  1.  construction supervisors prep courses – to get licensed as a GC
  2.  site superintendents, project managers certifications
  3.  Estimators classes – super useful.

Many carpentry schools, unions, contractor organizations and trade shows [like JLC] offer continuing education, or skill advancement courses, that working carpenters can take to enhance their current skill level or to learn new ones. 

Some examples are:

  •  Stair building
  •  Advanced framing
  •  Millwork
  •  Green building
  •  Blueprint reading
  •  First Aid 
  •  OSHA 10
  •  Scaffolding
  •  Rigging

I highly recommended courses like this to expand your specialty skill set as well prepare you to own and operate your own business someday. Speaking of which, that’s where the real money is – owning your own business.  

Training For the Business Owner

Professional development classes that help develop you as a GC or business owner are:

  • Business classes
  •  Project management
  •  Communication,
  • Problem-solving,
  • Continued skill advancement
  • decision making 
  •  Time management
  •  Leadership 

These are excellent courses for carpenters who wish to own their own business as well as for those who want to become general contractors. Ok guys, so next time – we’ll talk about coping-molding and my 10 tips for doing trim work.

Until next time, and remember to keep an open mind to learning and developing your skills. It’s what you learn AFTER you know it all that counts!

Stay well folks!

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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