How To Become A Carpenter In Ontario? (2023)

We have transcended the era of unproductive construction systems, where all carpenters had to do was jam nails into the wooden parts and create smooth fissures. Now, carpenters do much more; they specialize in drywall, plasterwork, insulation, renovation, work with steel, concrete, and wood in building construction. 

To be a general carpenter in Ontario, you need to undergo pre-apprenticeship training, complete a carpentry apprenticeship, and get a certification from the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

The employment of general carpenters is projected to grow by two percent from 2020 to 2030 worldwide, with many untapped job specifications and job descriptions.

In Ontario, the work prospects for carpenters are encouraging as there is always an opening for fresh recruits to begin training or to secure an apprenticeship spot.

How To Become A Carpenter In Ontario

The initial requirement to qualify for the General Carpenter apprenticeship program in Ontario Canada is a minimum of a Grade 10 high school diploma or its equivalent.

First off, you need a solid knowledge of the basic skills required for your chosen career, and It can be acquired through a pre-apprenticeship study or training. You can choose to take on-campus courses, remote (online), or both. Study full-time, part-time, or in the evenings for an average of four to six months to learn a range of key areas, such as safety, construction techniques, and methods.

Next, you have to complete a carpentry apprenticeship which will take a total of three to four years to complete. The training consists of on-the-job study and in-class instruction. The in-school portion typically takes two weeks to complete, and you will gain in-depth knowledge of:

  • How to choose the right materials and tools,
  • How to draw up plans, get specifications and building codes,
  • Make estimates, calculations, and general construction layout,
  • Learn how to cut through metal and weld them together,
  • How to make general residential, institutional, commercial and industrial construction.
  • While the on-site training is administered
  • under the tutelage of experienced personnel for four months. The training will teach you how to:
  • Protecting yourself and others during construction activities,
  • Operate tools and equipment,
  • Establishing core building procedures,
  • Prepare building sites for immediate work,
  • and finally, how to execute construction work.

You should opt for a pre-apprenticeship program that helps students secure local employers’ apprenticeship placements and accesses exclusive job boards and research tools.

After finishing the pre-apprenticeship program, you should prepare for your Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). The OCOT enforces specific training and professional safety, levies, charges, and tickets. As a carpenter in Ontario, you must register with the OCOT. As a member, you are required to pay an annual fee of $67.80 during your apprenticeship and $135.60 when you’re undergoing specialist training.

After the certification program, you will be eligible to take the compulsory OCOT’s Qualification Certificate ( C of Q) exam. You need the C of Q to work in Ontario as a carpenter.

The examination consists of 90 to 150multiple choice questions, with a time limit of four hours.

A pass mark of 70% will earn you the right to start work or progress further into a specialized training program (the journeyperson class).

Also, suppose you have a Red Seal-endorsed certificate (the Red Seal or Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Programme is a program that sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespeople across Canada). In that case, you can apply to obtain an Ontario Certificate of Qualification in carpentry without further training or certification.

Are Carpenters In Demand In Ontario?

Short answer, yes. 

Studies have shown that 85% of carpenters in Ontario get more work in constructing residential projects.

While statistics from the Ontarian Government have shown an increase in residential building construction and projects over the last few years, it is expected to continue over the next few years, thereby rapidly creating more work for carpenters.

Also, due to overall economic growth in Ontario, there is an increasing demand for home renovations, repairs, and the construction of recreational projects.

As a carpenter in Ontario, you will have a high influx of work from:

  • Construction industries,
  • Construction contractors,
  • Residential and commercial building developers,
  • Government work contractors,
  • Maintenance departments of plants and factories, 
  • Direct clients if you are working as a self-employed carpenter.

As you can see, there are numerous opportunities for carpenters in Ontario, making it a good choice for you.

What Skills Do I Need To Be a Carpenter In Ontario?

Carpentry is a no-joke; you have to be swift and make quick but good judgments.

It requires a lot of creativity, so it is the perfect job to ignite your creative spark.

You should have an above-average level of problem-solving; you will constantly require it during your on-site explorations.

You will work long and hard on your feet, so you need to be fit and have your stamina saved up.

Analytical skills are needed during complicated construction work to avoid mishaps. 

Knowledge of the Ontario Building Code is required to help you carry out your work, and a valid driver’s license will be a huge help when you need to visit various sites within a short time.


How Much Can I Make As a Carpenter In Ontario?

One of the good parts of being a carpenter in Ontario is earning a competitive salary as you move along your work journey. Most apprenticeship programs offer compensation as a part of their training program, which means you start to earn money as a student.

Generally, carpenters make about $52,000 a year, two years after getting their certification, while Ontario’s hourly wage is $23.22.

If you work as a carpenter in nonresidential building construction, you can earn up to $49,690 per year.

Working with building finishing contractors, you are expected to earn about $46,440 a year.

A job in residential building construction will earn you an average of $43,660 a year.

If you get a carpentry job in foundation, structure, and building exterior constructions, you are expected to earn about $41,820 per year.

If you belong to a Union of Carpenters in Ontario, you can earn about $55,965 per year or $24 per hour.

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