Carpenters are New Zealand’s builders – professional tradespeople using timber, concrete, steel and brick to construct buildings.

Fees Free

Some Carpentry qualifications are eligible for the Government's Fees Free initiative - no fees for the first 2 years of your apprenticeship.  Find out if you're an eligible individual.

Job Prospects

Very good

Total Fees


Time to qualify

3-4 years

Career opportunities

Qualified carpenter and builder, building site manager, building project manager, construction firm owner


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See it for real

Play online nowExplore the BCITO My Virtual Construction Site to see if this is the right trade for you.

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What carpenters do

Qualified carpenters are New Zealand's builders. They work with materials such as timber, concrete, steel and brick to lay foundations, erect framing, fit out interiors and apply cladding to buildings. They build new houses, and complete renovations or small repairs. They might work on historic buildings, architecturally designed houses, hospitals or high rises.

Carpenters are required to be licensed in New Zealand – the industry demands a high level of professionalism.

Watch this and see what it's like to be a carpenter

BCITO carpentry qualifications

BCITO manages carpentry apprenticeships. In your apprenticeship you will be working towards the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry Level 4.

You’ll work under an experienced builder who'll provide on-job coaching and support throughout your apprenticeship. You'll also receive the guidance of a BCITO training advisor.

There are no strict entry requirements, although it will help if you have good maths and English skills – you need to be able to understand instructions, and work out measurements, quantities and angles.

Your apprenticeship is the start of a professional career

Carpentry isn't just a job – it's a professional career. By doing an apprenticeship and getting qualified, you're setting yourself up for ongoing employment as a well-paid tradesperson. You’ll also open up opportunities to do further study in supervision or site management, go to university, or start a business and train your own apprentices.