Our buildings need to be kept in good repair so they are safe and pleasant environment for patients, staff and visitors. Carpenters are part of the estates team that make this happen. 

Working life

As a carpenter/joiner you may work inside or outside a building. You maintain and repair parts of buildings, mainly working with wood products.

joiner fixing lock

You could be:  

Some carpenters are multi-skilled and can take on a range of maintenance tasks such as painting and decorating, plumbing or tiling.

Who will I work with?

You will typically work with other estates maintenance staff including painters and decorators, plumbers, tilers, electricians and bricklayers. You will work under the direction of the estates manager. When you are working in a building, there may be staff and patients there, but you would not have direct contact with patients.

Where will I work?

You will be part of the estates staff and may have to travel between sites in an NHS vehicle or your own van.

Carpenters also work for carpentry and joinery and building companies who provide services to the NHS. 

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements. Employers usually expect a qualification in carpentry or joinery, such as an NVQ, certificate or diploma. They may also expect some experience of construction work. Employers may ask for qualifications or experience, or both, in other related areas such as painting and decorating.

Although carpenters often join the NHS fully qualified and experienced, it may be possible to train in carpentry or joinery. Employers usually ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths.

Skills needed

Carpenters need to be:

Training and development 

When you start as a trainee carpenter, your training will include:

You will be expected to study for qualifications such as NVQs and may be offered an apprenticeship. You may also be encouraged to become multi-skilled by training in, for example, painting and decorating or plumbing.

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