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Advice for a would-be carpenter?

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Question:
I just want to know what the best way is for getting my foot in the door of the carpentry trade. I'm young and just starting out from high school and a few years at a dead-end job to, hopefully, a career as a carpenter. My options are either trade school or Union apprenticeship. I'm leaning strongly toward apprenticeship since I won't have to hold down some godawful convenience store job to support myself while I'm learning. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to get as well-rounded an education (in field work *and* furniture building) as an apprentice. I'm also not so sure if there are really going to be any good Union-sponsered apprentice positions available in my area. I'd really like to eventually get into old home restoration and new home building. Seems most of the union companies around, though, only do commercial work. Any advice from a professional carpenter?


Answer:
You can also be a non-union apprentice, of course. Rarely is the home building trade fully unionized, and non-union carpenters will often willingly hire unskilled workers to be "gofers" while learning the trade.

In many parts of the country being a union apprentice means going to trade school -- the unions operate the schools.



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