High demand noted for carpentersBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said an official study showed a high demand for skilled carpenters here and abroad that was expected to continue in the next five to 10 years.
“Carpenters play an important role in construction. They do most of the wood work and structures according to the design of architects and layout of engineers,” Baldoz said.
As of Nov. 27, the government’s job portal Phil-JobNet posted 492 vacancies for carpenters.
“Other than in construction, carpenters are also needed in such industries as real estate; renting and business activities; public administration and defense; compulsory social security; other community, social and personal service activities, and in private households, as well,” it said.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment study, a carpenter in the Philippines earns P450 to P600 per day, depending on his skills.
“A potential carpenter should be at least a high school graduate and has taken a vocational course in carpentry in any institution accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority,” the labor department said.
Baldoz urged the youth to consider a career in carpentry, saying it could lead to more income opportunities. She urged the youth to enroll in technical and vocational schools which offer training.
The cost of a carpentry course is approximately P5,000 to P7,000 in private technical schools and from P3,000 to P5,000 in public training institutions.
Higher pay overseas
Carpenters can also look for jobs with higher pay abroad, although this means gaining more skills, according to the labor secretary.
Those seeking jobs in the United States, for instance, would have to qualify as residential, commercial or industrial carpenters.
According to the US Department of Labor’s 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook, residential carpenters build and remodel structures meant to be lived in or occupied. They build and set forms for footings, walls and slabs and frame walls, roofs and decks. They build stairs, doors and cabinets. Those highly-skilled can tile floors and lay wood floors and carpets.
The commercial carpenter helps in building and remodeling offices, hospitals, hotels, schools, shopping malls, among others. Some of them focus on framing interior partitions, exterior framing, curtain wall construction, concrete forming systems, and finishing interior and exterior walls.
An industrial carpenter, on the other hand, works in civil and industrial setting by putting scaffolding and set forms for pouring concrete. They sometimes build tunnel bracing in underground passageway and mines to control air circulation in these worksites. Some build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges, dams, power plants and sewer construction projects.
“An ideal carpenter is someone who has broad knowledge in construction and basic skills in engineering, familiar with different types of wood and knows how to utilize it. He knows how to construct and repair damaged wood portions,” according to the labor department’s 127 Career Guides.
It said that aspiring carpenters should have strong physical built to carry heavy loads and to have manual dexterity. They are also expected to be able to follow directions accurately and easily, it added.
The labor department’s 127 Career Guides is a series of occupational briefs detailing a job’s functions, basic educational requirements, required skills, competencies, physical attributes and characteristics, salary or compensation, employment opportunities, prospect for career advancement, and cost of education, and identifies the in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations in the country today and in the coming five to 10 years.
“A good carpenter who knows his craft has a lot of opportunities to earn. He just needs to combine it with hard work, patience, diligence and should value his work,” Baldoz said.