Christian Watson is a third year apprentice carpenter. He works mostly on architecturally-designed residential builds, often involving detailed finishing. He took a short break while on-site to chat to us about how he ended up doing what he’s doing.
Schooled in a trade
“I’m two-thirds through my apprenticeship now. But I first became interested in a career in one of the trades when I was still at high school. Back in year 11, I did a VET course (Vocational Education and Training) which was half learning and half practical. It involved work experience in a number of different trades and was a chance to find out what I wanted to do. In the end, I decided carpentry was the thing I enjoyed most.”
Benefits & perks
“I’d say one of the major benefits of my job is having the trade skills I’ve learned. I can use these at home if I want to renovate or help out mates. I have the knowledge to do all that stuff myself instead of having to pay someone else to do it. I suppose one of the other perks is finishing work at 4 o’clock in summer. It gives me more time to go fishing and diving. That’s what I like doing.”
Work for life
“I guess the best part of my job is being able to work with good mates doing what you actually like doing. Days feel like they’re going fast. In the future, I’d like to build up my knowledge in carpentry so I can move on to higher roles. And even further down the line maybe start my own business one day and see how successful I can become. I definitely think the industry is a great one to be in right now. Long term, we’re always going to need new houses or renovations. So there’s always going to be work.”
“My advice to anyone thinking of a career in the industry would be to do what I did and find out through hands-on experience what’s right for you. While still at school, I ended up with a ‘Certificate I in Construction’ and it taught me the basics in health and safety and got me my white card. It prepares you before you head out on-site. It’s a great foundation to start off your career.”