Careers In Construction

Carpenters (Updated May 2009)

Carpentry offers a choice of a number of specialties including: construction, mill-cabinet, flooring, millwright, pile-driver, interior systems and lather. Each of the specialties listed above require special training. Therefore, individuals must choose what program to enter.

Length of Apprenticeship:

  • Four (4) years. Apprentices average 144 hours per year in the classroom.

  • General Carpentry Apprentices begin by going to Pre-Apprenticeship training for nine weeks.

  • Apprentices are required to attend five consecutive classroom days per quarter for the entire program.

  • Apprentices must also obtain on-the-job training by working for union contractors throughout the term.

  • Wage Information:

    1st year: 40% of journeyman wage
    2nd year: 50% of journeyman wage
    3rd year: 65% of journeyman wage
    4th year: 80% of journeyman wage
    Journeyman Level: 100% of journeyman wage


    Health and Welfare, Pension. (These benefits are accrued during on-the-job training.)

    Basic Requirements:

  • Must be at least 17 years old.

  • Must have an original Social Security Card.

  • Must complete two years (eight credits) of required high school study which meets graduation requirements in an accredited high school or possess a G.E.D. Certificate.

  • Must reside in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry or Will Counties.

  • Must be physically fit to work as a carpenter.

  • Must pass an aptitude test that measures vocabulary, arithmetic ability and reasoning power.

  • Working Conditions:

    Carpenters work in all types of weather elements.

    Recommended Preparatory Classes:

    Algebra, geometry, sketching, drafting, science and wood shop classes.

    Work Experience:

    (Helpful, but not necessary for acceptance.) Experience working in any hands-on carpentry situation.


    Must be physically fit to perform the job of carpenter with no restrictions.

    Entry Process:

  • Individuals meeting the basic requirements listed above must be recommended by one of the following referral agencies:

    1) The Illinois Department of Employment Security Apprenticeship Information Center.
    2) A union contractor.
    3) A local carpenter’s union.

  • being contacted by the program, the individual must fill out an application. (Applications are available Monday– Friday from 9:30 am–4 pm during specific application periods. Call for more information.) NOTE: At the time of application, the candidate must meet all basic requirements and all required documents must be presented.

  • Take and pass the aptitude test as scheduled.

  • Attend mandatory orientation session.

  • Contact:

    Will, Chicago and Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters Apprentice & Training Program
    1256 Estes Avenue
    Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
    Phone: (847) 640-7373


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    • Thomas A. White
    Three Rivers Construction Alliance | 233 Springfield Ave. | Joliet, IL 60435 | Phone: (877) 740-TRCA (8722) | Fax: (815) 230-1376