What do I need to be a certified carpenter besides schooling?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Edmonton
2/4/2017 at 1:39:34 PM

I'm wondering how I go about being a certified handyman, I know I need insurance like WCB but is there anything else I would need?

User Icon
Date/Time2/4/2017 at 2:45:41 PM


This is Jeff Shea from All -In Renovations in Calgary Alberta. 403-554-7029 To be a certified Carpenter you do need to go to College for a minimum 1-year to be certified or an equivalent trade school. For your question on handyman you need 10 years experience minimum to be any good. I have 30 years experience and I still learn a new trick once in awhile.

Hope you proceed in becoming a carpenter.

User Icon
Date/Time2/4/2017 at 3:53:50 PM

I went to SAIT in Calgary to get my journeyman carpenters ticket. It can take 3-4 years to complete schooling (2 months/year) and to accumulate on the job training (approximately 1300 hrs/yr). I value my time in school but this is only half the training. "Handyman" work is about having a general knowledge of each discipline and a current understanding of building code and construction practice. I recommend working in the renovation sector for a company to start your learning track and complete the apprenticeship program. Sorry, my company JB Custom Woodwork Ltd. & Renovations doesn't have an openning at this time. As for having the correct liscencing you will need a city business liscence. A provincial bond in order to get progress payments (a prepaid contractors liscence). Liability insurance when working onsite ($2 million is typical). WCB can be waived if your company is incorporated (you can get your own personal accident I insurance). Employees will require WCB. If you decide to form a sole proprietor company then personal WCB is mandatory. And if you ever enter the industry please be one of the good guys. Best to you.

Hope this helps.

User Icon
Date/Time2/4/2017 at 4:00:47 PM


Here's a good site that explains the carpenter red-seal program and requirements:

In order to become truly skilled as a handyman, you will need to work and gain experience in various disciplines such as framing, roofing, siding, windows and doors, as well as a variety of indoor renovations like drywalling, painting flooring, plumbing and electrical, just to name a few. This takes years.

Red-seal gives you a knowledge base but there's no substitution for years of experience. I would suggest taking on some short-term general labour jobs in various fields to get a sense for what you like the most. The carpentry trade has many different specialty areas.

Hope this helps


Chief General Contractor / Principal

Allegiant Contracting

User Icon
Date/Time2/5/2017 at 10:27:49 AM

Hi Brittney,

To be a Licensed Carpenter in your province ,you need the hours on the job and schooling. First you must register with the office of Colleges & Universities as a Apprentice. If you are employed now, that's great. Your Employer just has to sign your book you should receive from the above office, agreeing that your hired as a registered apprentice and will verify your hours on the job every week or month, by just signing in the book. It's up to you to keep track of what discipline your working in and hour spent on that discipline. In Carpentry there are 5 disciplines 1- Forms & Foundations 2- Framing 3- Exterior Finishes 4- Interior finishes 5- walls & ceilings. If you are working for someone very often you can go back in time and claim hour of experience in the past. In Theory you are to work with a Licensed Carpenter in order to receive the proper instruction. If you wish to be a sole proprietor. You do require liability ins. but WCB is optional ( Only if you are alone ) as soon as you hire someone you must get it.

Hope this is helpful.

I have been Licensed over 30 years and a Sole proprietor over 20 years.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors