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How much does a carpenter make?

As one of the UK’s most popular trades, carpenters are in high demand. But how much does a carpenter make? In this guide, we look at average carpenter salaries and how this can vary depending on experience and employment type.

Whether you’re learning how to become a carpenter, thinking about becoming a self-employed chippy or you run a company of carpenters, this guide is for you. If you’re wondering ‘how much does a carpenter earn?’, keep reading to find out.

How much does a carpenter earn in the UK?

Carpenters are generally considered to be a well-paid trade in the UK. This is mainly due to the fact that skilled carpentry services are often in high demand, which means the earning potential for a carpenter is pretty good.

As an apprentice you’ll earn an average starting salary of around £11,700 per year. At the other end of the scale, a carpentry company owner can earn an average salary of £81,000 per year.

Your exact earnings will depend on your qualifications, skills and experience – as well as the type of carpentry work you do and where you’re based. If you decide to start your own carpentry business, whether that’s as a sole trader or a limited company, you’ll have the potential to earn a lot more than being employed.

LevelPer hourPer dayPer year Approximate take-home pay (per year)
Newly qualified£10£80£18,000£15,900
Sole trader£37.50£300£67,500£43,600
Limited company owner£45£360£81,000£48,800

How much money do carpenters make a year?

Here are some average salaries for how much carpenters earn a year in the UK:

  • Carpenter’s apprentice – £11,700 (£11,400 take home)
  • Newly qualified carpenter – £18,000 (£15,900 take home)
  • Employed carpenter – £30,600 (£24,400 take home)
  • Sole trader carpenter – £67,500 (£43,600 take home)
  • Carpentry company owner – £81,000 (£48,800 take home)

How much does a carpenter make a month?

Based on the carpenter salaries listed above, here are the average take-home figures (after tax) for how much money carpenters make a month in the UK:

  • Apprentice – £950 per month
  • Newly qualified – £1,325 per month
  • Employed – £2,033 per month
  • Sole trader – £3,633 per month
  • Carpentry limited company owner – £4,067 per month

How much does a chippy earn per week?

When it comes to weekly earnings, here are some of the average figures for how much carpenters earn a week in the UK:

  • Apprentice – £260 per week
  • Newly qualified – £400 per week
  • Employed – £680 per week
  • Sole trader – £1,500 per week
  • Carpentry limited company owner – £1,800 per week

How much do carpenters make a day?

Very often you’ll find that carpentry work is charged by the day, depending on the job. So, what do carpenters earn per day in the UK? Here are the average carpenter day rates:

  • Apprentice – £52 per day
  • Newly qualified – £80 per day
  • Employed – £136 per day
  • Sole trader – £300 per day
  • Carpentry limited company owner – £360 per day

How much do carpenters make an hour?

The average hourly rate for carpenters in the UK varies depending on the level of experience you have, as well as your type of employment. So, how much money do carpenters make per hour?

Here’s a guide to the average carpenter hourly rates in the UK:

  • Apprentice – £6.50 per hour
  • Newly qualified – £10 per hour
  • Employed – £17 per hour
  • Sole trader – £37.50 per hour
  • Carpentry limited company owner – £45 per hour

How much does a chippy earn

How much does an apprentice carpenter make?

When starting out as a carpenter, you’ll very often begin your career as a carpenter’s apprentice. As an apprentice, you can expect to earn a starting salary of around £11,700 per year.

You’ll be on this level of salary while you learn the trade, build up your carpentry skills and gain valuable experience as a junior carpenter.

How much does a 1st year carpentry apprentice earn?

In your first year as a carpentry apprentice, your average hourly rate will be around £6.50 per hour and your day rate will be about £52 per day. In comparison, the current National Minimum Wage rate for apprentices aged 19 and over in their first year is £5.28 per hour.

How much does a 2nd year carpentry apprentice earn?

In your second year as a carpentry apprentice, it’s likely that your earnings will go up slightly from your first year. That said, any rise in your rate will depend on your individual performance in the first year of your apprenticeship.

How much does a 3rd year apprentice carpenter earn?

When you’ve completed two years as a carpenter’s apprentice, chances are you’ll be earning more than when you first started your apprenticeship.

The exact amount you earn will vary depending on the skills you’ve developed and the carpentry experience you’ve gained over the previous two years. However, carpentry is one of the highest paid UK apprenticeships. You can learn more in our dedicated guide below.

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How much does a qualified carpenter earn?

Once you’re fully qualified and have some carpentry experience under your belt, you can expect your salary to go up to around £18,000 per year.

That equates to an hourly rate of around £10 per hour, and a day rate of roughly £80 per day.

From there, your salary will vary depending on how long you’ve been qualified for, any additional carpentry training you complete, and any specialist or niche carpentry skills you acquire.

How much do carpenters earn

How much do self-employed carpenters make?

When looking at earning potential, starting your own business as a self-employed carpenter can massively boost how much you can make compared to being an employed carpenter.

Below are the average self-employed carpenter salaries in the UK:

  • Hourly rate – £37.50 per hour
  • Day rate – £300 per day
  • Yearly salary – £67,500 per year
  • Annual take-home pay – £43,600 per year

It’s worth noting that, as a self-employed carpenter, your take-home pay above reflects the deduction of tax, as well as the costs for running your business – such as your work vehicle, fuel, tools and carpenter insurance.

How much money do carpenters make

How much does a skilled carpenter make?

Many skilled carpenters in the UK will set themselves up as an independent carpentry business, either as a sole trader or a limited company.

After you deduct tax and business running costs, a skilled carpenter can expect to earn an average take-home salary of £43,600 as a sole trader or £48,800 as a limited company owner.

Average master carpenter salary UK

A master carpenter will be among the highest earners when it comes to carpenter earnings in the UK. You can expect a pre-tax salary of £81,000+ per year – if you run your own limited company.

That said, there’s no fixed limit on how much you can earn as a master carpenter. The total earnings that you can generate will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your carpentry business, where you’re based, and the types of carpentry jobs you do.

Want tips to expand your carpentry business? Check out our guide on how to start a carpentry business to discover the steps you’ll need to take to get set up and other tips on business growth.

Carpentry business profit

Profitability is everything when you’re running your own carpentry business. To understand how much profit you’re making, you’ll need to factor in all of your business running costs.

Once you have your total revenue for a project you need to deduct any business expenses (your work vehicle, fuel, tools, insurance, etc). And from there, you’ll need to pay tax on your post-expenses income.

How much does a cabinet maker earn?

For carpenters who specialise in making cabinets, the earning potential is similar to that of a standard carpenter. As such, how much you can earn as a cabinet maker will depend on your skills and experience.

Here are some of the average earnings for cabinet makers in the UK:

  • Hourly rate – £6.50 – £45 per hour
  • Day rate – £52 – £360 per day
  • Yearly salary – £11,700 – £81,000 per year
  • Annual take-home pay – £11,400 – £48,800 per year

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How to make your carpentry business more profitable

One of the most important factors in running a successful carpentry business is profitability. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that all the carpentry jobs you’re doing are making you money.

To help you boost your profits, we’ve put together our top tips to make your carpentry business more profitable:

1. Make sure you’re charging enough

You need to make sure you’re earning enough to cover your outgoings (including tools, materials, insurance, marketing, wages and fuel), and more. If not, you may need to look at raising your prices.

2. Choose to specialise in areas that are the most profitable

Some carpentry jobs make you more money with you having to spend less (for tools, materials, etc). Look at which jobs tend to earn you the most for the least outgoings, and do more of them.

Alternatively, as you grow you could even consider offering other services alongside carpentry. If you’re curious about how this could increase your earnings, we’ve got other guides on how much joiners make and how much a plasterer can make.

3. Consider how large the area you cover should be

Travelling further afield will eat into your profits through vehicle and fuel costs. So, if possible, stick to your local area or charge extra for jobs that are further away.

If you are travelling further, you need to make sure it makes sense for your business. Either the job value is worth it, or you charge for all of the travel to and from the job for the duration of the project.

4. Minimise your outgoings

Try to have no or as little debt as possible. Remember, interest on credit cards or loans can impact your vital profits. Make sure you shop around for the best value tools, equipment, materials and workwear too.

As a Checkatrade member, you get access to special offers and discounted rates with all our trade partners.

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5. Work on getting visibility for your business

This can be through advertising, your website, your company brand, customer reviews, SEO or industry contacts who can send work your way.

Investing time and energy into marketing is essential to growing your business.

6. Provide the best customer experience

By providing excellent services to all your customers, you’ll quickly build a strong reputation, win more work through word of mouth, and gain positive customer reviews.

Why not also join a trade directory like Checkatrade to build your reviews and online reputation?

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