"To tell you honestly, now that I'm doing this, I don't know why there aren't more women in this industry. It's a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. "
Apprentice carpenters make between $25,000 and $31,000 annually. Their salary doubles after they are certified.
Susy Zaric works as an apprentice carpenter for McBride Restorations, a construction company that specializes in water damage repair. She removes water-damaged wood, does clean up, assists carpenters and measures/cuts wood.
For Susy, the rewards of her job come from the challenges encountered when she works in restorations. She feels proud when she drives by a building that she fixed.
She fell in love with the work when she started watching "This Old House". As well, her father was a painter and a decorator.
After completing high school, Susy worked for eight years in an office environment before entering the Women in Trades program in carpentry at BCIT. She was very shocked to hear that there is a 99 per cent failure rate for women in this field. While she was in the program, her instructor posted a job fax from McBride Restorations. She applied and - a week out of school - started working there.
Did you know? Less than 4% of carpenters are women.
Susy's advice to other young women interested in the field is: "Go for it!" She says "Now that I'm doing this, I don't know why there aren't more women in this industry. It's a lot easier than I thought it was going to be."
An apprentice carpenter's salary range is $12 - $15/hour. It increases with experience and as a journey person, you can make $25-$30/hour.
Have you ever heard that song that goes, "If I were a carpenter and you were a lady" written sometime back in the sixties? Nowadays, it might be written something like "If I were a carpenter, and I was a lady" , at least in the case of Susy Zaric.
After working in an office building for years, Susy decided it would be much more interesting to work on buildings instead of in them. Her decision was based on her continued fascination with carpentry.
Fortunately, the hours spent watching home repair programs paid off when her trades training began. Today, Susy's stapler is a bit bigger than the one at the office and she has her career well in hand.
Education: Women in Trades program in Carpentry
Hobbies: Cooking, furniture refinishing, music of all types and live shows