Craftsmen are among the promising professions because their skills are in demand. With their Art they not only create profane furniture, but also enable a stylish life.

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Arts and crafts for a stylish life

“It's a shame to only have dreams at night. During the day you should have a few opportunities. ”

This wistful quote from Stephen Alesch speaks volumes about the spaces he and Robin Standefer create as architects and designers. Her Company Roman and Williams, named after their grandparents, pays homage to a different era. Together they draw on the evocative moods, textures and meaningful objects that linger somewhere between past and present. Her work is steeped in memories, allowing participants to connect with a romantic and important time.

Alesch still gives her presentations by hand, an art he has preserved and perfected from an early age. Standefer developed her painting skills to create sets for artists like Scorsese. When Team They have developed an approach to creating buildings and interiors that combine craftsmanship and tradition with a contemporary perspective. This unique vision has resulted in a number of important public and private projects, including Ace Hotel, The Standard Hotel and 211 Elizabeth. Photo of Rose Callahan

How do you become self-employed as a carpenter?

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One of the trending trades is carpentry. Carpenters make custom-made furniture, doors and windows made of wood and wood-based materials, exactly according to the wishes of the customer customers manufactures, installs prefabricated parts or carries out complete interior fittings. These are mostly one-off items.

A new fitted kitchen made to measure? A dresser of your own ideas? Carpenters know how best to implement the wishes of their customers. Whether it's a wooden staircase for a new house or a new living room door: almost everything that is made of wood in the house falls within their area. To ensure that the wall unit later fits exactly into the room, take careful measurements before making a sketch draw up. Which wood should be used? Should the surface be matt or glossy or something special Pattern receive? All of this must be determined in advance.

Whether solid wood, plywood or chipboard - they are familiar with their raw materials and know what is best suited for which product. They use computer-aided design (CAD) and industry-specific software programs to create designs and models based on customer requirements. Sometimes they also provide for seniors or Peoplewho are in wheelchairs make custom-made products such as height-adjustable tables. Finally, they present their designs to the customers. Then it's up to them Implementation.

This is how carpenters work

In the workshop, they first cut the wood roughly and plan it. Electrical and increasingly CNC-controlled machines take a lot of work from them. In addition to manual skills, technical understanding is required. It goes without saying that they handle their machines with care and maintain them regularly, because after all, they should do their duty for a long time. Especially the wood chips and the persistent wood dust must be removed regularly.

A strong grip is required when carpenters have to lift heavy wooden parts several times during processing. Precision work, on the other hand, is what it's all about when you work with the Hand Chisel out any slits, holes or indentations. The parts have to fit together with millimeter precision, because the finished piece of furniture should ultimately stand up straight. Once the individual parts have been made, carpenters drill and mill holes into which they insert hinges or glue wooden dowels, nail boards together with a hammer, glue parts together or interlock prongs and tenons. They attach base adjustment fittings or rails for drawers, install shelves and partitions or mount cupboard doors and handles.

Not everything is made from expensive solid wood. To ensure that pieces made of chipboard or plywood are also beautiful to look at, carpenters veneer the boards before they process them further. You select the right veneer according to grain and color, cut it and glue it to the boards using special presses. But even with solid wood, it is not enough to sand rough wooden surfaces smooth. For example, carpenters change the color of the wood by bleaching, staining, glazing or varnishing. They also use ecological means. If the surface is well sealed, it stays beautiful for a long time. Of course, the smell of paints, thinners, solvents, stains and wood preservatives is not very pleasant - not for allergy sufferers and sensitive noses.

Restore and preserve

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Whether the built-in wardrobe is installed in an inhabited apartment or windows, stairs and doors are installed in the building shell - there are always new challenges to be overcome. After all, the finished pieces have to be fitted exactly at the intended location. Carpenters routinely assemble door frames, fit them into the door opening, foam them and hang the door. When you install a fitted kitchen, you also connect the electrical appliances and the fittings. Before they leave the site, they check whether everything complies with the safety regulations and works properly, dismantle their ladders and scaffolding and collect valuable and waste materials.

In addition, carpenters may be dealing with older pieces of furniture. Is the closet not closing properly because the wood of the door has warped? Did the tabletop get a scratch? Carpenters repair the good piece. Should an old showcase infested with wood worms be “revamped” again so that it looks good in the living room? Or should an irreparably damaged wall panel be replaced? They are also familiar with this. Before going to work, they advise their customers, show them various options and finally explain how they can best maintain the repaired piece of furniture.

Prerequisites, education and training

Carpenter is a recognized profession according to the craft code (HwO), therefore, the professional title is protected by law. The carpenter training takes three years. A school education is also possible.

As a matter of principle, as with all recognized occupations regulated by the Vocational Training Act or the Craft Trade Act, no specific educational or vocational training is legally required for training as a carpenter. The schools, however, set their own access criteria, in part, a secondary school is required.

However, if you want to become self-employed with your own carpentry business, you must register in the register of craftsmen, as carpentry is a trade that requires a license. A prerequisite for this is either a successfully completed master craftsman's examination, a corresponding degree from a university or a technical school for Technology, an authorization to exercise or an exemption permit.

Self-employment without master's examination?

So-called “qualified journeymen” can apply to the competent chamber of crafts at the higher administrative authority for authorization to exercise; The prerequisite for this is after the journeyman's examination at least 6 years of activity in the Job, of which at least 4 years in a managerial position - both must be proven by appropriate certificates and certificates.

Anyone who does not own a master's certificate and who can not or does not want to be able to exercise a license can still set up a business - if he hires a so-called technical manager who holds the championship title. Another possibility is for engineers, technicians and industrial masters; These are just as registrable as the actual masters. These regulations also apply if you only become a part-time self-employed person.

Further education as a master carpenter

Master carpenter is a professional Further Training according to the craft regulations (HwO). The master craftsman's examination in this trade, which requires a license, is uniformly regulated nationwide. The craft organizations and other educational institutions offer preparatory courses for the master craftsman's examination (full-time approx. 12 months, part-time approx. 24 months).

For more information, see, For such a preparation, you can use the so-called Master BAföG (

Admission to the master examination and studies

However, participation in the preparatory courses is not mandatory for admission to the master's examination. In some cases, preparatory courses for further training examinations are also offered in the form of eLearning/blended learning. Here, however, the participants do not only learn alone on the computer. During the course they are usually in Contact with a lecturer responsible for content and technical Ask is available.

Incidentally, under certain conditions, carpenters with a master's degree can also work without a school-based university entrance qualification studieren and, for example, acquire a bachelor's degree in the field of wood technology. By the way, under certain conditions it is also possible to study without a university entrance qualification.

Entry into the handicraft role

The founding of an existen as carpenter usually begins with the entry into the handicraft role. To register, you must appear in person and pay a fee. With the confirmation of registration, the business registration office of the municipality can then register the business. The trade office in turn informs the tax office, the professional association.

For the crafts that require a license, which includes carpentry ( system A of the Crafts Code) there is a statutory pension insurance obligation. This begins with the entry in the register of craftsmen and the actual exercise of the trade. Therefore, this date should be deliberately chosen close to the actual opening of business operations.

pension insurance

This obligation to insist until the proof of 216 compulsory compulsory contributions. An exemption application may then be submitted. The personal cost burden of the pension insurance must be considered in any case when calculating your capital requirements within the framework of the business plan.

With the entry in the handicraft role you become a member in your competent chamber of trade. At first you have to pay very small contributions to it, but only if the income is above certain limits.

Membership in the Chamber of Crafts

Founderwho have registered their trade for the first time are exempt from paying contributions to the Chamber of Crafts for the year of registration. For the second and third year you only have to pay half of the basic contribution and no additional contribution, for the fourth year you are still exempt from paying the additional contribution if it is a natural person (not a partnership or corporation) and the annual profit not more than 25.000 euros.

Tradespeople who, according to Section 1, Paragraph 2, No. 1 of the Crafts Code, carry out activities that can be learned within a period of up to three months, belong either to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts. Regardless of which chamber they belong to, they are completely exempt from the contribution if their trade income does not exceed 5.200 euros per year. opportunities

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