A shuttering carpenter is a skilled carpenter who specializes in the construction of formwork or shuttering, which are temporary structures used during the concrete pouring process. Shuttering refers to the placement and support of wooden or metal plates using rods and stakes known as falsework; once these boards or plates are in place, concrete can be poured into the molds that have been created. As the concrete sets, the molds will keep it in place, resulting in a solid, smooth structure. A shuttering carpenter is usually trained specifically for this job.
A candidate for the position of shuttering carpenter must have completed high school or have an equivalent qualification. Basic to moderate math skills, as well as basic communication skills, will be required. Because a shuttering carpenter is likely to work as part of a team, communication skills and the ability to work well with others are essential. After graduating from high school, the candidate can enroll in a vocational program at a technical school or community college to gain the skills needed for the job. Otherwise, the candidate could take an entry-level job with a construction firm and participate in job training or apprenticeship programs as they become available.
An apprenticeship program will allow the candidate to work full-time as a shuttering carpenter under the supervision and guidance of more experienced carpenters. This apprenticeship can last anywhere from a year to several years, and once completed, the shuttering carpenter will be qualified to create formwork for a variety of projects on job sites. Before the concrete is poured, the carpenter must inspect the formwork for flaws or potential problem areas; once the concrete is poured into the molds, the carpenter must monitor the concrete and the formwork to ensure the process runs smoothly.
A shuttering carpenter may be actively involved in the process of pouring concrete into the shuttering that has been created in many cases. Because this process may require the use of heavy machinery, the carpenter may need to obtain a commercial driver’s license with the necessary endorsements or certifications. Throughout their careers, shuttering carpenters may be required to renew certifications and licenses to stay current on new technology, processes, and safety techniques as outlined governing bodies or the employer.