Formwork Carpenter

Apprenticeship or Trades Assistant

Formwork carpenters construct the molds that hold wet concrete in foundations and other concrete structures. While an excavation or general contracting crew handles small-scale formwork for residential construction, a specialised formwork carpenter typically works on large commercial projects.


White Card Asbestos Cert. Drivers Licence High Risk Work 18 years +
Formwork Carpenter yes yes no no no
To be a Formwork Carpenter you need to enjoy outdoor, practical work and be physically fit. You also need to be able to work at heights.
Typical Duties

Formwork carpenters assemble manufactured structures (forms), made from steel, wood or heavy plastic. The work is physically demanding and messy. Formwork Carpenters carry heavy forms, spray them with oil to keep the concrete from sticking, secures forms with iron rods and insert steel reinforcement to give the concrete strength. Once the concrete sets, formworkers strip the forms, clean them and prep them for the next project.

In the case of high-rise buildings and tall structures, formworkers build new forms on top of previously poured concrete. This is called slip-forming, where the work follows a repetitive process of forming, pouring, forming and pouring. Formwork Carpenters are able to:

  • read and interpret working plans and blue prints,
  • be proficient in measuring and cutting (as premade form sizes don’t always match the exact structure dimensions),
  • construct fillers to bridge gaps,
  • join prefabricated units together for large sections of high rise or civil projects, and position the reinforcement ready for concrete pours.
All construction workers need a White Card and Asbestos Awareness Training to work on a construction site in the ACT.

Check with your RTO to see if you are eligible for an ACT Training Fund Authority Subsidy. This will reduce the cost of your training. Training will also vary from RTO to RTO.


RTO Hours + Costs White Card Asbestos
3 – 4 year apprenticeship or as trade assistant 6 hours + < $500 4 hours + < $500
RTOs that deliver training for Formwork Carpenters in the ACT:

Canberra Institute of Technology

Master Builders Group Training Inc.