What is Diplocon?

Diplocon was founded to provide resources for people seeking jobs providing construction services to the Diplomatic Community. While continuing to do so, it has also evolved into a nexus for employment professionals and consultants, job seekers interested in employment OCONUS (Outside CONtinental United States) in any field, and people already OCONUS whether working in the diplomatic realm, construction, maintenance, and support of diplomatic facilities, or in other professions and roles.


Carpenters Skills


I will begin with carpenters since I began my career overseas as a carpenter.

Ok, what do they do overseas that they don’t so much in the USA? In general, a lot. Carpenters on an overseas jobsite are likely to wear several different hats over course of a project. They’re likely to be the first trade called in and the last to leave. That is not much different from the USA but their roles can be – it is better to be a generalist than to be overly specialized. Often, if the project is in a phase in which there is not a lot of need for carpenters, they will fill in as helpers to the electricians, plumbers, etc. instead of being temporarily laid off. However, their wage will normally not fall to that of a helper.

Some journeyman level carpenters will have all the background required to earn top carpenter pay overseas, but may be required to adapt their skills to existing conditions. I was a finishes supervisor on a project in West Africa, and worked with a pair of highly trained brothers that would consistently tell me that it was impossible to do the work required with the tools and materials available. I could tell they were probably excellent craftsmen when given everything they requested to work with, but in that part of the world, familiar materials, tools, and supplies are weeks away or simply not going to be available so less experienced , but adaptable carpenters would have been a more valuable asset. If you have basic skills, know the importance of basics like line, level, plumb, and square, and, can remain flexible there may overseas jobs in your future if you desire.

How can you acquire or polish carpentry skills for assignments overseas?

If you have no professional carpentry experience you can start by going to a community college or trade school near your home. If that is not an option, you can take an online course (do a web search for online technical training). Even experienced carpenters that have learned on the job can benefit from such courses. Hiring Managers for overseas jobs or projects like to see some documentation of training. Hiring for overseas work is an intensive effort on the employer’s part because they will be investing thousands of dollars in you before you earn a penny for them.

You can also work your way up through union apprenticeship programs or on the job training.

Whether you are an experienced carpenter or are in training, you should focus on being proficient and quality oriented in at least the following:

Accurate layout and construction of interior partitions (mostly metal frame with gypsum board) including accurate hollow metal door and window frame installation.

Installation of suspended ceiling systems (be knowledgeable and adaptable in creative ways to suspend ceilings very crowded/limited space between the grid and the structure/attachment points above)

Accurate door hanging and adjusting

Accurate cabinet installation

Gypsum board finishing

Installation of sheet flooring such as resilient vinyl, etc.

Vinyl Composite Tile installation

Ceramic Tile installation

Rolled Carpet installation

Carpet Tile installation

Painting (including preparation)

Assorted hardware and lock installation

For more information or guidance email info@diplocon.com and/or sign up to join our email community and we will be glad to help.


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