Carpenter Careers

carpenterCareer Overview

Carpenters create, build, install, and repair structures and fixtures made of wood and other materials. Carpenters play an intricate role in many kinds of construction from the building of homes and businesses to highways and bridges. Carpenters generally work from blueprints or instructions to figure the layout, measurements, markings, and arrangements of structures being built. They then cut and shape wood or other materials. Materials are joined together using nails, screws, staples, and adhesives. Over 32 percent of carpenters are self-employed.

Education Requirements

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Carpenters often start their training by taking classes in high school. They may also attend a vocational college or training school to obtain further training. Some carpenters get hired on as an assistant to a carpenter and learn the trade through on the job training. Some employers offer formal apprenticeships. Apprentices must be at least 18 years of age and meet local requirements. Apprenticeships usually last for 3 to 4 years. For those wanting to work for large construction firms, a bachelor’s degree in construction management or another similar field can assist in getting hired for management positions.


Mechanical Drawing
Blue Print Reading
Shop & Machinery Courses

Licensing Requirements

Carpenters who complete an apprenticeship can receive a certification a journeymen. Carpenters can also receive certifications in scaffold building, high torque bolting, or pump work. These certifications prove that carpenters are able to perform these tasks, which can lead to additional responsibilities.

School Recommendations

South University Online
ITT Technical Institute
Everest College
Ashworth College
Penn Foster Career School

Employment Trends

Job Availability as of May 2008: 1,284,900
Projected Employment in 2018: 1,450,300
Average Hourly Wages for Carpenters in 2008: $18.72

Related Jobs

Brick masons, block masons, and stonemasons
Cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers
Construction equipment operators
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, tapers, plasterers, and stucco masons
Plumbers, pipe layers, pipe fitters, and steamfitters

Article Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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