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Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structuresa€”such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supportsa€”made from wood and other materials. Because carpenters are involved in many types of construction, from building highways and bridges to installing kitchen cabinets, they work both indoors and outdoors.
Although most carpenters learn their trade through an apprenticeship, some learn on the job, starting as a helper. Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of carpenters with similar occupations.
Learn more about carpenters by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.
Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing many different tasks. Carpenters use many different hand and power tools to cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall.
Residential carpenters typically specialize in single-family, townhome, and condominium building and remodeling. Commercial carpenters typically build and remodel commercial office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, and shopping malls. Industrial carpenters typically work on civil engineering projects and in industrial settings, where they build scaffolding and create and set forms for pouring concrete. After finishing an apprenticeship, carpenters are considered to be journey workers and may perform tasks on their own.
Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some contractors have their own carpenter training program, which may be an accredited apprenticeship program. Although many workers enter apprenticeships directly, some carpenters start out as helpers. A number of 2-year technical schools offer carpentry degrees that are affiliated with unions or contractor organizations.
Because they are involved in all phases of construction, carpenters usually have more opportunities than other construction workers to become first-line supervisors, independent contractors, or general construction supervisors. Carpenters seeking advancement often take additional training provided by associations, unions, or employers. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
The starting pay for apprentices usually is between 30 percent and 50 percent of what fully trained carpenters make. In addition, the need to repair and replace roads and bridges should increase employment of carpenters. However, moderating some of the growth will be the increasing use of modular and prefabricated components. Overall job prospects for carpenters should be good over the coming decade as construction activity continues to grow. Employment of carpenters, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices.
America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of carpenters. Construction laborers and helpers perform many tasks that require physical labor on construction sites. Drywall and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile inside buildings. Flooring installers and tile and marble setters lay and finish carpet, wood, vinyl, and tile.
Masonry workers, also known as masons, use bricks, concrete blocks, concrete, and natural and manmade stones to build walls, walkways, fences, and other masonry structures. Insulation workers install and replace the materials used to insulate buildings to help control and maintain the temperatures in buildings. For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this trade, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors or firms that employ carpenters, or local uniona€“management carpenter apprenticeship committees. The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised.
The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked.
The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensateda€”annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings. The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile. The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation.
The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation. Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.
The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections. Carpenters build residential, commercial and industrial structures of wood, steel and concrete.
Applicants must have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent, or Verified 6 months full time work experience in a construction related trade, or Graduated from an approved pre-apprenticeship program. An Applicant for the Carpenters Training Program must be at least 18 years old or 17 years old with written parental consent.
Applicant must be able to read and understand the English language in order to comprehend instructions on the job and in related training classes, and to ensure personal and co-worker safety on the job. Applicant must complete all application forms and provide evidence of legal employable status in the United States of America. Our program is jointly sponsored by contractors signatory to United Brotherhood of Carpenters agreements and the Union. The minimum term of Apprenticeship requires 48 months, 4800 work hours and completion of 612 hours of related instructional classes taken at a Carpenters Training Center.
Local program requirements may vary from area to area please contact individual programs for more information. At Okanagan College we combine the curriculum of the Carpentry and our Joinery foundation programs giving students who successfully complete the program the option to choose their own path and become either a Carpenter or a Cabinet Maker. With the expertise of our highly trained instructors and training in our modern industry-like shops, students will receive the skills, experience and familiarity of both trades giving you the confidence and training that employers are looking for. Two textbooks “Finish Carpentry” and “Smart Business for Contractors” are given at the end of the course. Apprentice carpenters serve a minimum term of 48 months (4 years), complete 4800 hours of work and 612 hours of class instruction at a Carpenters Training Center. The program is co-sponsored by contractors who are signatory to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters agreements and the union. At the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, prospective carpenters may opt to take either a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate of Applied Science in Building Technology with an emphasis on carpentry. These programs are ideal for those who want to learn carpentry with the hands-on approach of an apprenticeship, and at the same time earn a real college certificate or associate degree. There are fast-track online ways to get carpenter training, a formal college associate degree in the building trades with a specialization in carpentry and a thorough and hands-on carpentry apprenticeship training available.  Each offer their own advantages and disadvantages. If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Roof carpentry apprenticeships WA - apply for an apprenticeship with the ABN Group today and get your career started! The work is sometimes strenuous, and carpenters have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. For example, some carpenters primarily insulate office buildings and others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes.
They commonly use hand tools, including squares, levels, and chisels, as well as many power tools, such as sanders, circular saws, nail guns, and welding machines. As part of a single job, they might build and set forms for footings, walls, and slabs, and frame and finish exterior walls, roofs, and decks. Some specialize in working with light-gauge and load-bearing steel framing for interior partitions, exterior framing, and curtain wall construction. Some industrial carpenters build tunnel bracing or partitions in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air to worksites. Most carpenters work in the construction industry, where they account for the largest share of the building trades occupations. They frequently shift between lifting, standing, and kneeling, the result of which can be tiring.
Although a few types of accidents are potentially fatal, the most common injuries include muscle strains from lifting heavy materials, falls from ladders, and cuts from sharp objects and tools. Self-employed workers often work in residential construction and may be able to set their own schedule. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and general vocational technical training are considered useful. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.
The National Association of Home Builders offers Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) through the Home Builders Institute. They often start by working with more experienced carpenters and are given more complex tasks as they prove that they can handle simpler tasks, such as measuring and cutting wooden and metal studs.

Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associatea€™s degree. Communication in both English and Spanish also is helpful for relaying instructions to workers.
Carpenters use many tools and need hand-eye coordination to avoid injury or damaging materials.
Carpenters use basic math skills every day to calculate volume and measure materials to be cut. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,750. Population growth should result in more new-home constructiona€”the largest segment employing carpentersa€”which will stimulate the need for many new workers. Much of this growth, however, depends on spending by federal and state governments as they attempt to upgrade existing infrastructure.
Roof assemblies, walls, stairs, and complete bathrooms are just a few of the prefabricated components that can be manufactured in a separate facility and then assembled onsite by carpenters. Because construction activity parallels the movement of people and businesses, areas of the country with the largest population increases will require the most carpenters. On the one hand, workers in these trades may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls.
These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Learn to work accurately and economically while following national and local building codes.
Those who help construct tall buildings or bridges often install the wooden concrete forms for cement footings or pillars and are commonly referred to as rough carpenters.
Carpenters fasten materials together with nails, screws, staples, and adhesives, and do a final check of their work to ensure that it is completed according to specifications.
They also frame interior walls, build stairs, and install drywall, crown molding, doors, and cabinets.
Others specialize in working with concrete forming systems and finishing interior and exterior walls, partitions, and ceilings. Those who work outdoors are subject to variable weather conditions, which may limit a carpentera€™s ability to work. Extreme temperatures or inclement weather may cause delays and limit the number of hours of work. In the technical training, apprentices learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. PACT is available for several different groups, from youths to veterans, and covers information for eight construction trades, including painting. Making precise measurements, for example, may reduce gaps between windows and frames, limiting any leaks around the window. Striking the head of a nail, for example, is crucial to not damaging wood or injuring oneself. For example, if a prefabricated window arrives at the worksite slightly oversized, carpenters must shave framework to make the window fit.
Installing prefabricated components replaces the most labor-intensive and time-consuming onsite building activities. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state.
This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face. This tab may also provide information on earnings in the major industries employing the occupation.
They use a tape measure on nearly every project to make sure that the pieces being cut are the proper size, which reduces waste and saves time.
They also may receive specialized training in creating and setting concrete forms, rigging, welding, scaffold building, working within confined workspaces, and fall protection. All carpenters must pass the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10- and 30-hour safety courses.

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