Where do you want to work?
Deal with People
Although most carpenters learn their trade through an apprenticeship, some learn on the job, starting as a helper.Education
A high school diploma or equivalent is required. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and general vocational technical training are considered useful.Training
Most carpenters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship program. 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. In the technical training, apprentices learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. 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.
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 apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications for a person to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:
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.
Some workers can earn certificates before entering an apprenticeship. The National Association of Home Builders offers Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) through the Home Builders Institute. PACT is available for several different groups, from youths to veterans, and covers information for eight construction trades, including painting.
Workers typically learn the proper use of hand and power tools on the job. 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.
A number of 2-year technical schools offer carpentry degrees that are affiliated with unions or contractor organizations. Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.Advancement
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. Communication in both English and Spanish also is helpful for relaying instructions to workers.Important Qualities
Business skills. Self-employed carpenters must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan work assignments.
Detail oriented. Carpenters perform many tasks that are important in the overall building process. Making precise measurements, for example, may reduce gaps between windows and frames, limiting any leaks around the window.
Dexterity. Carpenters use many tools and need hand-eye coordination to avoid injury or damaging materials. Striking the head of a nail, for example, is crucial to not damaging wood or injuring oneself.
Math skills. Carpenters use basic math skills every day to calculate volume and measure materials to be cut.
Physical stamina. Carpenters need physical endurance. They frequently stand, climb, or bend for long periods.
Physical strength. Carpenters use tools and materials that are heavy. For example, plywood sheets can weigh 50 to 100 pounds.
Problem-solving skills. Because construction jobs vary, carpenters must adjust project plans accordingly. For example, if a prefabricated window arrives at the worksite slightly oversized, carpenters must shave framework to make the window fit.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Builder
Top Careers After Builder
Hispanic or Latino10.3%
Black or African American0.6%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
University of Phoenix20.0%
Michigan State University5.9%
Oregon State University5.2%
University of Houston4.8%
Eastern Michigan University4.8%
Grand Rapids Community College4.5%
Wayne State University4.5%
Texas A&M University4.5%
Middle Tennessee State University4.5%
Appalachian State University4.1%
Universal Technical Institute4.1%
Texas Tech University4.1%
Pennsylvania State University4.1%
University of Cincinnati3.4%
Ball State University3.4%
State University of New York Buffalo3.4%
College of DuPage3.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Planning System Builder||Corning Incorporated||Corning, NY||Oct 01, 2010||$70,000|
|Community Builder||Camperoo, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$56,000|
|Community Builder||Camperoo, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 17, 2015||$56,000|
|Community Builder||Camperoo, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 24, 2015||$56,000|
|Landscape Builder||Premier Lawn & Landscape Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 29, 2011||$51,674|
|Freestyle Terrain Builder||Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership||Flagstaff, AZ||Dec 01, 2014||$42,784|
|Brand Builder||Glima, Inc.||CA||Dec 17, 2009||$38,000|
|Ultra-Clima Greenhouse Builder||Wholesum Farms Arizona LLC||Amado, AZ||Apr 19, 2015||$32,682|
|Portable Building Builders||Klauspenner Inc.||Seminole, TX||Jan 29, 2016||$29,765 -
|Portable Building Builders||Klauspenner Inc.||Seminole, TX||Jan 02, 2016||$29,765 -
|Portable Building Builders||Klauspenner Inc.||Seminole, TX||Aug 12, 2015||$29,765 -
|Portable Building Builders||Klauspenner Inc.||Seminole, TX||Aug 10, 2015||$29,765 -
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
Day in the Life: Bridge Builder
Sam Macaw - Builder
Day in the life of a Trail Builder