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Become A Carpenter Supervisor

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Working As A Carpenter Supervisor

  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Make Decisions

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Carpenter Supervisor Do

Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supports—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall.

Duties

Carpenters typically do the following:

  • Follow blueprints and building plans to meet the needs of clients
  • Install structures and fixtures, such as windows and molding
  • Measure, cut, and shape wood, plastic, and other materials
  • Construct building frameworks, including walls, floors, and doorframes
  • Erect, level, and install building framework with the aid of rigging hardware and cranes
  • Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
  • Instruct and direct laborers and other construction helpers

Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing many different tasks. For example, some carpenters primarily insulate office buildings and others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes. 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. Other carpenters erect shoring and scaffolding for buildings.

Carpenters use many different hand and power tools to cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall. 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. 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 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. Many employers require applicants to supply their own tools.

The following are examples of types of carpenters:

Residential carpenters typically specialize in single-family, townhome, and condominium building and remodeling. 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. They also frame interior walls, build stairs, and install drywall, crown molding, doors, and cabinets. In addition, residential carpenters may tile floors and lay wood floors and carpet. Fully trained carpenters can easily switch from new homebuilding to remodeling.

Commercial carpenters typically build and remodel commercial office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, and shopping malls. Some specialize in working with light-gauge and load-bearing steel framing for interior partitions, exterior framing, and curtain wall construction. Others specialize in working with concrete forming systems and finishing interior and exterior walls, partitions, and ceilings. Most commercial carpenters perform many of the same tasks as residential carpenters.

Industrial carpenters typically work on civil engineering projects and in industrial settings, where they build scaffolding and create and set forms for pouring concrete. Some industrial carpenters build tunnel bracing or partitions in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air to worksites. Others build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges, dams, power plants, or sewers.

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How To Become A Carpenter Supervisor

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:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work
  • U.S. citizen or proof of legal residency
  • Pass substance abuse screening

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.

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Carpenter Supervisor Career Paths

Carpenter Supervisor
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent Project Manager
Contract Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent Construction Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Manager
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Foreman Manager Property Manager
Director Of Property Management
6 Yearsyrs
Installer Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Installer Electrician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Installer Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Specialist Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Project Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Driver Field Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Handyman Journeyman Carpenter
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Shop Foreman Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Journeyman Electrician Field Supervisor
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Self-Employed Lead Carpenter
Job Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Helper Lead Carpenter
Building Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
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Carpenter Supervisor Demographics

Gender

Male

86.7%

Unknown

9.8%

Female

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

65.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

5.3%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Portuguese

11.1%

Polish

11.1%

Slovak

11.1%
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Carpenter Supervisor Education

Schools

The Academy

9.8%

Houston Community College

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Full Sail University

5.9%

Community College of the Air Force

5.9%

Ferris State University

5.9%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

5.9%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.9%

College of Lake County

3.9%

Gadsden State Community College

3.9%

Fresno City College

3.9%

Baltimore City Community College

3.9%

Delgado Community College

3.9%

Pittsburg State University

3.9%

Tulsa Welding School

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

Tunxis Community College

3.9%

Northcentral Technical College

3.9%

Del Mar College

3.9%

Tidewater Community College

3.9%
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Majors

Business

21.6%

Construction Management

10.5%

Criminal Justice

6.8%

General Studies

5.8%

Heating And Air Conditioning

5.8%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Finance

4.2%

Drafting And Design

3.7%

Architecture

3.7%

Property Management

3.7%

Graphic Design

3.7%

Precision Metal Working

3.2%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Automotive Technology

3.2%

Project Management

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Fine Arts

2.6%

Engineering

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%
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Degrees

Other

39.2%

Bachelors

22.4%

Associate

19.3%

Certificate

8.8%

Masters

4.5%

Diploma

4.5%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Carpenter Supervisor

  1. Door Installation
  2. Drywall Repair
  3. Safety Rules
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised and worked on crew installing siding and windows and door installation.
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations and maintain a safe and clean environment.
  • Assembled final contract on building service, new construction, repair and alteration.
  • Provided and upheld a high quality of customer service when consulted by customer.
  • Provided safety kits to all construction personnel, which complied with safety protocols for the job site.

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