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Become A Framer/Carpenter

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Working As A Framer/Carpenter

  • 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

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Framer/Carpenter 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 Framer/Carpenter

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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Framer/Carpenter Career Paths

Framer/Carpenter
Carpenter Foreman
Superintendent
8 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Supervisor
Field Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Welder Electrician Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Technician Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Project Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Service Technician Field Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Self-Employed Lead Carpenter
Assistant Superintendent
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Field Service Technician Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Project Superintendent Construction Manager
Supervisor And Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Supervisor Field Supervisor
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Assistant Superintendent
Building Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman Lead Carpenter
Job Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Self-Employed Lead Carpenter
Building Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Union Carpenter 6.2 years
Lead Carpenter 5.0 years
Building Carpenter 4.1 years
Carpenter 4.1 years
Finish Carpenter 3.8 years
Framing Carpenter 3.3 years
Metal Framer 3.2 years
Rough Carpenter 3.1 years
Framer/Carpenter 3.0 years
Carpenter/Labour 2.9 years
Framer 2.4 years
Carpenter Helper 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Framer/Carpenter
Carpenter 16.1%
Framer 12.1%
Welder 5.0%
Cashier 4.8%
Cook 4.6%
Roofer 4.4%
Installer 4.2%
Foreman 3.9%
Painter 3.0%
Server 2.9%
Supervisor 2.8%
Top Careers After Framer/Carpenter
Carpenter 19.3%
Framer 7.0%
Welder 5.4%
Owner 5.3%
Foreman 5.1%
Installer 4.4%
Roofer 3.8%
Technician 3.2%
Driver 3.1%
Operator 2.8%

Do you work as a Framer/Carpenter?

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Top Skills for A Framer/Carpenter

  1. Install Windows
  2. New Homes
  3. Project Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Frame, sheet and roof houses, trim out interior of houses, install windows and doors.
  • Frame new homes plus remodeling such as painting, tape and float, install metal roofs, and plumbing.
  • Prepared project layout and determined dimensions and materials required.
  • Finish surfaces of woodwork or wallboard in houses or buildings, using paint, hand tools, or paneling.
  • Operate skid steer, heavy lifting, safety procedures knowledge, active learner, self motivated, dependable.

Framer/Carpenter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,316 Framer/Carpenter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Framer/Carpenter Resume

View Resume Examples

Framer/Carpenter Demographics

Gender

Male

88.9%

Unknown

8.6%

Female

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

65.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

9.5%

Asian

5.3%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

80.0%

Japanese

4.6%

French

3.1%

Dakota

3.1%

Swahili

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Finnish

1.5%

German

1.5%

Cherokee

1.5%

Lingala

1.5%
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Framer/Carpenter Education

Schools

The Academy

12.4%

University of Phoenix

10.6%

Northwest Lineman College

8.0%

Pima Community College

5.3%

University of Northern Iowa

5.3%

Fox Valley Technical College

4.4%

Ozarks Technical Community College

4.4%

Salt Lake Community College

4.4%

University of Utah

4.4%

Des Moines Area Community College

4.4%

Idaho State University

4.4%

Martinez Adult Education

3.5%

Universal Technical Institute

3.5%

Ferris State University

3.5%

Pellissippi State Community College

3.5%

Valencia College

3.5%

Everett Community College

3.5%

Tulsa Welding School

3.5%

Technology Center

3.5%

Kirkwood Community College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.6%

General Studies

9.2%

Precision Metal Working

9.0%

Construction Management

9.0%

Drafting And Design

7.4%

Automotive Technology

6.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.5%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Computer Science

4.3%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Construction Engineering Technologies

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Management

2.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.4%

Property Management

2.4%

International Business

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

49.6%

Associate

19.1%

Bachelors

15.1%

Certificate

10.5%

Diploma

3.1%

Masters

1.7%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.5%
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What is it like to work as a Framer/Carpenter

2.0

Interested

October 13, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Framer/Carpenter.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Framer/Carpenter?

The smell of wood. I also like working outside in the summer... Show More

What do you NOT like?

The wages are too low for labouring. I think wages should start at $23 an hour and an experienced framer should make $35 an hour or more... Show More

4.0

Custom houses

September 5, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Framer/Carpenter.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Framer/Carpenter?

Different projects on city's met different contractors.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

To heavy I'm getting to old to keep doing it.. Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Framer/Carpenter?

Are you working as a Framer/Carpenter? Help us rate Framer/Carpenter as a Career.

Top Framer/Carpenter Employers

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