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Become A Framer

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Working As A Framer

  • 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 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

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 Career Paths

Framer
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Electrician Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Operations Manager
Operations Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Account Executive Principal
Assistant Superintendent
5 Yearsyrs
Welder Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Welder Specialist Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Service Technician Field Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Installer Field Service Technician Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Driver Engineer Construction Manager
Supervisor And Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Finish Carpenter Journeyman Carpenter Carpenter Foreman
Job Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman Lead Carpenter
Building Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Union Carpenter 6.2 years
Metal Stud Framer 4.2 years
Carpenter 4.1 years
Building 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
Carpentry 2.9 years
Carpenter/Labour 2.9 years
Carpenter Helper 2.2 years
Framer 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Framer
Cashier 11.8%
Carpenter 7.7%
Cook 6.4%
Foreman 5.0%
Supervisor 4.1%
Painter 4.1%
Installer 4.1%
Roofer 4.0%
Manager 3.9%
Welder 3.8%
Server 3.7%
Driver 3.6%
Technician 3.3%
Top Careers After Framer
Carpenter 12.0%
Owner 6.8%
Foreman 5.9%
Cashier 5.0%
Driver 4.7%
Welder 4.4%
Supervisor 4.3%
Installer 4.1%
Technician 3.9%
Manager 3.8%
Cook 3.7%
Painter 3.5%

Do you work as a Framer?

Framer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.1%

Female

11.6%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

65.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

9.2%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.3%

French

5.4%

Russian

4.9%

German

2.9%

Portuguese

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Italian

2.0%

Korean

1.5%

Chinese

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Mandarin

1.0%

Finnish

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Samoan

0.5%

Bulgarian

0.5%

Ukrainian

0.5%
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Framer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.0%

The Academy

10.9%

Utah Valley University

9.5%

Salt Lake Community College

6.2%

Boise State University

5.9%

Weber State University

5.0%

Universal Technical Institute

4.7%

Brigham Young University

4.5%

Arizona Automotive Institute

3.8%

University of Utah

3.6%

Utah State University

3.6%

Chemeketa Community College

3.6%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.6%

Idaho State University

3.3%

Colorado State University

3.1%

Northern Arizona University

3.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.1%

Iowa State University

3.1%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

2.8%

Arizona State University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Fine Arts

8.9%

Graphic Design

8.1%

General Studies

7.9%

Construction Management

6.2%

Criminal Justice

6.2%

Precision Metal Working

5.9%

Automotive Technology

5.8%

Drafting And Design

4.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.7%

Computer Science

3.7%

Psychology

3.6%

Education

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Communication

2.3%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Biology

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

41.3%

Bachelors

27.2%

Associate

17.4%

Certificate

7.4%

Masters

3.6%

Diploma

2.4%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
American Leather
Highest Paying City
Layton, UT
Highest Paying State
Utah
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Framer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Framer in the United States is $40,136 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $63,000.

Real Framer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Framer Cornerstone Construction Group, Inc. Redondo Beach, CA Sep 12, 2015 $53,406
Framer Zamarripa Bros Framing Inc. Lawton, OK Apr 01, 2016 $39,778
Framer Laborer Superior Home Builders, Inc. VA Apr 01, 2016 $39,382
Framer Pinnacle Construction, Inc. Morgan, UT Oct 24, 2016 $35,980
Framer Khartframing Inc. Arlington, VA Jun 06, 2008 $35,124
Framer Quality Building, LLC Asheboro, NC Oct 01, 2016 $33,162
Framer Quality Building, LLC Asheboro, NC Jun 14, 2016 $31,305
Framer Zitting Construction & Development Inc. UT Feb 05, 2013 $27,632
Framer (Carpentry) Trieste Construction Corp. Great Neck, NY Jul 10, 2008 $26,672
Framer MJM Associates Contruction, LLC New York, NY Aug 12, 2008 $26,651 -
$27,131
Framer W. H. Cully Jr. Construction Mechanicsville, VA Oct 19, 2007 $24,063
Framers Zamarripa Bros Framing Inc. OK Feb 02, 2015 $17,113
Framer Zamarripa Bros Framing Inc. OK May 05, 2014 $17,113

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Top Skills for A Framer

  1. Customer Service
  2. Window Frames
  3. Residential Homes
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Increased customer loyalty and satisfaction by providing excellent customer service.
  • General warehouse duties assembling window frames
  • Constructed residential homes to blueprint specifications.
  • Fabricated templates according to work order specifications, using diagrams, measuring tape, square, hand tools and power tools.
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations.

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Top 10 Best States for Framers

  1. Alaska
  2. Washington
  3. Hawaii
  4. Wyoming
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Nevada
  7. Illinois
  8. Connecticut
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Missouri
  • (17 jobs)
  • (75 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)

Top Framer Employers

Jobs From Top Framer Employers

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