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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 Installer
Top Careers After Installer
Hispanic or Latino12.9%
Black or African American0.5%
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University of Phoenix21.4%
Universal Technical Institute12.0%
Greenville Technical College4.6%
Pima Community College3.8%
Northern Virginia Community College3.8%
Community College of the Air Force3.8%
Fresno City College3.7%
Ferris State University3.6%
Glendale Community College3.6%
Hudson Valley Community College3.4%
Anne Arundel Community College3.4%
Lincoln Technical Institute3.3%
Utah State University3.3%
Utah Valley University3.3%
Trident Technical College3.1%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Acrylic Bathroom Remodeling Installer||New England Bath, Inc. Dba: Bay State Re-Bath||Pembroke, MA||Apr 02, 2016||$92,830|
|Drywall Installer||Derby Dry Wall, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jun 06, 2008||$78,263|
|Drywall Installer||Excel Contractors, Inc. DBA. Progression Drywall Corp||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 30, 2016||$66,872|
|Drywall Installer||Excel Contractors, Inc. DBA. Progression Drywall Corp||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 09, 2016||$66,872|
|Drywall Installer||John E Richardson Inc.||Stamford, CT||Oct 17, 2008||$59,438|
|Installer||U. S. Floor, Kitchen & Bath, Inc.||Rancho Santa Margarita, CA||Feb 11, 2016||$58,033 -
|Centrifugal Installer||Alma Plantation, LLC||LA||Jul 23, 2014||$54,262|
|Installer||Reliant Electrical Contracting, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 03, 2009||$54,199|
|Drywall Installer||Madeira Drywall, Inc.||Mamaroneck, NY||Sep 13, 2010||$53,490|
|Drywall Installer||Lindade Construction Inc.||Bridgeport, CT||Jul 16, 2015||$53,414|
|Drywall Installer||Complete Drywall Services, L.L.C.||Sulphur, LA||Oct 02, 2007||$52,175|
|Capet Installer||Flooring Installation System||Old Bridge, NJ||Dec 18, 2009||$51,194|
|Installer||Bentley Floor||Rancho Santa Margarita, CA||Nov 05, 2016||$50,836 -
|Drywall Installer||Marshman Construction, Inc.||Murrieta, CA||Jul 15, 2010||$46,728|
|Drywall Installer||Absolute Contracting Services, Inc.||Clinton, MD||Apr 21, 2010||$36,877|
|Tent Installer||Nantucket Tents, LLC||MA||Apr 01, 2015||$36,856|
|Drywall Installer||Roadrunner Drywall Corp.||Phoenix, AZ||May 31, 2016||$36,815|
|Drywall Installer||Roadrunner Drywall Corp.||Phoenix, AZ||Jul 11, 2016||$36,815|
|Drywall Installer.||Paul Johnson Drywall Inc.||Prescott, AZ||Jun 02, 2016||$36,815|
|Drywall Installer||Paul Johnson Drywall Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||May 04, 2016||$36,815|
|Drywall Installer||Paul Johnson Drywall Inc.||Prescott, AZ||Jul 13, 2016||$36,710|
|Installer||Fletcher Painting, Inc.||FL||Feb 15, 2012||$36,481|
|Display Installer||AMB Enterprises, Inc. DBA Trac||Patterson, CA||Oct 08, 2010||$30,616|
|Tent and Prop Installer||Tremont Lumber||NY||Mar 24, 2014||$30,616|
|Tent Installer||American Tent and Table, Inc.||MA||May 01, 2016||$30,595|
|Drywall Installer||Gerald Briggs Drywall||Dallas, TX||May 29, 2008||$30,555 -
|Event Installer||Knight Enterprises, Inc.||Lansdale, PA||May 10, 2016||$30,408|
|Oven Installer||Darberg Stores LLC||Westwood, NJ||Jul 03, 2008||$30,262|
|Oven Installer||Darberg Stores LLC||Westwood, NJ||Sep 02, 2009||$30,262|
|Installer||Aber Fence and Supply Co. Inc.||Houston, TX||Apr 22, 2016||$30,035|
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