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Become A Journeyman Carpenter

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Working As A Journeyman 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

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Journeyman 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 Journeyman 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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Journeyman Carpenter Career Paths

Journeyman Carpenter
Superintendent Construction Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Owner Maintenance Manager
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Driver/Owner Operator Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Foreman Supervisor
Field Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Foreman
Assistant Superintendent
5 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Foreman Owner/Operator
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Manager Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Carpenter Maintenance Supervisor Operation Supervisor
Site Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Carpenter Maintenance Supervisor
Project Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Hvac Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Carpenter Supervisor Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Supervisor And Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Supervisor Field Supervisor
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Principal Assistant Superintendent
Building Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Superintendent Construction Superintendent General Contractor
Job Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
General Contractor General Superintendent Construction Superintendent
Building Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Journeyman Carpenter?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Journeyman Carpenter?

Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Swinerton
Highest Paying City
Santa Rosa, CA
Highest Paying State
Utah
Avg Experience Level
6.2 years
How much does a Journeyman Carpenter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Journeyman Carpenter in the United States is $39,603 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $58,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Journeyman Carpenter?

Have you worked as a Journeyman Carpenter? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Journeyman Carpenter.

Top Skills for A Journeyman Carpenter

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Drywall Repair
  3. Project Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Trained and mentored apprentice carpenters in construction practices, safety procedures, time management and efficient utilization of materials.
  • Remodel includes demolition, installation of pre-hung doors, interior trim, drywall repairs, and some cabinetry installation.
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required.
  • Concrete form setting, wood framing, door hardware, forklift operator, scaffold erection, blueprint reading and layout.
  • Performed finish work in high-end housing, including remodeling, repair, interior modifications and door installation.

Journeyman 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 6,921 Journeyman 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 Journeyman Carpenter Resume

View Resume Examples

Journeyman Carpenter Demographics

Gender

Male

88.4%

Unknown

7.9%

Female

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.9%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

9.2%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

78.4%

French

9.8%

Portuguese

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

Turkish

2.0%

German

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Greek

2.0%
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Journeyman Carpenter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.1%

A-Technical College

6.4%

The Academy

5.9%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

5.5%

Honolulu Community College

5.5%

College of Southern Nevada

5.5%

Palomar College

5.1%

Green River Community College

4.7%

American River College

4.2%

College of DuPage

4.2%

Ashford University

4.2%

Orange Coast College

4.2%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.2%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

4.2%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.2%

Salt Lake Community College

3.8%

Santa Rosa Junior College

3.8%

Edmonds Community College

3.8%

Renton Technical College

3.8%

Ranken Technical College

3.4%
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Majors

Business

20.6%

Construction Management

16.1%

General Studies

7.3%

Drafting And Design

5.9%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Precision Metal Working

3.9%

Electrical Engineering

3.9%

Management

3.3%

Education

3.2%

Property Management

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Project Management

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Industrial Technology

2.9%

Civil Engineering

2.8%

Computer Science

2.7%

Automotive Technology

2.7%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

46.0%

Associate

19.8%

Bachelors

18.9%

Certificate

8.9%

Masters

2.9%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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What is it like to work as a Journeyman Carpenter

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Finish Carpenter

February 2, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Journeyman Carpenter.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Journeyman Carpenter?

Woodworking is a true passion to me. Getting paid to do what you love is awesome!.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Co workers who don't take pride in their work... Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Journeyman Carpenter?

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