CARPENTERS cut, fit, and assemble wood and other materials in the construction of buildings, highways, bridges, docks, industrial plants, boats, and many other structures. They may frame walls and partitions; put in doors, windows, trim and molding; hang kitchen cabinets; install paneling and tile ceilings, and various other tasks. Working from blueprints or instructions from supervisors, carpenters first layout their work by measuring, marking, and arranging materials. They cut and shape wood, plastic, ceiling tile, fiberglass, or drywall, and join the materials. Carpenters then check the accuracy of their work and make any needed adjustments.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $43,500 average per year ($21.00 per hour)
- A large occupation (620,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.3% per year)
Most employers prefer to hire CARPENTERS who have completed a 4-year apprenticeship program. Others learn the trade through on-the-job training and through formal training programs. Many acquire their skills through vocational education. Some carpenters pick up their skills informally by working under the supervision of experienced workers. Others participate in employer training programs. Although specialization is becoming increasingly common, it is important to acquire skills in all aspects of carpentry and have the flexibility to perform any kind of work.