Construction Career Spotlight On:

Carpenter

Carpentry entails interpreting blueprints and designs, selecting appropriate materials, and utilizing an array of tools to cut, shape, join, and assemble wood into functional and aesthetically pleasing structures. Carpenters work on a diverse range of projects, from residential homes and commercial buildings to furniture, cabinets, and decorative items.

Average Salary*

Avg. Hourly Wage*

Pros In Demand

*Plus overtime and bonuses!

The Life of a Carpenter

A carpenter’s work demands a blend of technical expertise, creativity, and attention to detail, as they contribute to the foundation of architectural and design endeavors.

Responsibilities encompass tasks such as measuring and marking, ensuring precise alignments, and applying finishes to enhance the durability and appearance of their creations.

You might love a career in carpentry if you enjoy…

  • Being Active 90% 90%
  • Working with Tools 90% 90%
  • Creative Problem-Solving 85% 85%
  • Detail-Oriented Tasks 85% 85%
  • Math & Numbers 85% 85%

Becoming a Carpenter

There are multiple pathways to becoming a professional carpenter. Check out the options below and click the buttons to discover the opportunities.

Choose Your Path

Technical Training
Pathway 1
Straight to Workforce
Pathway 2
Apprenticeships
Pathway 3
Students working with instructor at a technical training progam

A training program prepares students with skills for careers in the carpentry industry and emphasizes a combination of carpentry theory and practical applications necessary for successful employment.

Students completing a carpentry training program obtain the qualifications for an entry–level residential carpenter or entry–level commercial carpenter.

Standard training programs include:

Carpenters couple

Although most carpenters are educated in their trade through a technical training program or apprenticeship, many choose to learn carpentry on the job, acquiring skills as they go.

On-the-job training provides practical experience in carpentry techniques, including framing, finishing, and woodwork. They usually start by working with more experienced carpenters and are given more complex tasks as they prove they can handle the simpler ones.

This is a great path for those who might want immediate employment and hands-on learning in the construction industry.

Carpenter teaching a young man

A carpentry apprenticeship program trains people for careers in carpentry. It combines hands-on work experience alongside experienced carpenters with classroom instruction in carpentry techniques, safety, and tool use.

Apprentices earn as they learn and, upon completion, become journeyman carpenters, ready for carpentry roles in construction, from framing buildings to crafting custom woodwork.

These programs emphasize skill development, mentorship, and safety, with potential for specialization or leadership roles within the carpentry field, making it a valuable pathway to a rewarding career in construction.

Carpenter: Training vs College

10-year comparison

You might love a career in carpentry

Training

VS.

College classroom

College

12 months – 2 years

Training Time

4+ Years

<$21K

Total

Degree Cost

$106K

Not including interest on loans

$49.2K

Apprenticeship Role

Starting Salary

$55.2K

Bachelor’s Degree

$471K

Minus Education Cost

10-Year Total Salary

$446K

Minus Education Cost

Carpentry Specializations

As a carpenter, you can specialize in different types of projects depending on your interest and experience.

Residential Carpenters

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

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

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.

Find Carpentry Jobs

Check out our directory to find carpentry jobs in your area and around the country.

Videos: Life in Carpentry

What is the life of a carpenter really like? Find out from experts, recent hires, and our pro videos.

Cupcake Day

Cupcake Day

A bright high school senior casts aside a table of “cupcake” college offers in favor of pursuing a future in the skilled trades
TCSG: We Are the Students of Technical College

TCSG: We Are the Students of Technical College

Produced in partnership with the Technical College System of Georgia, this montage highlights the unique educational experiences and benefits offered at Georgia’s 22 technical colleges.
Jenn the Builder – Entrepreneur

Jenn the Builder – Entrepreneur

“Jenn the Builder” Metzger shares her personal story of owning a residential construction business, along with the challenges and opportunities she encountered on her road to success.

Carpentry Careers News and Tools

Check out our articles, guides and downloadable resources to help you get started on the road to a career in carpentry.

News

Resources

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