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Carpenter


How to Become a Carpenter
Carpenter Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Carpenter
Carpenter Salaries
Influential Professional Carpenters
Leading Carpenter Organizations
Top Cities for Carpenter Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Carpenter

Carpenters can be trained formally or informally. Informally, many carpenters begin by just building things with wood, learning as they go. Formally, training to be a carpenter can begin in high school by taking shop or drafting classes. An aspiring carpenter can then choose from a number of training options. He or she may be able to get an internship or apprenticeship with a more experienced carpenter and learn on the job. Another option is to go to a vocational school or trade school to learn the trade of carpentry. Either of these options can take from one to four years, depending on which option and how in-depth it is.

Even after someone becomes a carpenter, there is still much on the job training that can occur. Framing, finishing, blueprint reading, and many other skills can be learned.

What does a Carpenter do?

Carpenters can perform many different types of construction; creating anything from small wooden toys to cabinets and beds to bridges and highways. They usually work with wood but can work with other materials as well.

Carpenters usually work from blueprints or other instructions and measure carefully before they begin working. They may work with drywall, wood, fiberglass, or plastic, in addition to other materials, and use tools such as sanders, levels, chisels, saws, drills, and planes. Materials are joined with screws, staples, nails, or adhesives.

Many carpenters specialize in just one or two areas of carpentry while others perform more general carpentry. For example, a carpenter may specialize in furniture make or he or she could work for a general contractor, performing whatever type of carpentry needs to be performed. Carpenters who work for contractors may, on the other hand, become even more specialized. They may just have one task, such as building scaffolding or building the wooden frames for pouring concrete, and perform that same task all day every day.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Carpenter?

Carpenters obviously need manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination to build what they are working on. Carpenters should be in good shape, as the job may be strenuous and require many hours of physical labor per day. During busy seasons, carpenters sometimes work overtime and work on weekends, so their stamina must be good. Math skills are a must for carpenters who spend time measuring and cutting, and Spanish skills can be helpful as so much of the construction workforce in the United States is Spanish-speaking.

If a carpenter is self-employed, it is important that he or she be self-directed and disciplined to look for work and complete as much work as is needed each day and each week.

What do Carpenters make?

In May 2006, carpenters earned a median hourly wage of $17.57, with the middle fifty percent earning between $13.55 and $23.85 an hour. The carpenters who made the most money worked in residential building construction. Non-residential building carpenters made less than the other types of carpenters.

Salaries vary widely, as many carpenters are self-employed and the amount of hours worked varies. Part-time carpenters will not make as much as full-time carpenters.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

The interim president of the Carpenter Contractors Association is Mark Dent. The secretary/treasurer is Paul Jance and the executive secretary in this association is John Porada.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The Carpenter Contractors Association exists to help along the businesses of carpenter contractors. It is open to all people who have been carpenter contractors for six months or more.

The Southern California Carpenters JATC provides training to carpenters and those in related professions.

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners is a labor union for carpenters and joiners, with branches across the United States and Canada.

What are the top cities for Carpenter jobs?

The top city in the United States for carpenter jobs is Wichita, Kansas. In second place for jobs in carpentry is Phoenix, Arizona. Indianapolis, Indiana is in third place and Cincinnati, Ohio is in fourth place for cities which are good for carpentry jobs in the United States. Allentown, Pennsylvania comes in at fifth place for potential carpentry jobs.

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