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Carpenter Job Description, Career as a Carpenter, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

carpenters construction carpentry apprenticeship

Education and Training: Apprenticeship

Salary: Average—$16.90 per hour

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Carpenters work throughout the construction industry. They are the largest group of the building trades workers. They saw, shape, and fasten wood to build houses and other buildings. They also build cabinets, doors, and other objects made of wood. They work on construction sites, inside buildings, in factories, and in small woodworking shops. Carpenters use both power and hand tools, such as hammers, saws, drills, and chisels. They fasten wood with nails, screws, bolts, and glue.

Carpentry work can be divided into two categories—rough carpentry and finish carpentry. Rough carpenters often work outdoors where they begin projects using unfinished wood and other building materials. They frame houses, build scaffolding, and make forms to be filled with concrete. Forms are used to mold concrete for bridges, highways, and house foundations. Finish carpenters include those who cut and fit doors, windows, and interior molding. They also build and install cabinets, lay hardwood floors, and panel rooms.

Some carpenters build sets for theaters and television studios. Others build wharves and docks. Millworkers, or carpenters who work in factories, make prefabricated, or ready-made, parts for buildings, such as window frames, cabinets, and partitions. These parts are shipped already assembled to the construction site. Other millworkers are employed by lumberyards, cutting lumber and building prefabricated structures such as walls, floors, and ceilings. Some carpenters specialize in cabinetmaking. Cabinetmakers custom design cabinets, counters, shelves, and other fixtures for homes, stores, and restaurants. A few cabinetmakers specialize in building fine furniture by hand. Some carpenters work with other materials in addition to wood. They apply drywall or pre-finished coverings such as vinyl to ceilings, walls, and partitions. Carpenters can also specialize in installing acoustical panels to soundproof rooms.

Carpenters may work on large construction sites or in small workshops. (© Jim Craigmyle/Corbis.)

Most carpenters are employed by contractors and builders. Those who work in cities often specialize in one kind of carpentry, while carpenters working in rural areas may do many kinds of rough and finish work.

Education and Training Requirements

A high school diploma is preferred but not required. While in school, you should take courses in woodworking, mechanical drawing, and mathematics. The best way to become a carpenter is to complete a union-contractor apprenticeship program. Applicants should be at least seventeen years of age. Apprentices are chosen on the basis of written tests and interviews. You should have manual dexterity and the ability to imagine how things will look when assembled. You must be able to do simple arithmetic. You should also be strong and in good health. The formal apprenticeship program takes three to four years to complete. It consists of about eight thousand hours of on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of classroom instruction each year. In the classes, apprentices learn structural design, common framing systems, how to read blueprints, and simple layouts. On the job, apprentices learn the techniques and operations of carpentry from experienced carpenters on a less formal basis. A formal apprenticeship is a good way to find out whether carpentry is the trade you really want.

Getting the Job

Those who can obtain an all-around knowledge of construction through high school courses will have a better chance of joining an apprenticeship program. Applicants who have experience in semiskilled work related to carpentry also have a good chance to become apprentices. Carpenters may also learn the trade by working as helpers for contractors. However, this kind of training takes longer and is not as thorough as the four-year apprenticeship program. Furthermore, carpenters who have taken part in the formal program earn union wages, which are generally higher than the wages earned by nonunion carpenters.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Experienced carpenters can become supervisors of crews of carpenters. Eventually, they can become general superintendents of construction sites. Some carpenters become estimators and analyze the duration and costs of materials and labor for a job. Often carpenters become contractors. Almost one-third of all carpenters own their own businesses. This percentage is higher than the average for all construction trades. Self-employed carpenters make cabinets and furniture, do repair work, and remodel houses.

About 1.2 million people are employed as carpenters in the United States. While the occupation is large and turnover is high, employment is expected to increase the same as the average through the year 2012. The introduction of prefabricated structures has reduced job opportunities for carpenters, especially for those doing rough carpentry. Employment opportunities in the construction industry vary with the state of the economy.

Working Conditions

Rough carpenters work outdoors most of the time. They can expect to lose work time in winter and when the weather is bad. While most people work 2,000 hours a year, carpenters can count on working only 1,400 hours a year. Both finish carpenters and rough carpenters can expect to lose time because of layoffs and material shortages.

Carpenters take pride in their workmanship. They must be precise and pay attention to detail. They must be willing to follow set standards and rules in their work. Carpenters must have a good deal of stamina, because their work is active and somewhat strenuous. It requires standing, squatting, stooping, bending, and climbing. They must have a good sense of balance; there is often the risk of falling. Carpenters use rough materials, sharp tools, and powerful equipment and must be aware of the hazards.

Most carpenters work forty-hour weeks. Higher wages are paid for overtime work. Overtime is generally available depending on the job and its deadline for completion. Many carpenters belong to labor unions.

Where to Go for More Information

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
101 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 546-6206
http://www.carpenters.org

Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 400
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 548-3118
http://www.agc.org

United States Department of Labor
Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services
200 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20210
(202) 693-3813
http://www.doleta.gov/atels_bat/

National Association of State and Territorial Apprenticeship Directors
http://www.nastad.net/index.cfm?page=3

Earnings and Benefits

The median wage for carpenters in 2004 was $16.90 per hour. Union pay is usually higher than wages for nonunion labor. Apprentices begin by earning fifty percent of the qualified craft worker's wage. Every six months their pay is increased by five percent until, in their fourth year, they earn eighty-five to ninety percent of the experienced worker's salary. Union benefits include paid holidays, vacations determined by the number of days worked, and hospitalization and pension plans. Other benefits are negotiated separately for each union contract.

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almost 6 years ago

NARMAL

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over 8 years ago

i am 13 years of age and this page has inspired me to take carpentry.

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over 8 years ago

im glad i like carpentery im gonna be rich!

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about 9 years ago

The carpentry field is so awsome I plan on doing this job after I graduate

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about 6 years ago

Mike Literous

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about 6 years ago

i did this for a school project and it was big help thank you sooo much

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about 6 years ago

Mike Literous

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about 6 years ago

My name is Richard

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about 6 years ago

My name is Richard

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about 6 years ago

this sounds like a neat job to do now i understand how to do it and all of the regulations thx!

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almost 9 years ago

carpentry now has inspired me to take it after i graduate

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over 5 years ago

post-carpenter

mob-9767538841

9096113305

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over 5 years ago



SANDEEP KUMAR

Permanent Address:

VPO. BROON GARHDIWALA (Kullian)
PS. GARHDIWALA, THE. DASUYA
DISTT. HOSHIARPUR
PUNJAB, INDIA


Objective :

To be a professional in a reputed Organization, exploit my skills as a carpenter to the maximum and at the same time endeavor my best, to carry out the organizational objective most efficiently and with utmost dedication.

Professional Experience:
· *Currently working as STONE MASON ASSISTANT for GULF PETROCHEMICAL SERVICES AND TRADING LLC DUBAI BRANCH, UAE
from 19th March 2008 till date.

· Worked as carpenter at Sharma Furniture House, Punjab .Tel no.-091 9464140279 for the period from 2005 to 2008.


Education Qlf.
Passed IX standard

Languages:
English, Hindi, Punjabi

Leisure Time Activities:
Football, Cricket

Personal Details:
Sex : Male
Martial Status : Unmarried
Date of birth : 14th May 1984
Nationality : Indian

Passport Details:
Passport No. : G 1994393
Issue/Expiry date : 01/03/2007-28/02/2017

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almost 6 years ago

am wit stupid u_u

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over 8 years ago

i did this for a school project thank you!

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almost 9 years ago

Allthough I am not at school at the moment (15 year old - year 10 {Australia}) I will try to build myself a very perfected course of training in the years I would usually be parttaking in other subjects at school which are unrelated to carpentry.

Thanks for this page: the more I know about carpentry the better, goodluck to you all who also aspire to be carpenters =].

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over 8 years ago

Carpentry has been my passion since i was little. Right now i am 17 years old a senior in high school and am currently pursuing a job in carpentry work. I urge all those whom love to work with their hands to at least try carpentry work, even if you don't pursue it as a career the knowledge is invaluable to you. I plan to become a journey man carpenter, then a master carpenter, and then finnaly a contractor.

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almost 6 years ago

I'm technical teacher and experienced carpenter,i started in Junior up to university level and now i work with the government of Uganda as a carpenter.I TAUGHT FOR 16 YRS I LIKE CARPENTRY MY PROFESSION.

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about 6 years ago

My name is Richard

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over 6 years ago

elizabeth

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about 5 years ago

I am good carpenter having fifteen years experience of working

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about 5 years ago

it really sux

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over 5 years ago

Thx!

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over 5 years ago

Hallo

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over 5 years ago

Can i get a date for this article. Trying to use it for a research paper and i need to cite it.



Thanks

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over 5 years ago



BALWINDER SINGH

Permanent Address:

Kullian , Hoshiarpur
jalandhar
Punjab.


Objective :

To be a professional in a reputed Organization, exploit my skills to the maximum and at the same time endeavor my best, to carry out the organizational objective most efficiently and with utmost dedication.

Professional Experience:
· *Currently working as Carpenter for MEERU ISLAND RESORT Maldives.
Tel no.-0960 6643157 period from 26th August 2004 till date.

· Worked as carpenter at Jagdish Furniture House Punjab .Tel no.-091 181 2904042 for the period from 1998 to 2004.


Education Qlf.
Passed VII standard

Extra Curricular Activities:
CCR Orientation Training-Maldives.

Languages:
English, Hindi, Punjabi

Leisure Time Activities:
Football, Cricket

Personal Details:
Sex : Male
Martial Status : Unmarried
Date of birth : 30th June 1981
Nationality : Indian

Passport Details:
Passport No. : E 7511816
Issue/Expiry date : 03/02/2004-02/02/2014

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about 9 years ago

i will take carpentry

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about 6 years ago

Thanks for all this information right now im learning all kinds of trades and i know for sure that im going to do is be a carpenter.

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over 8 years ago

My name is Donovan Williams I attend Gwendolyn Brooks Middleschool I am 13 years of age.My dad is a carpenter an has taught me the basics i want to learn more an i also want to work as a carpenter and build my way up to own my own company this web page has inspired me to take wood shop in jr high school an start my carear after

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over 5 years ago

this article helped me alot. i used this article to get info for an essay. and i got an A. this article also inspired me to become a carpenter. this is an extremely helpful article

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almost 6 years ago

jk lol =)

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over 8 years ago

thanks this was good and i had to use it for a school project and i will get back at you if i want to do this when i grow up.

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over 5 years ago

Is it easy to become a carpenter

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almost 4 years ago

5.6 ing lanth average colur black mideam body

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almost 4 years ago

i can do all types of cabinet,counter,and also wall decor,gypsum board ceiling,

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almost 4 years ago

hello im 15 and I looking for a job in woodworking when I leave high school and I am looking for going into collage but what do I do to get a job in carpentry

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over 4 years ago

I am working in uganda in nile plywood uganda ltd as carpentry work shop manager since i join in 1999 in excel construction ltd i worked in gulf country 10 years i passed nctvt carpentry and advane course also passed i have 40 years expereance in carpentry thank

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about 5 years ago

carpentry work

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over 4 years ago

This site has helped me with my school work.And has my mind on being a carpender after i leave school.

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about 5 years ago

i am furniture contrektor in india in mumbai i have 15 lebure allway's with me but i just like to work in usa i have 20 year's expiriyans my aducetion only 7th standred only

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over 1 year ago

Hello!
I'm a carpenter since 1979. I owe carpentery workshop in UAE. Is anyone interested in to work with me in my team? I'm looking for some carpenters to work with me . Anyone?

please contact me on my email id: zahidh39@yahoo.com

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over 1 year ago

Hi my name is Moo kuk Htoo and i want to learn all about to know how to build a home and all legal to the law and have the right to do my own home owner builders and be the boss of ownership and follow the god. MOO KUK HTOO

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about 2 years ago

i like to build things