Beam Builder, Building Carpenter, Construction Carpenter, Counter Installer, Custom Wood Stair Builder   More Names
Finish Carpenter, Hardwood Floor Installer, House Carpenter, Wood Floor Layer

Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, and rafters—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall.


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, or shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, drywall, and other materials

Construct building frameworks, including wall studs, floor joists, and doorframes

Help put up, level, and install building framework with the aid of large pulleys and cranes

Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures

Instruct and direct laborers and other construction trade helpers

Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing a variety of tasks. For example, some carpenters insulate office buildings; others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes. Those who help construct large buildings or bridges often make the wooden concrete forms for cement footings or pillars. Some carpenters build braces 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, and nail guns. Carpenters put materials together with nails, screws, staples, and adhesives, and do a final check of their work to ensure accuracy. They use a tape measure on every project because proper measuring increases productivity, reduces waste, and ensures that the pieces being cut are the proper size.

The following are types of carpenters:

Residential carpenters typically specialize in new-home, 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 frame interior walls, build stairs, and install drywall, crown molding, doors, and kitchen cabinets. Highly-skilled carpenters may also tile floors and lay wood floors and carpet. Fully-trained construction carpenters are easily able to switch from new-home building to remodeling.

Commercial carpenters typically remodel and help build 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. Highly skilled carpenters can usually do many of the same tasks as residential carpenters.

Industrial carpenters typically work in civil and industrial settings where they put up scaffolding and build 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 sewer construction projects.

Being a green carpenter can be realized through prioritizing green building measures. Ecological construction uses renewable and sustainable resources and energy-saving tools. A green carpenter might use cellulose insulation rather than asbestos insulation. Cellulose insulation use roof insulators made from pulped recycled paper, instead of asbestos that could take up to centuries before decomposing. One could also build structure walls from local materials like wood, wool and canvas. Importing and transporting materials would mean usage of too much energy and fuel, which would probably cause increased vehicle carbon smoke emissions. Green carpenter's materials may include natural fiber cement ply boards, recycled metal and glass tiles, cork or bamboo flooring, salvaged woods from 1900's structures with durable beams and timbers, compressed earth blocks made which are denser than adobes, compressed straw bale, among other things.

Any carpenter could be the green type. To commit to lessening environmental degradation is the first step to becoming a green carpenter. One should focus on implementing job practices that involve usage of abovementioned green materials; clean technology like using energy-saving power tools; and proper on-site waste management through gathering excess materials as salvaging them.

The beginning of becoming a green carpenter is from being a traditional carpenter. This job could be learned through formal and informal training and education. Carpentry is usually a part of high school curriculum; thus, initial knowledge about blueprints, mechanical drawing, drafting and other construction areas could be acquired in your early years of studying. There are also options for further education from career schools, special courses and local colleges. Moreover, institutional learning usually provides systems and skills certificates. Check listings of green institutions that are member-schools of green building councils and accreditation bodies. These teach environmentally and socially responsible approaches and paradigms.

You could also learn from actual on-the-job trainings like apprenticeships and internships from green construction companies. These trainings usually comprise of more than forty hours of on-site learning. Completed trainings are awarded with professional certifications.

Meanwhile, there are also self-help measures to learn about several eco-friendly constructions. Browse the internet about organizations sponsoring and holding green-consciousness seminars. These seminars could help you on firstly how to become green in personal ways, and then incorporate such into your job. Sign up for workshops about handcrafted woodworking, green roof design and insulation, clay plastering, and other green building methods. Familiarize yourself with eco-friendly materials. Seek hardware stores that enlist such products. Learn how, when and with what type of structure to use them.


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Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
6% - Slower than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $33,770 - $58,700    Hourly: $16 - $28
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

Many of the tools and materials that carpenters use are heavy. For example, plywood sheets can weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Carpenters need physical endurance. They often must lift tools and wood while standing, climbing, bending, or kneeling for long periods.

Physically able to do the work.

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Legal Requirements

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
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Percent Job Growth:

6% - Slower than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $33,770 - $58,700

Hourly: $16 - $28