Working as a carpenter involves working directly with other members of the construction team to build sturdy and stable buildings for residential, commercial and industrial use. However, successful carpenters must also have strong skills in math, since they estimate and measure to ensure proper dimensions on many aspects of their projects. They also work with blueprints, so those interested should learn to read these complex documents. Those who are learning the trade can work as apprentice carpenters, while more experienced employees can oversee others by working in carpenter supervisor positions. Supervisors sign off on projects, so experience is a must.
Carpenter Job Education Requirements
Most carpenter jobs require at least a high school diploma. Some positions require that applicants complete an apprenticeship program under an experienced carpenter, while others offer on-the-job training for those who have never worked in the field. Those who choose to complete an apprenticeship will receive valuable training and education from the master carpenter, so it is a great option for candidates who want to learn more. Carpenters work in a variety of construction fields, including construction of bridges, highways, stairways, building and installing cabinetry and more.
Carpenter Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 24 percent in carpentry jobs by the year 2022, which is a substantially higher growth rate than the national average for job growth. The main reason for this large increase in job availability is the growth of new construction and renovation of residential properties around the country. Additionally, carpenters work closely with civil engineers on the always-expanding road and bridge construction and repair. Another reason for the increase is due to the strenuous physical labor which appeals to a smaller section of the work force. Carpenters also have higher rates of injury than the national average.
Carpenter Job Salary Information
The median annual salary for carpenters in 2012 was $39,940, which translates to an hourly wage of $19.20. This is slightly higher than similar jobs that don't require degrees, so it is a great career path for candidates who want to start working as soon as they complete high school. Carpenters who earn the highest wages tend to work for the video and motion picture industries. There are also specific metropolitan areas where carpenters receive higher pay, such as Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. Those earning the highest wages made about $72,580.