Carpenters participate in a variety of different construction jobs ranging from building kitchen cabinets to designing the underlay for the newest highway. The majority of their work consists of building with wood although other materials may also be used. In addition to lumber, carpenters often interact directly with their customers and will benefit from possessing good communication skills to facilitate a solid understanding of the job requirements. Carpenters are involved in all areas of building from the foundation to the framework.
Carpenter Education Requirements
Carpenters do not typically require any special education beyond a high school diploma or GED, and work experience is rarely needed. However, once hired, the majority of carpenters undergo a period of training that can last anywhere from a few months to several years. This apprenticeship teaches them the proper use of power tools and other equipment that may be necessary for their day-to-day tasks.
Carpenter Job Market
The number of employed carpenters is expected to rise by 24 percent by 2022, which is an above-average growth for most career fields. The number of projected annual job openings is about 32,920 per year. A number of carpenters work freelance, hiring out their services on an as-needed basis. This is largely due to the fact that many carpenters work in small towns; those who are employed by larger companies tend to work on assembly lines and in construction companies. Many universities and businesses hire carpenters to make repairs to specialized wooden equipment. Due to the large amount of wooden furniture on site, hospitals also employ large numbers of carpenters.
Carpenters can make anywhere from $14 to $19 an hour when starting out, but once they move beyond the apprenticeship, salaries increase to as much as $36 per hour. Annual wages can climb as high as $79,000, depending on where the carpenter is employed. Those who work in a university or hospital are likely to be paid more than those who work for small companies or independently owned facilities.