Carpenters cut, shape, level, and fasten together pieces of wood and other construction materials, such as wallboard, plywood, and insulation. Many carpenters work on constructing, remodeling, or repairing houses and other kinds of buildings. Other carpenters work at construction sites where roads, bridges, docks, boats, mining tunnels, and wooden vats are built. They may specialize in building the rough framing of a structure, and thus be considered rough carpenters, or they may specialize in the finishing details of a structure, such as the trim around doors and windows, and be finish carpenters. Approximately 580,570 carpenters work in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Build structures out of wood; rough carpenters build structures; finish carpenters install hardwood flooring, staircases, shelves, cabinets, window and door trim, and many other items; review blueprints or instructions; use measuring devices and power tools
Alternate Title(s) Finish Carpenters, Rough Carpenters
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) California, New York; opportunities exist in all regions
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
Related School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Apprenticeship
  • Building/Trades
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Independent Contractor
  • General Construction Supervisor
  • Supervising Carpenter
  • Journeyman Carpenter
  • Apprentice Carpenter

Related Industries

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