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What Does it Take to Be a Carpenter?

Position Description Help carpenters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Life As a Carpenter: What Do They Do?

  • Hold plumb bobs, sighting rods, or other equipment to aid in establishing reference points and lines.
  • Secure stakes to grids for constructions of footings, nail scabs to footing forms, and vibrate and float concrete.
  • Install handrails under the direction of a carpenter.
  • Cut and install insulating or sound-absorbing material.
  • Align, straighten, plumb, or square forms for installation.
  • Position and hold timbers, lumber, or paneling in place for fastening or cutting.

Qualities of a Carpenter

When polled, Carpenters say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Types of Carpenter Jobs

  • Framing and Hanging
  • Shipwright Helper
  • Carpentry
  • Carpenter/Labor
  • Hanger

Is There Going to be Demand for Carpenters?

There were about 36,700 jobs for Carpenter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,700 new jobs for Carpenter by 2026. The BLS estimates 5,900 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Carpenters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Carpenter are Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in New Mexico, Maine, or Louisiana. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Carpenter

Carpenters make between $21,010 and $44,260 a year.

Salary Ranges for Carpenters

Carpenters who work in Alaska, District of Columbia, or Wyoming, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Carpenters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $26,030
Alaska $37,890
Arizona $34,080
Arkansas $31,000
California $36,150
Colorado $34,490
Connecticut $37,450
Delaware $29,290
District of Columbia $40,250
Florida $28,400
Georgia $27,220
Hawaii $33,090
Idaho $28,510
Illinois $32,510
Indiana $27,220
Iowa $29,290
Kansas $32,530
Kentucky $29,380
Louisiana $31,960
Maine $30,110
Maryland $31,040
Massachusetts $39,660
Michigan $28,590
Minnesota $36,240
Mississippi $30,450
Missouri $38,220
Montana $34,370
Nebraska $25,830
Nevada $29,150
New Hampshire $35,020
New Jersey $32,270
New Mexico $27,430
New York $32,050
North Carolina $27,970
Ohio $30,230
Oklahoma $26,930
Oregon $36,960
Pennsylvania $34,210
Rhode Island $33,040
South Carolina $29,230
South Dakota $26,230
Tennessee $29,150
Texas $32,630
Utah $35,440
Vermont $32,340
Virginia $29,280
Washington $35,030
West Virginia $28,200
Wisconsin $31,960
Wyoming $37,560

What Tools do Carpenters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Carpenters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Linux
  • UNIX
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Oracle software
  • Salesforce software
  • SAP software
  • Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
  • Intuit Quicken
  • Cost estimating software
  • Drawing and drafting software
  • Job costing software

Becoming a Carpenter

Individuals working as a Carpenter have obtained the following education levels:

Carpenter Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Carpenter?

Carpenter Work Experience

Where do Carpenters Work?

Carpenter Sectors

Carpenters work in the following industries:

Carpenter Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Carpenter might also be interested in the following careers:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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