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Career profile Carpenter

Also known as Assembler, Bridge Carpenter, Bridge Repair Crew Person, Cabinet Maker, Carpenter, Concrete Carpenter, Construction Worker, Form Carpenter, Framer, Rough Carpenter

Carpenter

Also known as Assembler, Bridge Carpenter, Bridge Repair Crew Person

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$31,200 - $87,410 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Mathematics
  • Design
Core tasks
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations and maintain a safe and clean environment.
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches, or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required.
  • Measure and mark cutting lines on materials, using a ruler, pencil, chalk, and marking gauge.
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What does a Carpenter do?

Carpenters construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors.

In addition, Carpenters

  • may also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation,
  • includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.

What kind of tasks does a Carpenter perform regularly?

Carpenters are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Follow established safety rules and regulations and maintain a safe and clean environment.
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches, or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required.
  • Measure and mark cutting lines on materials, using a ruler, pencil, chalk, and marking gauge.
  • Shape or cut materials to specified measurements, using hand tools, machines, or power saws.
  • Install structures or fixtures, such as windows, frames, floorings, trim, or hardware, using carpenters' hand or power tools.
  • Verify trueness of structure, using plumb bob and level.
  • Select and order lumber or other required materials.
  • Arrange for subcontractors to deal with special areas, such as heating or electrical wiring work.
  • Maintain records, document actions, and present written progress reports.
  • Build or repair cabinets, doors, frameworks, floors, or other wooden fixtures used in buildings, using woodworking machines, carpenter's hand tools, or power tools.
  • Anchor and brace forms and other structures in place, using nails, bolts, anchor rods, steel cables, planks, wedges, and timbers.
  • Erect scaffolding or ladders for assembling structures above ground level.
  • Assemble and fasten materials to make frameworks or props, using hand tools and wood screws, nails, dowel pins, or glue.
  • Inspect ceiling or floor tile, wall coverings, siding, glass, or woodwork to detect broken or damaged structures.
  • Bore boltholes in timber, masonry or concrete walls, using power drill.
  • Maintain job records and schedule work crew.
  • Remove damaged or defective parts or sections of structures and repair or replace, using hand tools.
  • Install rough door and window frames, subflooring, fixtures, or temporary supports in structures undergoing construction or repair.
  • Finish surfaces of woodwork or wallboard in houses or buildings, using paint, hand tools, or paneling.
  • Examine structural timbers and supports to detect decay, and replace timbers as required, using hand tools, nuts, and bolts.
  • Apply shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative paneling to ceilings or walls.
  • Fill cracks or other defects in plaster or plasterboard and sand patch, using patching plaster, trowel, and sanding tool.
  • Cover subfloors with building paper to keep out moisture and lay hardwood, parquet, or wood-strip-block floors by nailing floors to subfloor or cementing them to mastic or asphalt base.
  • Perform minor plumbing, welding, or concrete mixing work.

The above responsibilities are specific to Carpenters. More generally, Carpenters are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Carpenter salary?

The median salary for a Carpenter is $49,520, and the average salary is $54,200. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Carpenter salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Carpenters earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Carpenters earn less than $31,200 per year, 25% earn less than $38,240, 75% earn less than $64,480, and 90% earn less than $87,410.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Carpenters is expected to change by 2.1%, and there should be roughly 89,300 open positions for Carpenters every year.

Median annual salary
$49,520
Typical salary range
$31,200 - $87,410
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
2.1%

What personality traits are common among Carpenters?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Carpenter are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Carpenters typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Carpenters typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Carpenters typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Carpenter tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Carpenters moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Carpenters moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Carpenters moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Carpenters must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Carpenters, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Carpenters need?

Working as a Carpenter usually requires a high school diploma.

Carpenters need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Carpenters

  • 25.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 42.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 19.1% completed some college coursework
  • 5.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 6.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Carpenters

Carpenters may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, mathematics, or design knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Carpenters might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Carpenters

Carpenters must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Carpenters need abilities such as manual dexterity, problem sensitivity, and visualization in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Carpenters, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Carpenters

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Carpenters frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Carpenters, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.