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Carpenter

Carpenters typically do the following:
  • Follow blueprints and building plans to meet the needs of clients
  • Install structures and fixtures, such as windows and molding
  • Measure, cut, or shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, drywall, and other materials
  • Construct building frameworks, including wall studs, floor joists, and doorframes
  • Help put up, level, and install building framework with the aid of large pulleys and crane
  • Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
  • Instruct and direct laborers and other construction trade helpers
 

Minimum Education Required for this Career

Basic Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Associate's Degree
4+ year Degree
Basic Certificate
$24,650

City Colleges Program Options

Construction Carpentry

Highway Construction Careers Training Program

Nature of the Work

Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing a variety of tasks. For example, some carpenters insulate office buildings; others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes. Those who help construct large buildings or bridges often make the wooden concrete forms for cement footings or pillars. Some carpenters build braces and scaffolding for buildings.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most carpenters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of paid technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. In the technical training, apprentices learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. Some 2-year technical schools offer carpentry degrees that are affiliated with unions and contractor organizations. Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.

Future Trends

Overall job prospects for carpenters should improve over the coming decade as construction activity rebounds from the recent recession. Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.​

Career Pathways

Success at City Colleges