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Quick Facts : Carpenters*
2010 Median Pay$39,530
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20121,001,700
Job Outlook20% (Faster than average)
Employment Change196,000

Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structure's such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, and rafter's made from wood and other materials. Some also install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall. Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing a variety of tasks using handtools, including squares, levels, and chisels, as well as many power tools, such as sanders, circular saws, and nail guns.

What Carpenters Do

  • 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
  • Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
  • Instruct and direct laborers and other construction trade helpers

Work Environment

Because carpenters are involved in many types of construction, from building highways and bridges to installing kitchen cabinets, they may work both indoors and out. The work is sometimes strenuous, and carpenters experience a higher than average rate of injuries and illnesses.
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Job Outlook

Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, as demand for carpenters is expected to be driven by home remodeling needs.
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In May 2010 the median annual wage of carpenters was $39,530.
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Average Annual Salary, May 2010



Construction Occupations


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Construction Occupations


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Becoming a Carpenters

Most carpenters learn their trade after 3-4 years in an apprenticeship where they must complete at least 144 hours of paid technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. In the technical training, they learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. Apprentices may receive specialized training in concrete, rigging, scaffold building, fall protection, confined workspaces, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10- and 30-hour safety courses.
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