What does a Carpenter do?

Carpenters construct, install, and repair a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial structures and fixtures. In general, carpenters work with wood, steel, and concrete. Carpenters are also often involved with demolition and maintenance of these structures and fixtures. These jobs can vary from installing doors on an office building to building bridges.

Most carpenters learn the trade through an apprenticeship that lasts 3 to 4 years and focuses on the fundamentals like sawing, measuring, sketching, and reading blueprints. In addition to the technical training, there is a focus on safety training as well. Carpenters must have manual dexterity, an eye for detail, and the ability to solve problems quickly as they arise.

What responsibilities are common for Carpenter jobs?
  • Install, maintain, and repair a variety of products, ranging from cabinets to insulation to tile to drywall
  • Perform work in accordance with safety best practices
  • Maintain tools and equipment in safe operating condition
  • Conduct building inspections and identify needed repairs
  • Document repairs and maintain thorough records
  • Cut, shape, and alter materials as needed
  • Build doors, cabinets, and windows
  • Measure and mark materials for alterations
What are the typical qualifications for Carpenter jobs?
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
  • Minimum of 3 years of general carpentry experience and completion of an apprenticeship, or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • Must possess a valid driver's license
  • Forklift certification preferred
  • Asbestos awareness training preferred
  • Strong reading, writing, and speaking skills (in English)
  • Ability to read, interpret, and follow blueprints, technical diagrams, and schematics
  • Comfortable using ladders and scaffolding
  • Demonstrated ability to operate hand, air, and power tools
  • Able to lift and move up to 50 pounds regularly
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Carpenter Salaries

Average Base Pay

$40 /hour
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$30
Median: $40
$48
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Carpenter Career Path

Learn how to become a Carpenter, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Carpenter
$70,000/yr
L3
L4
Carpenter IV
$70,000/yr
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
10%
2 - 4
33%
5 - 7
12%
8+
45%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Carpenter Insights

Read what Carpenter professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
David C. Bos Homes
Carpenter
5 Aug 2022

“I had an excellent crew at Bos and was able to learn a great deal about building.”

BalaniBalani
Custom Clothier
26 May 2022

“Balani is constantly providing you opportunities and resources to learn more and get better at what you do.”

Happe & Sons Construction
Carpenter
22 June 2022

“was able to learn a lot i worked there for 8 years it was very enjoyable”

SharecareSharecare
Forms Completion Specialist
14 Feb 2022

“Good nice people and ethnic”

Picture Frames and Art
Custom Framer
3 Apr 2022

“It was fun and creative work.”

Hobby LobbyHobby Lobby
Certified Custom Framer
29 May 2022

“Some of the best reasons to work at hobby lobby are the sweet customers and coworkers you meet.”

US Department of Veterans AffairsUS Department of Veterans Affairs
Carpenter
20 June 2022

“Unstructured and everyone seems to say it’s not my job and does not take ownership of issues.”

Grant Larson ProductionsGrant Larson Productions
Carpenter
21 Mar 2022

“She took me in when I knew nothing and gave me the opportunity to learn and grow with them.”

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Carpenter Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Carpenter

When working as a Carpenter, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Strong WORK Ethic, Professionalism, Well Organized, Written Communication and Finish Carpentry.

The most similar professions to Carpenter are:
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Construction Manager
  • Construction Estimator
  • Construction Superintendent

Related Careers

Construction Project Manager
$130,000
Construction Manager
$132,500
13% skills overlap
Construction Estimator
$90,000
13% skills overlap
Construction Superintendent
$130,000

Carpenter jobs