Careers in Construction: Carpentry

Workforce Development
Contact: Greg Zick
AVP, Workforce Development
(202) 266-8493

Woman holding a measuring tape around carpentry equipment

Should I Explore a Carpentry Career?

If you like working with wood and take pride in seeing something made with your hands, then this technical training to be a carpenter is for you. Experienced carpenters are needed in all areas of the construction industry and are often employed through the entire construction process on the job site. Thus, it is one of the most secure jobs within the construction industry. Many carpenters like construction projects. They also build and fix their own homes, run their own businesses, and work on a crew.

Key Skills Aspiring Carpenters Should Learn

  • Frame floors, walls, ceilings and roofs
  • Build concrete forms
  • Apply plywood, roof paper and shingles
  • Build and set cabinets and countertops
  • Install doors, windows, trim and siding
  • Install floor joists, rafters and trusses
  • Lay wood flooring
  • Operate hand and power tools like table saws, power drills, routers, joiners, planers and nail guns

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Apprenticeship programs to learn on the job site
  • Home builders
  • Sub-contractors
  • Remodelers
  • Commercial builders
  • General construction supervisors

How Much Do Carpenters Make?

Construction careers offer competitive compensation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2022 national average wage for carpenters was $58,210, or about $27.99 hourly. Your wages will increase as you move up the career ladder, such as becoming a crew leader or foreman. Alternatively, professionals in the trades choose to work for themselves.

Can Carpenters be self-employed?

According to the most recent data from the BLS, approximately one out of three carpenters were self-employed. The critical benefit of self-employment is the ability to set your schedule and stay flexible to accommodate your lifestyle.

What are the other benefits of being a carpenter?

Skilled trade professionals enjoy tangible and intangible benefits. As a craftsman, you are building something that future generations will enjoy. In addition, members of the residential construction community are satisfied knowing that their work helps strengthen their community, which few other industries can offer. All of these benefits bring a sense of fulfillment in a well-done job.

Are Carpentry Careers in high demand?

The residential construction industry is facing a labor shortage. According to NAHB, remodelers and builders have reported shortages in 16 trades, including framing crews, carpenters and plumbers. Construction industry employers must fulfill them to help address the nation’s housing shortage. The number of open construction sector jobs currently averages between 300,000 to 400,000 every month, according to the HBI. Therefore, you will be a highly sought-after job candidate if you join the construction industry.

What Carpentry Training do I need?

Technical training for construction industry jobs such as carpentry does not require a four-year degree. In addition, aspiring carpenters can start earning income in the construction industry before they can complete technical training. Apprenticeships provide technical training and allow carpentry students to earn while they learn. Once technical training is complete, carpenters have strong earning potential.

Where can I find Carpentry Training Programs and Apprenticeships?

The best way to start looking for carpentry training programs and apprenticeships is by connecting with HBI, the nation’s leading provider of trade skills training in the construction industry. It provides pre-apprenticeship, certification programs, and job placement services. HBI serves over 15,000 individuals annually through five Program Areas: Academies, Job Corps, Military, Community, and Licensing. HBI provides its students with free pre-apprenticeship technical training, certification programs, and job placement services.

HBI programs are taught in local communities nationwide to at-promise youth and adults, displaced workers, underserved populations, and anyone interested in a career in the building industry. HBI ensures that all participants graduate from the program with the necessary skills, experience, and credentials to be successful in the workforce.

Careers in the Trades: Carpenter