|What does a carpenter do?
build things from wood, like buildings and boats. They cut, fit,
and join wood and other materials together. Carpenters who work
for a special trade contractor do only one or two things, like
forming molds for concrete or building a frame. A carpenter may
also work for a general building contractor. This carpenter performs
many tasks, including putting in doors and windows, hanging kitchen
cabinets, and installing tile ceilings.
carpenters have to follow local rules that tell them where they
can use certain materials. Most carpenters follow the same basic
steps when getting ready for a job. They must layout or design
the project. Design includes measuring, marking, and arranging
materials. The carpenter then cuts and shapes the material. Carpenters
use different hand and power tools, such as chisels, saws, and
drills. Finally, the carpenter joins the items together with nails,
staples, or glue. They use rulers or framing squares to increase
the accuracy of their work.
with ready-made parts, such as stairs or parts of walls, the carpenter's
job is easier. A carpenter may install these parts all at one
time. Carpenters may also replace glass, ceiling tiles, and doors.
Some carpenters repair desks and cabinets; put in doors and windows;
change locks; and repair broken furniture. In a factory, carpenters
may help move or install machinery.
work is sometimes stressful. It often involves standing for a
long time, climbing, bending, and kneeling. Carpenters risk getting
hurt from slipping or falling, or from working with sharp or rough
change jobs when they finish a project. Others switch back and
forth from between working for someone else and being self-employed
on small jobs.
|How do you get ready to become a carpenter?
learn their work mostly on the job, but many carpenters learn
their skills in school or through training programs. High school
courses in carpentry, shop, drawing, and math will help on the
job. Some carpenters join a program called an apprenticeship.
This program combines on-the-job training and classroom work.
Applicants for this program must be at least 18 years old and
pass an exam to see if they have the skills to become a carpenter.
The length of the program is usually 3 to 4 years.
learn many things. These include basic design, common job skills,
use of tools and machines, safety, and first aid. They practice
drawing and apply math too.
|How much does a carpenter make?
In 2002, the
middle half of all carpenters earned between $12.59 and $21.91
an hour. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $9.95 an
hour. The highest-paid 10 percent earned over $27.97 an hour.
carpenters may lose work time in bad weather and when the economy
is not doing well. When this happens, their pay drops.
held about 1.2 million jobs in 2002. Most of them worked for contractors
who build or repair buildings. Most others worked for manufacturing
firms, government agencies, retail stores, and schools. About
30 percent were self-employed.
get jobs in most parts of the country.
job as a carpenter should be easy. From 2002 to 2012, thousands
of jobs will become available each year because the occupation
is so large. However, there is still the chance of losing a job.
This happens because many construction jobs do not last a long
time and bad weather may halt other jobs. The availability of
carpenter jobs also depends on the part of the country a person
lives. Construction jobs go where people and businesses move and
where the local business is good. Therefore, the number of jobs
in any year will be different from area to area.
of carpenters is expected to grow about as fast as average for
all occupations through 2012. Construction jobs will increase
as people want new houses and firms want to make old buildings
new again. However, carpenters are using more materials that allow
them to work faster. This reduces the number of carpenters that
need to be hired.
depends on the economy. When the economy is not doing well, there
are a smaller number of jobs for carpenters.
New and improved
tools make the job of a carpenter more flexible. Therefore, carpenters
with the latest equipment and all-around skills tend to work on
the better projects.
|Are there other jobs like this?
blockmasons, and stonemasons
masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers
plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
and stucco masons
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of
Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
|Where can you find more information?
about carpenters can be found in the Careers