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Construction Carpenter
Salary Range Jobs Available
$32,200 - $65,700 102,500+

What Is a Carpenter?

If you like working with your hands, carpentry could be the career for you. Read on to better understand the job description of a carpenter, how to become a carpenter apprentice and other details.

What does a carpenter do?

Carpenters cut, measure and shape lumber in useful ways.

Working from a master plan, they create wooden structures, piece by piece. Their work involves mastering a wide variety of hand and power tools. Some of the work they do involves cutting wood using chisels, planes, saws and sanders. They’re also equipped to check their work with levels, rules, framing squares and — for bigger structures — surveying equipment.

Carpenters can work in many settings, from massive construction sites to residential home improvement projects.

It takes time for carpenters to hone their skills, but for those who put in the effort, it's a worthwhile journey and a rewarding career.

Most carpenters take great pride in their work, and good carpenters are always in demand.

Interested in exporing carpenters jobs, but you have no experience? Read on to learn how to start you journey into carpentry.

A female carpenter uses a miter saw to cut a piece of wood in the shop
Carpenters have been shaping wood for centuries, but the tools of the trade have improved. (Credit: antoniodiaz/Shutterstock)


From gathering building materials to preparing lumber and record keeping, a carpenter has many day-to-day responsibilities. Some of those include:

  • Estimate job requirements and order materials
  • Follow blueprints, drawings or sketches
  • Measure, cut and prepare the lumber 
  • Rough work or framing (Putting together the outer frameworks of buildings)
  • Finish work or finishing (Working on interior elements like stairs, doors and windows)
  • Specialty work (Making cabinets and furniture)
  • Inspect work and do necessary repairs
  • Document work and maintain records

How To Become a Carpenter: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re interested in pursuing a carpenter apprentice program or you want to learn more about becoming a carpenter, read the answers to these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The bottom line:

This is a rewarding career for anyone who likes working with their hands and gains satisfaction from making something useful from raw materials. This job can take you in many directions, including becoming a specialist who works with a bigger team or owning your own business. In fact, one of the features of this line of work is a comfortable balance between independence and teamwork. If this sounds like a good fit for you, check out SkillPointe’s training partners and discover programs offered near you.  

Why becoming a carpenter Is worthwhile

Matthew McVay became a carpenter 17 years ago and hasn’t looked back. “The most surprising thing about the trades is how easy it becomes after you learn the basic concepts,” he said. “One task builds on the concept of the prior task you learn. Everything is comprehensive knowledge.” 

Watch the video or read the article to learn why he thinks becoming a carpenter is so worthwhile.

Find Carpenter Training In Your Area

Grand Island

Construction Technology Diploma

The Construction Technology diploma prepares graduates with entry-level “hands on” skills and knowledge for employment in the construction industry...
Fond du Lac

ABC Carpentry Apprenticeship

Prepare for an active and diverse carpentry career with MPTC's apprenticeship program. Apprentices gain hands-on classroom instruction and on-the-job...

Carpentry Apprentice

Construct, install, or repair structures, fixtures, and building frameworks using carpentry hand and power tools. You'll learn to build wood framing...
Green Bay

Carpentry Apprenticeship

Carpenters are generally the most numerous and the occupation, therefore, is considered the key skill in the building trades. New machinery, materials...

Apprenticeship Skilled Trades, Carpenter Option

Federally approved apprenticeship program that contains a minimum of 640 clock hours of classroom instruction and 5600 clock hours of on-the-job... Read More

Building Trades Technology Apprenticeship, A.A.S.

Building a bright future in the construction and carpentry world begins right here at Lake Area Tech! Do you have a flair for design? A way with a... Read More

Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program

This program through Southeast Tech, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and other industry partners gives teens age 16 or older an experiential... Read More

Construction Trades Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Program (C-TAPP) Certificate

This apprenticeship readiness program prepares students with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the construction industry. This one... Read More

Construction Trades Apprenticeship Preparation Certificate

Successful completion of this program leads to a certificate in Construction Trades Apprenticeship Preparation. The program includes math, blueprint... Read More

ABC Carpentry Apprenticeship

Carpenters construct, erect and repair buildings and other structures made of wood, wood substitutes, steel and other materials. Topics covered during... Read More

Carpentry Apprentice Certificate of Completion

From framework and stairwells to kitchen cabinets and drywall, dynamic carpentry apprentices build, install, construct and repair a variety of... Read More

Carpentry Apprenticeship

Hawkeye offers four levels of carpentry apprenticeship curriculum approved by the Department of Labor for individuals who are sponsored by an employer... Read More
Grand Island

Interior Finish Carpentry Certificate

The purpose of the Interior Finish Carpentry certificate is to provide students with the “hands-on” skills needed for entry-level employment...
North Platte

Building Construction Technology, A.A.S.

The Building Construction Technology Program provides skills and training necessary for employment in the areas of residential and light commercial...
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