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
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Carpenter make?

$53,048 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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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.

Senior Carpenter
Carpenter IV

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Carpenter Insights

Read what Carpenter professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Aug 31, 2022

“We are expected to do good quality work and the piece rate pay is great.”

David C. Bos HomesDavid C. Bos Homes
Aug 5, 2022

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

Exhibits by Promotion CentreExhibits by Promotion Centre
Sep 2, 2022

“He's a great guy and I took a liking to him the first day we met.”

Custom Clothier
May 26, 2022

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

Happe & Sons ConstructionHappe & Sons Construction
Jun 22, 2022

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

Heartland Scenic StudiosHeartland Scenic Studios
Finished Carpenter
Nov 18, 2022

“Not great pay but its a trade off for getting to work on such fun projects.”

Forms Completion Specialist
Feb 14, 2022

“Good nice people and ethnic”

Picture Frames and Art
Custom Framer
Apr 3, 2022

“It was fun and creative work.”

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Carpenter Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles 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
Construction Manager
13% skills overlap
Construction Estimator
13% skills overlap
Construction Superintendent

Carpenter Jobs