Career as a Carpenter

Institute for Career Research

Career as a Carpenter
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Career as a Carpenter

Institute for Career Research

WHAT DO BERNIE SANDERS, HARRISON FORD, and Matt LeBlanc have in common? They all worked as carpenters before becoming famous in movies and politics. Most carpenters are not hoping for fame, nor are they working in their craft temporarily while planning for another career. Carpenters love what they do and are happy to build rewarding careers that will last a lifetime. Carpentry is a craft that primarily involves making things from wood. Most carpenters use their skills to build and repair residential and commercial buildings. Within the construction industry, there are several types of carpentry, each requiring different specialized skills. The two main types are rough carpentry and finish carpentry. Roofers and framers are rough carpenters. Their work is rarely seen. Finish carpenters work on all the fine details that will be seen, like trim, molding, and fixtures. Not all carpenters work in the construction industry. Some build bridges and ships, while others make furniture or boats. Some even create theatrical sets for movies and TV. Within the construction industry, carpentry projects can vary widely from one project to the next. However, most involve the same basic steps. It starts with reading blueprints and other instructions provided by supervisors or homeowners. From there, carpenters carefully measure, mark, and organize materials. The materials are cut and shaped with hand and power tools, then joined together with nails, screws, staples, and glue. Levels, plumb bobs, and framing squares are used at every step to make sure everything is straight and smooth. Sometimes carpenters use prefabricated components rather than creating pieces from scratch. Installing factory-made staircases, wall panels, pre-hung windows, and roofing assemblies is quicker and easier than cutting and assembling many small pieces. Carpenters work in every city and community because they are needed everywhere. Once they are fully trained, they can find employment anywhere in the US. Those who live in cities often work for large construction companies that hire crews of dozens or even hundreds of carpenters, each of whom is assigned to a specific task. Carpenters working in smaller communities are less likely to specialize and will usually put a broader range of skills to good use. They are typically employed by small contractors and residential builders. There are also many carpenters who are self-employed. In fact, one out of three carpenters is an independent contractor who usually seeks work directly from homeowners. There is a high demand for carpenters. The number of positions available for new carpenters is on the rise. Because of the high turnover and the never-ending need for more buildings, there will always be jobs for those who want them. The prospects are excellent for those entering the field, however, job opportunities are best for well-trained carpenters with diverse skills. These skills are often learned on the job while working as apprentices or helpers to more experienced carpenters. No college is required, but it still can take three to five years to complete an apprenticeship. A career in carpentry has many attractive features, including excellent pay, easy entry, fulfilling work, flexibility, self-employment options, upward mobility, and good job outlook. If you are looking for a career with minimal stress and good work-life balance, that does not require a college degree, read on. Carpentry may be what you are looking for.

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