How To Become a Carpenter

Just look around… A Carpenter shapes the world around us by constructing buildings, homes, parks, and other structures. Carpenters can earn a modest salary with plenty of room for advancement and lucrative money-making opportunities combined with skills and creativity. 

Check out the information below to see if becoming a Carpenter suits you!

Related Article: The 40 Highest Paying Jobs With A Trade School Education

Table of Contents


What does a Carpenter do?

Carpenters install the framework for building structures and make repairs using wood and many other types of materials. They read blueprints, inspect structures for damage, meet with clients, install windows and detail work, such as door frames and crown molding, and much more! 

In many cases, they are responsible for maintaining a team of carpenters; therefore, putting managerial skills to good use. They use hand tools and power tools.

What type of Carpentry should I consider?

Often, carpenters will specialize in a type of Carpentry that they enjoy doing or are good at, such as: 

  • Framework
  • Flooring sanders & finishers
  • Remodeling
  • Historical preservation
  • Log construction
  • Green Carpentry focused on environmentally safe construction
  • Roofing
  • Theater set construction
  • Rough-in construction
  • Sheetrock walls and painting
  • Kitchen cabinetry
  • Foundation work
  • Plumbing & Electrical
  • HVAC-R
  • Plus, so much more!

How much do Carpenters get paid?

As of May 2020, the average salary of a Carpenter was $49,520 annually, according to the BLS. With experience, the highest 10% earned upwards of $87,410 or more.

Is there a demand for Carpenters?

The BLS states a slower than average job growth rate at 2% between 2020 and 2030. In the field of Carpentry, the economy is a deciding factor as homebuilders may either be cautious or willing to take risks when building.

How do I become a Carpenter?

Generally, you will need a high school or equivalent diploma. In addition, most Carpenters gain their valuable work experience through apprenticeships. You will learn how to do simple tasks first and then graduate to more significant projects. 

However, if you so choose, vocational schools often offer associate degrees in the field of Carpentry. Most likely, you will also be required to take a safety course provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Do I need to be licensed to be a Carpenter?

Typically, Carpenters do not need a license besides the usual driver’s license; however, if you begin your own carpentry business, your state may require you to have a business tax license.

What qualities do I need to excel as a Carpenter?

Carpenters must be highly skilled and trained in the proper building techniques, of course… however, other qualities needed include:

  • Math skills
  • Physical strength
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Dexterity
  • Business skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Creativity
  • To name a few! 

Is Carpentry a dangerous job?

Carpenters often need to work on ladders, roofs, or heights as they complete framing work. Back strains are common when lifting. In addition, working with power tools can also be dangerous. 

Carpenters need to utilize safety equipment, such as hard-toed shoes, gloves, hard hats, and protective eyewear. In the field of Carpentry, you will often be expected to work outdoors in harsh weather conditions, such as extreme cold or heat.