Do you have the ability to build practically anything from scratch? Are you able to envision a finished product and know how to work from the beginning to the end to create that product? Do you know how to choose the most appropriate materials for a specific project? If you confidently answered yes to each of these questions, then it sounds like it may be time for you to think about pursuing a professional career as a carpenter. As a carpenter you may be expected to remodel or build a home, business, or other structure (such as a bridge, infrastructure, or highway). It is important to note that while it is common for carpenters to receive on the job training from more experienced carpenters, by completing some level of formal training your employment opportunities are likely to be better. As previously mentioned, formal training is not required for you to be able to work in this industry. However, you may find it in your best interest to either complete a training program at a local community college or vocational institute or you may choose to complete an apprenticeship. It is important to understand that most states require carpenters to be licensed; you will want to become familiar with the specific licensure requirements as they are mandated by your state of residence. Within a carpentry certificate program you can expect to learn how to identify structural components, how to frame structures, how to apply roofing, how to interpret blueprints, how to estimate the cost of labor and materials for a project, and how to install dry wall.
Should you decide to complete a carpentry finish certificate program you will learn techniques that specifically apply to new structures, as well as existing real estate. For instance, you may learn how to finish interior walls and ceilings, how to install new windows, how to build stairs, and how to build and set doorframes. While an apprenticeship program is likely to teach you similar content, you will be able to complete this type of program in about 12 weeks. Take a moment and request a free information packet from any of the schools on our site that interest you. With some level of formal training in carpentry you can expect to be qualified to work within a large group of carpenters or you could begin your own carpentry business. In addition, depending upon your certifications you may be able to work within residential carpentry or commercial carpentry. The accredited carpentry schools below can help you obtain your educational goals.
Carpentry is a trained trade with the primary work of cutting, installing and shaping building materials in the course of any construction of ships, building, timber bridges, concrete formwork and other tasks. Traditionally carpentry involved carpenters working with natural wood and doing the rough work of framing but in today’s world, there are a variety of other materials used, and even finer trades of cabinetmaking and furniture building are now considered as carpentry. Almost everywhere in the United States, men do carpentry, and it is not usual to find a woman carpenter although there are. About 1.5 million carpentry positions were available in 2006, and 1999 over 98% of carpenters in the United States were male. What was called carpentry back in the 19th century is now called timber framing, back then carpenters normally framed post and beam buildings but now it is considered old fashioned. The first and the last tradesmen on the job are always carpenters to initiate and make sure everything is fine at the end of a project. A carpenter qualifies to major in the trade after being employed as a training apprentice for four years and successfully excelling the competence test of the particular country they are in. In other places, the skill cannot just be learned from formal training programs but can also be learned by gaining work experience.
What Carpenters Do?
A carpenter builds and repairs building frameworks and structures made from wood and other building materials, he or she can do installation duties like installing kitchen cabinets, drywall and siding.
Duties of carpenters
Carpenters are always doing many other different tasks, and it is, therefore, one of the most flexible construction professions. There are those whose primary work is to insulate buildings and installing drywall, kitchen cabinets in homes while there are those that help in the construction of tall buildings and bridges, concrete forms for cement footings and pillars. Others put up the frameworks and shoring for buildings. A variety of power and hand tools are used to shape and cut fibreglass, wood, plastic and drywall by carpenters, commonly used hand tools include levels, squares and chisels and the power tools are nail guns, sanders, welding machines and circular saws. Nails, screws, adhesives and staples are used to fasten materials together, and carpenters have to conduct a final checkup of the work they have done to make sure that all specifications of clients have been achieved. Nearly all projects require a carpenter to use the tape measure to ensure all pieces being cut are of the suitable sizes a process that saves time. Applicants are on most occasions required by their employers to supply their tools.
Typical carpenters perform the following duties:
- Initiate and give directions to labourers and other construction workers.
- Follow building plans and blueprints to meet the requirements of clients.
- The measure, cut and outline plastic, wood and other materials.
- Install structures and fixtures like windows and moulding.
- Create, install and level building structure with the help of rigging hardware and cranes.
- Construct building frameworks like walls, door frames and floors.
- Examine and substitute damaged framework and any other structures and fittings.
Education and Advancement
An aspiring carpenter needs to have a high school diploma or an equivalent, the high school courses considered useful are mechanical drawing, math and a general vocational technical training. To advance in carpentry one has to take additional training, which is provided by unions, associations or employers and for relaying instructions to workers, a carpenter needs to be skilled in communication both English and Spanish. Carpenters usually have more opportunities to become first line supervisors, general construction supervisors and independent contractors than other construction workers because of their involvement in all phases of construction.
Online Carpentry Training
Carpentry training involves acquiring both the knowledge and the physical practice, and the formal training requires a carpenter to start as an apprentice, then go to being a journeyman and then attaining the status of being a master carpenter after gaining enough experience and competence. Today community colleges and hog school shop classes offer pre apprenticeship training through non-union vocational programs to aspiring carpenters. In technical training which is done by apprentices each year of a typical program, they are taught carpentry basics, mathematics, blueprint reading, safety and first aid practices and building code requirements. Also, they might receive specialised training in setting and creating concrete forms, welding, rigging, working within confined work spaces, scaffold building and fall protection techniques. Every carpenter have to excel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Safety course that usually lasts between 10 to 30 hours. Usually, someone may simply become a professional carpenter by working alongside other carpenters long enough to learn the necessary skills through observing and getting peripheral training. Such a person can obtain journeyman status by obtaining a journeyman’s card after paying the union entry fee. Such card gives one permission to work on a union carpentry crew, but they got to have the expected skill level or else the carpenter foreman will easily dismiss a worker who has the card but lacks to demonstrates that skill level that is expected of them. A carpenter may either be self-employed or work for an employer, and in the united states, some states need contractors to be licensed first which needs one to have excelled a written test and have minimum levels of insurance despite the kind of training one has undergone.
Carpentry schools and programs
Seminars, high school programs, certificate programs, online classes, advanced college degrees and associate degree programs offer formal training in the new construction, preservation and restoration carpentry fields for carpentry. These programs are collectively sometimes called pre apprenticeship training. The modern British construction industry needs carpenters to get their training through apprenticeship schemes that help with the Genial Certificate of Secondary Education, Technology and English. This is the preferred route for young people to gain field experience while training towards becoming professionals in the construction industry. In carpentry training, there are two divisions, the cabinetmaking and the construction carpentry where trainees spend 30 hours weekly and attend classes and indoor workshops for 12 weeks to learn math, trade terminology and skill by using power tools and hand tools. Construction carpentry tra9nees take part in isometrics to prepare for the physical part of the work. Once one has completed the pre apprenticeship those that have passed the grade curriculum are allocated a local union and to union carpentry crews to work on construction sites and cabinet shops as First Year Apprentices. After four years, they occasionally return to the training facility every three months for a week of more comprehensive training in explicit aspects of the trade.
Apprenticeships and Journeyman Carpentry
During the 19th century and early 20th century, a journeyman carpenter was required to travel to other regions of the country to learn about the building techniques and styles before going back home to use them but in the modern world that is not necessary as the levels of skill and expertise are the determinants. The members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America are needed to pass a skills test before they are granted official journeyman status. However, uncertified professional carpenters can also be given such status basing on their levels of proficiency, years of experience or because they are self-employed. In the United States, one can acquire the status of a professional journeyman through a variety of ways; formal training is offered in a four-year apprenticeship by the UBCJA union after a successful completion of twelve weeks of training and four years of on field training will qualify for the status.
After enough years as a journeyman, one may study further or do a test as a master carpenter. In Japan and German, it takes many funds to go through the process, as it needs extensive knowledge and skill to achieve master certification. They need master status for anyone teaching and employing apprentices in the craft, and in other countries, any skilled carpenter may be referred to as a master carpenter. Originally, carpenters only worked with natural wood, which with time has been replaced by hewing, splitting or sawing using a pit saw or lumber sawmill. Building materials like natural timber and engineered timber are prepared and delivered on site by others for carpenters to use. Union carpenters perform tasks such as installing flooring windows, interior trim, solid surface, insulation, framing, roofing, siding, installing acoustic ceilings, computer access flooring, wall partitioning, office furniture systems, ceiling treatment and other custom or factory produced materials.
Important qualities of a Carpenter
- Math skills are required for use on a daily basis to calculate volumes and measure materials to be cut.
Dexterity is necessary because carpenters mostly use tools and they need good coordination between the eyes and the hands to avoid material damage of injuries for instance when striking a nail one has to be careful not to do it wrong and not to0 hurt themselves.
- Physical strength and stamina- carpenters use heavy tools and materials, and they need to physically endure the long periods of standing, bending and climbing.
- Business skills to be able to bid new jobs, plan work assignments and track inventory.
- Detail orientation is an important skill for a carpenter because of the significance of the building process. They should make precise measurements like limiting any chances of leaks around windows and reducing gaps between the frames and the windows.
Problem-solving skills to accordingly adjust project plans as construction jobs are quite complex and it is not always that accurate measurements are delivered.
In 2014, carpenters held approximately 945, 400 jobs with the largest employers of carpenters being residential building construction followed by non-residential building construction and building finishing contractors. One in three carpenters are self-employed, and most of them work in the construction industry accounting for the largest share of the building trade professions in 2014. They work both indoors and outdoors because they are involved in any types of construction including building highways and bridges and installing kitchen cabinetry. Usually, they might work in small spaces and are required to shift between standing lifting, kneeling, which causes a lot of exhaustion. Those working outdoors can be subjected to variable weather conditions and this at times may limit the ability of a carpenter to work. Almost every carpenter works full time including sometimes weekends and evenings to meet tight deadlines. Delays and time limits may be present as a cause of extreme temperatures and stormy weather conditions.
Safety and Health
Carpentry is a hazardous trade, machine hazards, tool projection, flying materials, electrocution, fore and explosions, dust and chemicals, noise and vibration are the types of carpentry hazards experienced. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States Act tries to ensure there is fewer injuries, illnesses and fire through regulations but it does not cover those that are self-employed workers. According to the act, since 1970, there has been a reduction of 65% in workplace fatalities, occupational injury and illness rates have been declined by 67%, and the US employment has almost doubled over. Falls, electrocution, struck by the object and caught in/ between are among the leading causes of fatalities ay workplaces. To avoid these, construction employers should provide working conditions free of known dangers. Workers should be trained about job hazards and floors should be kept clean and dry as often as possible. Falls can be prevented by placing railings and toe boards at all floor openings that cannot be elevated platforms and safety harness and lines, handrails, safety nets and stair railings on staircases. Carpenters work has to follow all safety rules and meet the life safety code requirements like stair building codes and all codes that promote long term quality and safety for the people who would occupy the buildings eventually.
Residential Carpenter: This kind of career usually specialises in single family, condominium, town home building and remodelling. They might be needed to build and set forms for walls, footings, slabs, and also frame, finish the interior walls, install drywall, build stairs, install cabinets, doors and crown moulding. Residential carpenters also tile floors and lay the carpets and floors. When you are a fully trained carpenter, it is very easy to switch from new home building to remodelling.
Industrial Carpenters: They typically work on civil engineering projects, and industrial settings and they can build scaffolding and come up with and set forms for pouring concrete. Some are involved in building tunnel bracing and partitions in underground passageways and mines to control air circulation to work sites. Other construct concrete forms for bridges, power plants, tunnels, sewers or bridges.
Commercial Carpenters: They remodel build commercial buildings like offices, hospitals, schools, hotels and shopping malls. There are those who specialise in working with light-gauge and loaf bearing steel framing for interior partitions, curtain walls constriction and exterior framing while there are some that specialise in working with concrete forming systems and finishing exterior and interior walls, ceilings and partitions. Many carpenters in this category do most tasks as residential carpenters.
Finish Carpenter: In North America a finish carpenter is the same person as the Joiner, he or she is the one responsible for doing the finishing carpentry that includes cabinetry, fine woodworking, furniture making, instrument making, model building joinery and parquetry among other tasks that emphasise mostly on the importance of exact joints and minimal margins of error. Some large-scale construction may be of precision and originality classed as finish carpentry.
Joiner Carpenter: This category in carpentry is the only one indulged in broader skill ranging from finishing carpentry to Joiner, formwork and building construction.
Trim Carpenter: This carpenter specialises in trim and moulding such as window casings, door casings, baseboards, mantels and any ornamental work where cabinet installing can also fall under this category.
Cabinetmaker: A carpenter that deals with all the fine and detailed works specialising in making cabinets from wood, wardrobes, storage chests, dressers and any furniture designed for storage purposes.
Ship’s Carpenter: Specialises in building ships, repair, maintenance, repair techniques and carpentry specific to nautical needs plus many other on board tasks. This term is used in referring to carpenters with posts on specific ships. Carpenter is needed in steel warships and wooden warships for making emergency repairs whenever there is a storm damage or battle. The carpenter that builds ships on land is called a shipwright.
Cooper: This is someone who that makes barrels that are wooden staved vessels of a pointed form with more length than the breadth.
Scenic Carpenter: A scenic carpenter builds and disassembles temporary sets and scenery in filmmaking, theatre and television.
Framer: A framer uses the platform framing method to build the skeletal structure or the wooden framework of a building. One specialising in using timber rather than studs in building and does traditional timber framing with wooden joints, post and beam work with metal connectors or pole building framing is called a timber framer
Conservation Carpenter: He or she works in architectural conservation, historic preservation and keeps structures from changing he is referred to as preservation carpenter in the United States.
Restoration Carpenter: A carpenter who works I historic building restoration reinstating structures to their former states.
Green Ccarpenter: Here the carpenter uses environmentally friendly, energy efficient and ecological sources of building materials to use in construction projects, also practices building methods that need the use of less material with the same structural reliability.
Recycled Carpentry: This is a carpenter using scrap wood and unwanted, broken furniture parts to build new wooden products.
Log builder and formworkCcarpenters: A luthier makes and repairs stringed instruments; a log builder builds structures of horizontally stacked logs that include churches, barns, barricades and houses while a formwork Carpenter creates the falsework and cover ups, which is used in concrete construction.
Carpenters get a median annual salary of $43, 600 according to May 2016 statistics, which is the wages at which half the carpenters earned more than that amount and half that was earned, less than the amount. The lowest 10% of carpenters earned less than $27, 070 while the highest 10% of them was paid more than $79, 480. Apprentices are usually paid between 30% to 50% of what a fully trained carpenter earns and the salaries increase as an apprentice continues to learn and do more.
The job outlook for carpenters is that their employment rates are projected to increase by 6% as fast as the average o all professions for ten years that is from 2014 to 2024. More constructions of new homes are expected to occur as the population also continues to grow, and home building will be the largest segment that will employ carpenters and will also stimulate the need for more new carpenters. The need to renovate and replace roads and bridges is expected to cause an increase in employment of carpenters, but it also is dependent on the federal and state governments spending on attempts to upgrade existing infrastructure. Home remodelling needs also will spur demand for carpenters. There will be new job opportunities for carpenters for the need for constructing factories and power plants, however, this growth will be moderated by the increased use of prefabricated and modular components like roof assemblies, stairs, complete bathrooms and walls which will be manufactured in separate facilities only to be assembled on site by carpenters. Most labour intensive and time-consuming onsite building activities will be replaced by installing these prefabricated components. The overall job prospects for carpenters should be good with the passing of time as activities in the construction industry continues to grow. Since 2006 the carpenters who have left the occupation need to be replaced by younger, stronger and new carpenters and those that will have better prospects are the prospective ones with a basic set of carpentry tools. Carpenter employment just like that of other construction workers is sensitive to economic fluctuations, there may be periods of unemployment experienced by workers in these construction trades when the overall construction level falls, but on the other hand, there may be a shortage of carpenters during the peak periods of building activities.