Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supports—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall.
Because carpenters are involved in many types of construction, from building highways and bridges to installing kitchen cabinets, they work both indoors and outdoors. The work is sometimes strenuous, and carpenters have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average.
How to Become a Carpenter
Although most carpenters learn their trade through an apprenticeship, some learn on the job, starting as a helper.
Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased levels of new homebuilding and remodeling activity will require more carpenters.
This occupation supported 901,200 jobs in 2012 and 945,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 4.9%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 24.2% in 2022 to 1,119,400 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 944,800, compared with an observed value of 945,400, 0.1% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.7% in 2024 to 1,005,800 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,163,000 jobs for 2024, 15.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.