Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest professions. Journeyman carpenters assist in the construction of wood frames for homes and buildings. They also remodel or repair existing structures. Their work must follow the building codes on the city, state and federal level. The job is physically demanding, requiring a lot of heavy lifting, climbing and kneeling. A journeyman receives her carpenter card once she completes her training and passes a certification exam.
Take relevant high school courses. Relevant courses include general shop, blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, algebra, geometry and physics. Graduate with a diploma or GED.
Enroll in an apprenticeship program. These programs combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. Commercial contractors, industrial contractors and most construction unions, like the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, offer apprenticeship programs. Contact your local contractors and construction unions for enrollment information.
Complete all coursework and training hours that the apprenticeship program requires. Courses cover subjects such as structural design, inside and outside finishing, form building, rough framing and carpentry jobs. You will complete the program in three to four years.
Take the certification exam. The exam covers the subject matter you learned during your apprenticeship. After you pass, you’ll receive your journeyman carpenter card.
Attending an apprenticeship is not the only training option. Instead of enrolling in an apprenticeship program you can obtain on-the-job training by working as a carpenter helper or study carpentry in a trade school, vocational school or community college.
2016 Salary Information for Carpenters
Carpenters earned a median annual salary of $43,600 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, carpenters earned a 25th percentile salary of $33,770, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $58,700, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,025,600 people were employed in the U.S. as carpenters.