What does a carpenter do?

Carpenters perform many essential tasks, including building structures, installing walls and floors, and creating decorative accents. Carpenters usually work primarily with wood, but they use other materials as well. This includes metals, plastics and glass. Companies also use carpenters to build handmade products like custom furniture and home decor. Carpenters have skills with tools like sanders, nail guns and saws. An overview of what carpenters do includes:

• Reading blueprints and following the instructions with great precision

• Installing fixtures 

• Repairing all kinds of damaged or worn-out materials

• Measuring, cutting and shaping wood, metal and plastic

• Inspecting and replacing damaged frameworks

• Constructing frameworks and entire buildings, including the walls, ceilings and roofs

• Building decorative cabinetry

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What is the average salary of a carpenter?

The average annual salary of a carpenter in the United States ranges from $51,598 to $69,383 and averages $59,866, as of June 2022. Carpenter salaries vary considerably based on your skill level, years of experience and any certifications earned. Geographic location and the company that employs you also affect your salary. Carpenters earn more money by working overtime, which is often available because clients demand fast service even if it requires paying extra for skilled labor.

Earning a bigger salary

You will earn more money if you speak English and Spanish, which also improves your chances of advancing to a supervisory position. Experienced carpenters advance to become general construction supervisors, carpentry supervisors or project managers. You also earn more money by specializing in areas like custom cabinetry, infrastructure work and renovations.


Industries that hire carpenters

Industries that hire carpenters include all types of contractors, finishing companies and interior designers. Carpentry falls into the construction industry category, and all types of companies hire carpenters for repair work, building projects and finishing services. Carpenters work for private clients to build and repair homes, and they often produce schematics and drawings for proposed construction projects. Some of the top industries that hire carpenters include:

  • Residential building construction companies
  • Commercial construction companies
  • Foundation, structure and building exterior contractors
  • Finishing contractors
  • Wood product manufacturing companies
  • Motion picture and video production companies
  • Live theater companies
  • Janitorial services companies



Carpenter job description

Working as a carpenter gives you a degree of independence because you will have many options for the type of work you perform. The top skilled carpenters create high demand for their work through word of mouth and by completing high-quality projects on time and on budget. Depending on the work you are performing, you will either work alone or as part of a team of other construction professionals, including masons, electricians and plumbers.



What is the career outlook for an carpenter?

The job growth for carpenters is slower than the national average for other jobs. According to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job will grow by 2% between 2020 and 2030>. Although growth is slower than other occupations, over 89,000 new carpenter jobs will open each year. Carpenters comprise the largest single career in the building trades, and many carpenters work second jobs as all-around handy people for making repairs of neighborhood homes and businesses. Carpenters always have the additional option of offering carpentry services from home-based businesses. Renovation and remodeling projects offer part-time work for skilled carpenters. Greater automation might slow down the growth rate of these jobs in the future, but new carpentry skills will always be needed for quality control, repairs and production supervision. 

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a carpenter?

Spherion will help you whether you are actively seeking a new job or just looking at what's available in your area. The team will help you with your search for employment by matching you with a carpentry job that fits your skills. Spherion maintains connections with a wide range of businesses, so you will enjoy plenty of networking opportunities to find the right job for you. Working via Spherion offers you a number of advantages:

  • Weekly pay
  • Flexibility
  • A dedicated contact person 
  • Various training opportunities
  • Numerous jobs in your area
  • Easy interviewing process

What education do you need as a carpenter?

Typically, you only need a high school diploma or its equivalent to work as a carpenter. In high school, the most promising future carpenters take related courses like math, mechanical drawing and wood shop. You can also take vocational or technical courses and earn an associate degree in carpentry. Programs vary in the topics covered, but all include a basic grounding in carpentry techniques. Possessing a carpentry degree or certificate will help you land a job and possibly higher entry-level pay. You will also improve your chances of getting a high-paying carpentry job by completing an apprenticeship program. Apprentices learn all about carpentry and how to read blueprints and manage construction projects.



Carpenters fulfill the most basic needs of building and contracting, and their work ranges from delicate and artistic tasks to major building projects. Some of the most common questions about a carpenter career include the following 


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