Carpenters - The Life of a Carpenter

Carpenter Jobs – Jobs For Carpenters

There are a vast variety of carpenter careers for an individual to pursue. Within the carpentry trade, there are all kinds of specialty carpenter jobs. You can be involved in residential building or may want to be a commercial carpenter. Commercial and industrial carpenters work on constructing business structures. These jobs can include constructing a small office building or a really large structure such as a hospital or a hotel. There are also carpenters that do nothing but remodeling of homes or offices. Many carpenters belong to a union. Typically union wages are somewhat higher than with non-union jobs. Unions also charge for union dues in order to be a union worker.

There are actually quite a wide variety of jobs for carpenters today. Some of the specialty carpenter careers include cabinet making, framing, inside finish carpentry, outside finish carpentry, dry walling and texturing, welding, and concrete construction.

Framing Carpenter

Some general carpenters do everything from the ground up. There are also framing carpenters who put together the basic structure of homes, businesses, or other structures. These carpenters are called in after the foundation is in place. It is important that a framing carpenter be able to follow blueprints and understand local building codes.

Because of the nature of their work, these professional carpenters frequently have to travel to job sites out of their immediate area. Most of their time is spent on the construction site. This involves being outdoors in the elements which can include some extreme conditions, such as heat, or even cold.

Although it is not mandatory that a carpenter have a college degree, it is wise for one who aspires to be a carpenter to complete coursework at a junior or community college. Many schools offer a two year associate program in carpentry or a four year bachelor’s degree in construction. Classes for this include framing, general woodworking, how to read a blueprint and codes. Various schools offer a carpentry apprenticeship program to give students job experience and training.

With modern construction, framing isn’t always done with wood products. Steel frame buildings are becoming much more popular. Although it is still important to be able to follow blueprints and understand code, this kind of construction requires some different skill sets.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2011, the average annual wage for framers was $41,820; this equals about $20.10 per hour.

Drywalling

Are you thinking about becoming a drywall professional? Dry wall finishing is another specialty carpentry trade. This involves applying plasterboard or other wallboard materials to interior walls or ceilings of buildings.

According to the US bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for this occupation is $41,570, or $19.99 per hour. As an apprentice, the pay would be considerably less and for a dry wall contractor, considerably more. Many drywallers are paid according to an hourly wage while others are paid on the amount of work they complete. They may be paid by the square foot of dry wall they installed.

This can be strenuous work since sheets of sheetrock are difficult to handle and maneuver into position, especially on ceilings. There also includes risks associated with standing on stilts, ladders, or scaffolding.

An advantage of drywall installation is that it is inside work and can be completed any time during the year and regardless of the outside weather.

Finish Carpenter

If you are detail oriented, finish carpentry may be the field for you. Finishing carpenters medium wage is $46,030 per year, or $22.13 per hour. These finish carpenters specialize in crown molding, baseboards, decorative molding, wall paneling, pedestals, pillars, mantels, and doors. They may also be involved in installing ceiling medallions, false beams, stairways and bending handrails. Decorative wood is typically used for these projects, which adds a rich look to the décor.

Being a finish carpenter can be very rewarding, not only in the higher wage but in the pride that comes in developing this wood art.

Cabinet Makers

Cabinet making is a real specialty in the woodworking industry. Here is a good video that explains what all is involved in cabinet making.  

 

This video shows from beginning to end on making a cabinet using automated equipment. Having specialized tools makes this job so much easier.

 

Cement Contractor

Although you don’t normally think about cement work as carpentry work, it is another construction job. Concrete creations have had a major transition over the years. Concrete stamping is now very popular. This kind of concrete work makes driveways, sidewalks, and floors look like expensive tile work.

After completing a concrete project, it can be very satisfying. This is the kind of work that takes a lot of practice and experience to feel comfortable with. It can be very frustrating for beginners who haven’t had the proper introduction and preparation for the work.

Concrete and cement are closely related, but not exactly the same. Sometimes the two words are used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Concrete is a product that is composed of cement along with sand, gravel, or other coarse aggregate. Cement is an ingredient in the concrete that acts as a binding agent.

The concrete construction industry is somewhat competitive, but there is always room for qualified individuals. The best way to learn this industry is to work as an apprentice. By working on the job, you will gain the knowledge and expertise on how to be a concrete contractor. With experience, you may want to branch out on your own. Becoming a cement contractor can be very rewarding.

As you can see, there are many different specialty jobs for carpenters. If you enjoy working with your hands, and don’t mind hard work, there may be a carpenter job for you. For the best process for becoming a carpenter check out our home page. Best of luck to you, regardless if you only want to be a DIY carpenter or prefer pursuing a career in the carpentry industry.

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