Carpenters use a wide variety of hand and power tools.

Quick Facts: Carpenters

2012 Median Pay
$39,940 per year
$19.20 per hour

Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

On-the-job Training

Number of Jobs, 2012

Job Outlook, 2012-22
24% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22

What Carpenters Do
Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, and rafters—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall.

Work Environment
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.

The median annual wage for carpenters was $39,940 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased levels of new home building and remodeling activity will require more carpenters.