Construction Carpenters fall into the Strong Interest Inventory® Investigative Theme Code Category. The Strong Interest Inventory® sorts careers into six categories based on the preferences and interests of people who tend to prefer them. The Inventory then assesses your preferences and interests and ranks them based on the same categories to help you decide which career is right for you. The Investigative Theme Code tends to suit people who enjoy abstract tasks that require critical thinking or mathematics. People who score high in the Investigative Theme also tend to thrive in flexible work environments, where they have the ability to find a quiet place to focus when they need to.
Construction Carpenters use hand tools and power tools to construct, install, and repair structures or fixtures made of wood, plywood, wallboard, and other materials. To do this, they study any building plans or blueprints to plan the project and determine the materials required as well as the dimensions. They measure, shape, and cut the materials they will be using. They install the fixtures or begin construction. During construction itself, they may build or repair cabinets, doors, floors, and other wooden fixtures, inspect the area to detect broken or damaged structures, and remove and mend damaged or weak fixtures. In some cases, they are responsible for installing wood flooring or parquet tiles. Towards the end of construction, Construction Carpenters finish surfaces, using paint or decorative paneling, or by filling cracks in plaster with patching plaster. Throughout the construction process, Construction Carpenters select and order required materials, and maintain records and present progress reports, making sure that the project runs smoothly and in a timely fashion. While Construction Carpenters may occasionally handle minor plumbing, concrete mixing, or welding work, for the most part, they outsource such specialized tasks to contractors. They maintain a safe and organized work environment, and meticulously follow established safety rules and regulations, as well as any state, local, or federal laws.
Construction Carpenters use many different kinds of hand and power tools, including handsaws, sanders, calipers, caulking guns, wood files, hammers, levels, and pliers, as well as power drills, grinders, planes, routers, sanders, saws, and staple guns. Whether they choose a power tool or hand tool depends largely on context and personal preference. In addition, Construction Carpenters also use marking and planning tools, like pencil compasses, rulers, and protractors, to ensure that materials are cut and formed according to blueprints. In order to maintain their own and others’ safety, Construction Carpenters employ scaffolding and scaffolding stabilizers, safety boots and harnesses, and hard hats. In terms of software and technology, they utilize computer aided design (CAD) and drafting software to develop and view blueprints of projects, as well as project management software (e.g., Bosch Punch List; Turtle Creek Goldensesal; etc.). To keep track of their costs, they often use Intuit QuickBooks or Quicken software, as well as spreadsheet and word processing software for other miscellaneous applications.
While most Construction Carpenters (54%) hold a high school diploma, and 18% have even less education, approximately 17% have a post-secondary certificate, such as a qualification from a trade school. Construction Carpenters greatly benefit from a basic knowledge of building and construction, design, and mathematics, as well as the ability to solve complex spatial problems, and listen actively to information and execute tasks accordingly. Because of their high level of physical labor, Construction Carpenters need to be in good shape—trunk strength, static strength multi-limb coordination, stamina, and hand-eye coordination are of the utmost importance. It also helps to have fine finger dexterity, strong visualization skills, and fluency in oral and written English.
A Construction Carpenter’s salary tends to be higher in states such as California (up to $88,000 annually) and New York (over $100,000 annually). On the other hand, Construction Carpenters’ salaries in states with a low cost of living or lower rates of development, such as Florida, are much lower-even the best-paid Construction Carpenters in Florida and Texas make just $50,000, nearly $25,000 less than the national average. That said, rates of employment are steadily rising in most states, particularly in Arizona (projected 44.6% increase before 2024), Colorado (projected 38.5% increase before 2024), and Utah (projected 34.9% increase before 2024).
Below are some employment trends for Construction Carpenters:
- Median Construction Carpenter Salary: $19.63/hour; $40,820 annually
- Employment: 945,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2022): Average (5% to 8%)
- Projected job openings (2014-2022): 169,100
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org