Carpenters work with wood and other materials to construct homes, buildings, and other types of fixtures. As a carpenter, you can specialize in areas such as interior trim work, setting kitchen cabinets or woodworking.
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How to Prepare for a Career in Carpentry
If you're interested in a carpentry career, you have several avenues from which to choose. Some carpenters start as carpenter's helpers and apprentice for a period of time. Many potential carpenters attend vocational or trade schools which offer carpentry courses. Many construction companies prefer their employees complete carpentry programs or take carpentry classes at community colleges. These classes can lead to a possible carpentry degree. Training programs may help you specialize in these fields:
- Interior trim
- Exterior trim
- Form work
Carpentry training and classroom programs vary regarding time commitment. The longest usually take three to four years, but taking classes can mean higher earnings and faster advancement in your career. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the average annual salary for a carpenter is about $43,640. The top ten percent make about $70,750 a year, on average. Salary depends on your experience and your training level.
The BLS predicts job opportunities for carpenters will be good over the next decade with a job growth of about 13 percent. An increasing population and interest in making buildings more energy efficient buildings will likely fuel that growth.