What Does a Career in Carpentry Look Like?

Carpentry skills can be used in many industries. Carpenters can work indoors, as in cabinet making, framework, furniture, drywall, and stage work; or outside building residential and commercial properties. They construct, assemble, and repair a variety of structures usually with wood, plastic, fiberglass, or sheetrock.

The ability to read blueprints, the knowledge of woodworking machinery including power and hand tools, saws, lathes, and sanders, and awareness of carpentry safety rules are necessary. It is a physically demanding job, requiring standing, lifting, squatting, or climbing ladders. Good hand-eye coordination and basic math knowledge are helpful. On-the-job training is most often the way to enter the carpentry profession.

Types of Jobs

  • Construction
  • Cabinet maker
  • Furniture maker
  • Pile driver
  • Stage carpenter (building scenery, scenic shops)
  • Ship building
  • Joister (floor boarding)
  • Roofing
  • Ornamental carpentry (molding, accents, doors, windows, etc.)


  • A high school equivalency degree is not required
  • Knowledge of building codes, blueprint reading, carpentry basics, safety practices, and basic math are useful


Carpentry lends itself to trade union membership, desirable for pensions, paid time off, medical benefits, and standard wage rates. For more information on training and pathways to a career in carpentry, visit The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in carpentry are expected to increase by 22% from 2018 to 2028.

See Also

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