Pathways in Construction: Carpentry

Buildings Skills New York recently launched a semi-regular series of blog post highlighting areas of specialization within the construction industry. The idea is to familiarize our workers and potential recruits with the wide variety of opportunities available to them as they look to deepen their skillsets broaden their options for career advancement. 

Our first post focused on a bit of a niche specialty – sprinkler fitting – as a potential career path. Though that is a highly specific area of concentration, BSNY recently has recently seen an uptick in interest from employers in workers with that expertise. This week, we’re turning our attention to an equally in-demand, and also more mainstream, skill: Carpentry. 

Carpenters play a vital role in ensuring the frameworks of buildings are durable and properly constructed. Before pursuing a career as a carpenter, here are a few key information points to keep in mind about the line of work and what might be expected of you should you choose to go down this road: 

What does a carpenter do?

A carpenter constructs, repairs, and installs building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials. That could include, but not be limited to: Walls, roofing, cabinets, frames…basically, anything that has to do with wood. Although job duties may vary, carpenters typically spend a majority of their time fitting, cutting, and shaping materials to fit a particular unit or building. Carpentry requires a keen eye and special awareness to ensure every area is properly covered and appropriately constructed.

Typically, a carpenter will require a variety of specific tools to best support daily tasks. Basic tools that will be frequently employed by a carpenter include, but are not limited to:

  • 25’ Tape measure
  • Speed Square
  • Tin Snips
  • Utility Knife
  • 2’ Level (a laser is preferred)
  • Cordless Screw Gun

What are the qualifications for a carpenter?

If you’re good with working with your hands, enjoying working with wood, and also have a firm understanding of mathematics, carpentry might be a good fit for you. A career in carpentry requires a high school diploma or equivalent (such as TASC or GED.) They should also attend a specialized training program, such Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Carpenters JATC of New York City. These education programs can be pricey, but financial assistance is available depending on eligibility. Standard jobsite qualifications (an OSHA 30 site safety card, for example) are also required.

What are the job benefits for a carpenter?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, carpenters in 2020 earned an average of $49,520 per year, and $23.81 per hour. Increased investment in the development and construction sector will promote job growth across the industry, and secure greater opportunities for workers.

The puzzle-piece nature of carpentry requires tangible problem-solving skills. Workers must be thorough and able to pay attention to detail. If you’re interested in embarking on a career in carpentry, let Building Skills help. For more information about our programs, please visit: