How Do I Become A Carpenter?

Investing in an education is one of the best things that a person can do. If you are wondering, “How Do I Become a Carpenter,” here are some things you should know. Carpentry is a rewarding field, and professionals earn a good salary. Carpenters work for large commercial construction companies and local contractors.

What’s it like to become a carpenter?

Carpenters are one of the major players in the construction industry. Professionals are responsible for cutting, measuring and joining wood. They routinely build homes and commercial buildings. Carpenters construct and repair buildings and may work on structural or detail work. The career is demanding, but salaries are high. Plentiful opportunities exist for work, and commercial contractors routinely hire professional craftsmen. Professionals may work on large building projects. Some projects cost millions of dollars, and carpenters serve a vital role in the construction of local communities. Math and communication skills are an integral part of the job, and carpenters need to know how to read a tape measure.

Educational requirements

Trade schools are one of the primary training grounds for carpenters. Most construction companies require a modicum of education before a job is offered. For this reason, attending a local trade school, community college or Internet university is essential to become a carpenter. These schools teach the fundamentals of the trade. Most geographical areas have a set building code that is in place. This is used to create industry standards and ensure that buildings will last. Carpenters need to know local codes, and this is one of the first steps to become a carpenter. In addition to building codes, most contractors require carpenters to know about safety regulations. The career is a dangerous one, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a number of regulations in effect. It is imperative for most carpenters to learn the basic safety guidelines, and carpentry schools may allow students a chance to earn OSHA certification. The agency has a number of educational programs in effect to familiarize professionals with safe work habits. Carpenters also need to know how to add, subtract and perform mathematical problems. Reading blueprints is another essential carpentry skill that can be learned from a trade school or on the job.

Job Opportunities

Even though the housing industry has slowed, there are plenty of job opportunities for professional carpenters. Choosing to become a carpenter is a proactive career choice. Jobs are offered in the residential and commercial industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps detailed records of wages and economic growth. The BLS reports that the average salary in 2010 was $39,530 per year. This is the national average, and many geographical areas pay higher wages. Carpenters can expect to earn more money in large cities, like New York or Los Angeles. The BLS also reports that the job outlook is expected to increase faster than the national average over the next decade. Demand is expected to increase by 20 percent, and this should keep salaries high and ensure adequate job openings. Apprenticeships and trade schools are great ways to land a job. Many construction companies offer on the job training, and carpenters may begin as laborers and work up.