Carpenters

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Also known as:
Beam Builder, Building Carpenter, Construction Carpenter, Counter Installer, Custom Wood Stair Builder, Finish Carpenter, Hardwood Floor Installer, House Carpenter, Wood Floor Layer

ABOUT CARPENTER CAREERS
Video transcript

Anyone who enjoys working with wood or making things should consider a career in carpentry. Most people know the role carpenters play in building houses - cutting, shaping and fastening wood and other construction materials. But carpenters also perform a wide variety of tasks in other locations, such as installing rafters, joists, windows, and subflooring in office buildings.

Some particularly skilled individuals set hardwood floors, build custom kitchen cabinets, and make and install decorative trim. Others specialize in restoration and repair - whether for a 20 year-old house or a 200 year-old piece of history.

Time, physical strength, and the ability to work with your hands are essential to master this trade. Math skills and a willingness to work in all kinds of weather are important - but there always seems to be work for a good carpenter, whether as part of a construction crew or as a self-employed handyperson.

SNAPSHOT

Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors. May also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation. Includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.

Daily tasks

Apply shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative paneling to ceilings or walls.

Perform minor plumbing, welding, or concrete mixing work.

Examine structural timbers and supports to detect decay, and replace timbers as required, using hand tools, nuts, and bolts.

Finish surfaces of woodwork or wallboard in houses or buildings, using paint, hand tools, or paneling.

Remove damaged or defective parts or sections of structures and repair or replace, using hand tools.

Fill cracks or other defects in plaster or plasterboard and sand patch, using patching plaster, trowel, and sanding tool.

Install structures or fixtures, such as windows, frames, floorings, trim, or hardware, using carpenters' hand or power tools.

Install rough door and window frames, subflooring, fixtures, or temporary supports in structures undergoing construction or repair.

Inspect ceiling or floor tile, wall coverings, siding, glass, or woodwork to detect broken or damaged structures.

Maintain records, document actions, and present written progress reports.

Erect scaffolding or ladders for assembling structures above ground level.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.