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An education in carpentry prepares an individual to work with the shaping of wood and other materials for the purposes of furnishing, construction or repair. An individual can take several paths to obtain the skills necessary to become a carpenter. The first option is taking a program of study offering an associate's degree or certificate. The second is to find work as a carpenters assistant (usually alongside taking relevant classes), and the third is a formal apprenticeship that also offers college credit. Once an apprenticeship is completed an individual will obtain the title of journeyman. A journeyman carpenter can then obtain certification in a variety of specialties in order to increase his or her skill set and increase marketability.
Some classes in a carpentry program may include:
- Industrial Math
- Hand and Power Tools
- Tool Grinding and Sharpening
- Reading Prints and Schematics
- Wood Products
Carpentry is the second largest building trade in the Unites States and is expected to have normal growth over the next decade. Carpentry is a volatile profession in that it is closely tied to the economy and can have long droughts of work due to lack of available opportunities. Conversely, during construction booms, carpenters can be in short supply. Additionally, work for carpenters can vary greatly based on geographic region and specialization.
The average salary for a carpenter is approximately $39,000 per year. Entry level positions start at about $24,250 per year.
Individuals interested in a career in carpentry may also be interested in becoming an electrician, plumber, or construction worker.