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Construction Framer: Employment Info & Training Requirements

Construction framers may work on both residential and commercial projects, where they are responsible for building the wood or metal skeleton of a structure. Read on to explore the requirements and benefits of this occupation.

Career Definition for a Construction Framer

A construction framer uses blueprints as well as hand and power tools to erect the frames of walls and ceilings out of lumber or other building materials. A construction framer is considered a 'rough carpenter' because he or she works on large-scale projects while a 'fine carpenter' builds furniture, cabinetry, or other more intricate and visible objects. The job of a construction framer can be physically demanding, requiring individuals to work outdoors, lift heavy objects, and handle sharp or rough materials.

Education High school courses, vocational and technical schools offer associate degrees
Job Skills Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, math skills, physical fitness
Median Salary (2018)* $46,590 (for carpenters)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (for carpenters)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Some construction framers begin their training with high school shop courses that teach students how to read blueprints and use basic construction tools. Programs at vocational or trade schools may last one or two years and associate's and bachelor's degrees in construction science may qualify you for a position as a construction framer. Apprenticeships offered by potential employers are common and usually combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships typically last three or four years.

Skills Required

To become an accomplished construction framer, you must possess a great deal of manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Basic, but accurate math skills are needed as well as a good sense of balance. Physical fitness is necessary for a construction framer due to the strenuous work which includes bending, lifting, and carrying heavy objects.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that about 33% of all carpenters were self-employed in 2016. The BLS also predicts growth for this occupation as average, at 8% from 2016 through 2026, and notes that the best opportunities will be given to construction framers with the greatest degree of training. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for all types of carpenters was $46,590 in May 2018.

Alternate Career Options

For other choices in construction careers, consider these options:

Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installer

Covering walls and ceilings with wallboard and installing interior ceiling tiles, these workers might find employment without a high school diploma and could learn their skills on the job or through an apprenticeship. According to BLS figures, these installers earned an annual median wage of $42,860 per year in 2017 and could look forward to little to no change in employment growth of 1% from 2016 through 2026.

Tile and Marble Setter

Learning their skills through an apprenticeship or while on the job, tile and marble setters secure employment applying marble and hard tiles to various surfaces, such as floors and walls. The BLS projected a faster than average increase in available positions, with 10% growth expected during the 2016-2026 decade. As of May 2017, these professionals earned a median salary of $41,680 per year, the BLS said.


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