Framing Carpenter: Career Profile

Apr 04, 2021

With a high school diploma and apprenticeship, it's possible to begin a career as a framing carpenter - a job that calls for a specialized type of carpentry. Some professionals may have an associate's degree in carpentry or a bachelor's degree in construction, though apprenticeships are the most common training option.

Essential Information

Framing is a specific carpentry task that involves piecing together the structure for a building or other type of new construction. Carpenters who specialize in this area are typically called on at the start of a project, as this task provides the layout for future building. They work outside and may travel long distances to various projects. Framing carpenters can learn through 2-year degree programs in carpentry or 4-year degree programs for construction. Some carpenters also train entirely through apprenticeships of several years, often sponsored by carpenters' unions.

Required Education High school diploma and an apprenticeship, associate's degree in carpentry or bachelor's degree in construction
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 0% for all carpenters
Median Salary (2020)* $49,520 for all carpenters

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Profile

Framing carpenters participate in the woodworking aspect of construction carpentry. They are involved in activities as diverse as building bridges and highways. They may work for remodeling office fronts or take on tasks related to home improvement. They may also be responsible for large construction jobs, such as framing walls or building scaffolding. Due to the nature of the work, these professionals travel frequently and spend most of their hours on construction sites, which may involve being outdoors or in extreme conditions for long periods of time.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring carpenters may complete coursework at a junior or community college or a university. Many schools offer 2-year associate's degree programs in carpentry or 4-year bachelor's degree programs for construction. Classes cover framing and other facets of carpentry, such as woodworking, installation, maintenance and material repair. Some schools also offer a carpentry apprenticeship to ensure that the student gains enough experience on the job. Programs without apprenticeships usually provide or require training hours in carpentry workshops.

Skills Needed

Individuals in this line of work must be physically able to carry out the tasks required, which may include lifting heavy objects and tools. They should have a good understanding of the processes involved in carpentry and know which tools are best for a given job. Strong technical, mathematical and critical thinking skills are also of great importance, as is the ability to work well with others.

Salary and Employment Outlook

In May 2020, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $87,410 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $31,200 or less per year. Job prospects for carpenters were expected to have little or no change through 2029.

The job of a framing carpenter requires woodworking skills, physical strength and keen attention to detail. Prospective framing carpenters typically complete an apprenticeship, and they may even improve their chances of securing employment with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Employment opportunities for all carpenters is expected to have little or no change from 2019-2029.

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