What Is Rough Carpentry?

Apr 23, 2020

Rough carpentry, which involves constructing temporary structures and supports, is another task of carpenters. Explore job details, training, and career options in this field of carpentry.

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Rough Carpentry Overview

Learn what rough carpentry is and explore training options for the field, common courses, and employment information. In the construction industry, rough carpentry is also referred to as framing. Rough carpenters know how to precisely measure, cut, and shape wood and other building materials. They build wooden structures that include tunnel, bridge, and sewer supports; temporary frame shelters; scaffolds; concrete forms; and billboard signs. These wooden structures are then used to help build tall buildings, bridges, and other larger structures. Rough carpenters use blueprints, sketches, and oral instructions to guide them. Those interested in rough carpentry can learn the necessary skills and gain training through classes, degree programs, and apprenticeships.

Program Options

Interested students can train for this field through certificate programs that focus primarily on rough carpentry or through general carpentry certificate and associate's degree programs that show students how to complete a rough carpentry project. Additionally, some colleges offer single vocational courses in rough carpentry. Carpentry apprenticeships are also commonly available through unions and professional organizations.

Course Topics

In their classes, students will learn to frame and cover residential structures; install doors, windows, baseboards, and wood trim; and even gain hands-on training constructing the ceilings, walls, floors, and roofs of residences. Students also use commercial carpentry materials and techniques to learn how to build framing for facilities like shops and restaurants. Methods and materials that students might focus on in this portion of the program include steel-supported block construction and pre-cast concrete.

Common course topics for all rough carpentry programs include the following:

  • Structural blueprint reading
  • Basic architectural drawing and drafting
  • Introductory CAD
  • Commercial construction

Salary and Employment Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that all types of carpenters in May 2018 made a median yearly salary of $46,590, with annual salaries ranging from less than $28,860 to more than $82,750.

Rough carpenters can consider joining the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC). To join the UBC, interested carpenters need to contact their local council; the main UBC website contains links to councils across the country. The BLS noted that in 2018, approximately 1 in 3 carpenters were self-employed. Carpenter jobs were predicted to grow by 8% from 2018-2028, according to the BLS.

Rough carpentry is a subset of carpentry that focuses on building wooden frames and supports that are used to construct larger buildings, bridges, and structures. Carpenters in general can expect positive job growth, and those interested in rough carpentry can pursue classes, degree programs, or apprenticeships in the field.

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