Advancement Opportunities for Carpenters

May 17, 2018

Carpenters have the opportunity to work on wide ranges of projects. As they advance in their career, they may wish to explore specialized fields within construction that would provide them the opportunity for advancement.

Career Growth Opportunities for Carpenters

Carpenters are building professionals. They work on a wide variety of projects, from interior cabinetry to large outdoor projects like roads and bridges. As carpentry may be physically demanding, carpenters may wish to explore career options which give them the ability to utilize the skills they have honed during their careers. Some options to consider are presented below.

Job Title Median Salary* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education
Construction Manager $91,370 11% Bachelor's degree
Civil Engineer $84,770 11% Bachelor's degree
Building Inspector $59,090 10% On the job training
Cost Estimator $63,110 11% Bachelor's degree
Career and Technical Education Teacher $55,240 4% Bachelor's degree

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

Career Information

Construction Manager

Some carpenters have experience in managing carpentry projects. One potential next step to utilize these abilities may be a role as a construction manager. Construction managers supervise the various steps in a construction project, from planning to budgeting to completion. They must be highly knowledgeable about building codes and compliance. Other personnel involved in the project must be managed, such as architects, carpenters, and subcontractors. Construction managers must be comfortable working in both an office and on a construction site. To become a construction manager one must have a bachelor's degree in a construction-related field and experience on construction sites.

Civil Engineer

Carpenters who are interested in pursuing a career that is focused on the design of buildings and infrastructure systems like bridges or dams instead of the hands-on building of carpentry could consider pursuing a bachelor's degree to become a civil engineer. They must be skilled in evaluating governmental regulations as to building projects and minimizing environmental impacts. They must be also able to design projects under specifications while also managing costs. Civil engineers must hold a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and be licensed by their state.

Building Inspector

Carpenters have experience in building to specifications. One career that would utilize this skill would be that of a building inspector. Building inspectors review and approve of building plans, monitor sites to ensure that the construction is up to code, and inspect all systems of new buildings. Building inspectors must have a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job, working with a more experienced inspector. There are various agencies which provide certification programs such as the International Code Council and the American Society for Home Inspectors.

Cost Estimator

Carpenters must be skilled in letting clients know the cost of various projects. Carpenters might expand on this skill through becoming a cost estimator. Cost estimators visit construction sites and other projects to estimate the amount of money, time, and labor that would be spent constructing a building or otherwise manufacturing an item. They must be skilled at reading blueprints and other construction documents. Cost estimators should also be able to analyze ways to reduce the costs of construction. To become a cost estimator, a bachelor's degree and on the job training are required.

Career and Technical Education Teacher

Carpenters who enjoy thinking about how their projects are created may enjoy furthering their career path as a teacher at a vocational/technical school. These teachers provide students with the skills needed for an entry-level position in various fields after high school. Career and technical education, or CTE programs offer pathways to in-demand careers. Teachers of technical education must plan a scope and series of lessons to instruct students in necessary skills and safety precautions. Consultation with parents and other teachers is an essential part of this position. They work at specialized vocational schools, or may hold positions in high schools that offer electives in these subject areas. Career and technical education teachers must hold at least a bachelor's degree and have experience in the technical field, and must then be licensed by the state.

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