Carpenter Vs. Mechanic

May 30, 2020

Comparing Carpenters to Mechanics

Carpenters and mechanics are both skilled technical positions that require experience and the proper knowledge to complete projects. Carpenters do this with wooden structures, such as cabinets and doors, while mechanics do this with vehicles. Let's explore further similarities and differences below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Carpenter High School Diploma or equivalent $48,330 8%
Mechanic High School Diploma or equivalent; completion of a postsecondary automotive service technology program $42,090 -1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Carpenters vs. Mechanics

Carpenters work with wood and mechanics work with cars. Pretty simple, right? Daily responsibilities for these jobs actually have some things in common. Both use a mixture of physical labor, mental knowledge, and communication skills to assess, maintain, and repair the projects they are working on. For carpenters those projects include everything from following blueprints to craft building supports and making repairs to a wooden countertop. Mechanics' responsibilities include such things as determining whether a vehicle's tires needs to be replaced and repairing an electrical system after an automotive company's recall.


Carpenters craft and repair wooden structures, such as doors, furniture, scaffolds, and artistic pieces. Daily responsibilities often depend on what the carpenter specializes in. Rough-in carpenters follow blueprints in order to craft scaffolds, frames, and building support systems. Construction carpenters focus on elements such as drawers, counters, and cabinets. Carpenters must be comfortable with strict deadlines and the use of a variety of tools. Carpenters have usually completed high school and have some experience as an apprentice.

Job responsibilities of a carpenter include:

  • Knowing the correct lumber and supplies for each project
  • Understanding how to interpret blueprints and sketches
  • Removing elements that cannot be repaired to make way for future repairs
  • Ensuring a safe work environment


Automotive service technicians, also known as mechanics, maintain, assess, and make repairs to automobiles. To be proficient, mechanics must be able to properly use diagnostic, hand, and power tools. While these technicians solve complicated issues regarding vehicles, they also take care of standard maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotation. Mechanics must be able to clearly explain complicated issues to their customers, as well as be comfortable with working in physically uncomfortable positions in garages. While a degree is generally not necessary, post-secondary training is becoming more common.

Job responsibilities of a mechanic include:

  • Working closely with other departments, such as sales and customer service
  • Understanding manuals and checklists to ensure thorough work
  • Testing and repairing failing parts, including brake pads, tires, and electronic sensors
  • Staying up-to-date with technological advances in automobiles

Related Careers

If you are interested in other career options that deal with cars, you may want to learn more about becoming an automobile salesperson. If the structural planning and blueprints that carpenters use sounds like something you may want to focus on, becoming an architect may be a fulfilling career path.

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