Carpentry Careers

The highly skilled graduates of the Carpentry program enjoy a wide a variety of careers, including self-employed residential remodelers, contractors with many employees and project managers on large commercial projects.

A sample of jobs held by NBSS graduates:

  • High-end remodeling and cabinetmaking
  • Finish carpenter for large contractor
  • Job supervisor for high end renovator/remodeler
  • Assistant project manager, commercial construction company
  • Owner, design and build company
  • Owner, remodeling business
  • Demolition and remodeling
  • New home construction
  • Carpenter for State of Massachusetts
  • Owner, residential remodeling company
  • Carpenter for a commercial contractor

Job prospects for carpenters

Below we provide a general guide to employment conditions for carpenters including education and training, industry growth, job prospects, wages and salaries.

The following information is from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Education and training

Employers often look favorably upon people who receive classroom training before seeking a job and usually start them at a higher level than those without this training.


Carpenters are employed throughout the country in almost every community and make up the second largest building trades occupation.

Carpenters held about 1.3 million jobs in 2008.
  • 32 % of all carpenters were self-employed.
  • 32 % worked in the construction of buildings industry
  • 22 % worked for specialty trade contractors
  • 14 % worked for manufacturing firms, government agencies, retail establishments, and a wide variety of other industries.
Some carpenters change employers each time they finish a construction job. Others alternate between working for a contractor and working independently on small jobs, depending on where the work is available.

Job Growth

Employment of carpenters is expected to increase by 13% during the 2008–18 decade, stimulated by
  • Population growth to meet people’s housing and other basic needs
  • Energy conservation particularly in the industrial sector
  • Home remodeling
  • Construction of roads and bridges financed by the Federal and State governments to upgrade and repair existing infrastructure
Job opportunities will be good for those with the most training and skills. The need to replace carpenters who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons should result in a large number of openings. Carpenters with specialized or all-around skills will have better opportunities for steady work than carpenters who can perform only a few relatively simple, routine tasks.

For more information, visit
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Carpenters
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Salaries and Wages

Specific salaries are determined by many factors including education, training, years and type of experience, economic conditions, location, whether you work for yourself or a company, etc. Below is a general guide to help you understand average salaries among carpenters as represented on and in January 2011.

Carpenter with 5 years experience, living in Massachusetts (from

  Annual Salary, average Hourly Wage, average
 Working for a company  $42,269 $19.77
 Self-employed $48,553 $23.02
For additional information, visit

Salaries of Jobs with Related Titles (from

These salaries were calculated using the average salary for all jobs with the term "carpenter" anywhere in the job listings, indexed by Simply Hired's job search engine.

 Annual Salary, average 
 Carpenter helpers$17,000   
 Finish carpenter$23,000
 Maintenance worker
 Lead carpenter
 Carpenter II 
 Construction superintendent$61,000
 For more information, visit