Become a Carpenter

Become a Carpenter

Carpenters are some of the first workers on a jobsite, and some of the last to leave. They assist in site preparation; build concrete forms and decks; frame walls and roofs; hang interior and exterior walls; install windows, doors, acoustical ceilings, cabinetry, countertops and trim; and install locks, hardware and specialty furniture.

Carpenters work on almost any construction site imaginable, including new construction and remodeling, such as single-family homes; condominium and apartment projects; office towers, corporate and industrial buildings; new and remodeled hospitals, malls, stores and offices; and public projects such as stadiums, arenas, roads, bridges, schools and university buildings.

Carpenters need more than just good math and geometry skills; they have to be tough and flexible, able to work indoors or out, in the summer heat and humidity or in the bitter cold and snow of winter.


  • Wood Framing, including residential framing layout, residential wall framing, stairs, roof framing, roof trusses and floor trusses
  • Interior Systems, including wood-and metal-framed wall partitions, framed soffits, metal jamb installation, suspended ceilings and soffits, clean rooms, demountable partitions, and raised floors
  • Concrete Form Work, including footings, column pads, column forms, wall forms, slab and deck forms, beam and girder forms, deck and edge forms for bridges, and stair forms
  • Exterior Finish, including siding, wood and vinyl soffits, asphalt shingles, doors, and window units
  • Interior Finish, including basic cabinet installation, countertops, shelving, paneling, trim, door hanging, and commercial hardware (door closers, panic devices, latch and lock sets, including low-voltage applications)

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To graduate from carpenter apprentice to journeyworker, you will complete 7,000 hours of on-the-job training (OJT) and 640 hours of classroom learning. Completion hours may vary depending on the region you belong to. Carpenter apprentices will be evaluated through demonstrations of skill and technique, and standard knowledge exams.

Sample Courses

  • OSHA, First-Aid/CPR/AED, aerial lift, blueprint reading
  • Wood Wall Framing, Power and Air Tool Safety
  • Metal Stud Framing, Drywall Installation
  • Introduction to Concrete Forms, Construction Fall Protection
  • “40-Hour Scaffolding” qualification
  • Concrete – footings, instruments, elevations, angles
  • Wood Framing – roofs, stairs, related math, blueprint layout
  • ICRA “Health Care Construction,” Firestop qualification
  • Interior Systems – radius math, metal framed soffits and ceilings, layout
  • Concrete – wall forms, column forms, elevations
  • Exterior Finishes – windows, doors, soffits, siding, shingles
  • Interior Finishes – cabinets, plastic, laminate, shelving, handrails, trim
  • Concrete – elevated deck forms, metal wall forms
  • Wood Framing – build large project, layout
  • Acoustical and Drywall Ceiling Framing, Advanced Soffit Framing, Introduction to Lathing
  • Commercial Door Hardware, “Stepping Up to Foreman”