12 Pros and Cons of Being a Carpenter (Plus Tips for Becoming One)

However, before making your final decision, make sure that you check out this article since I show you all the pros and cons of being a carpenter in the following chapters.

Becoming a carpenter offers many benefits, including these six pros:
  • You can work with your hands. …
  • You gain repair skills. …
  • You can work on your feet. …
  • You can work normal hours. …
  • You can earn higher wages.
  • The job has minimal educational requirements. …
  • You can risk accidental injury. …
  • The job requires hard physical labor.

pros and cons of carpentry and my new Gimbal

Pros of being a carpenter

Becoming a carpenter offers many benefits, including these six pros:

1. You can work with your hands

Carpentry is a physical occupation that allows you to work with your hands and directly affect the outcome of your projects. You can use hand tools and specific techniques to create unique furniture or aid in the construction of buildings or homes. Working with your hands can be an appealing feature for people who like to see the results of their work and use their hands to create unique works of art. Carpenters learn to use a variety of tools and techniques they can also apply in their personal lives.

2. You gain repair skills

Carpenters learn to repair damage to wooden objects, furniture and structures. This might include advanced carpentry and construction skills, which carpenters can apply in their personal lives. For example, a carpenter might use the skills they learn at their workplace to repair a crumbling wooden shed in their yard and avoid the cost of labor to hire someone else. These skills apply to many circumstances and may be invaluable to future employers. Some carpenters use these skills to start their own businesses.

3. You can work on your feet

Carpentry is typically a physically demanding job, which requires a lot of time on your feet. Spending time walking, crouching, bending, hammering and performing other various physical activities can be a great way to stay active and healthy. Carpentry can be an opportunity for people who want to get some exercise while working. Some carpentry jobs also require heavy lifting, which can help you build muscle and increase your fitness level.

4. You can work normal hours

Carpenters typically have the option to work a normal schedule, or eight hours per day, five days per week. Many companies offer different scheduling options and can offer overtime if you want to earn more money. This gives you the choice to spend weekends, holidays or other non-working days earning extra money through overtime or spending that time with family. If you work as an independent contractor, you can have even more control over your time and create a schedule that fits your needs. Contractors typically work 40-hour weeks but have the option to schedule personal time whenever.

5. You can earn higher wages

6. The job has minimal educational requirements

Carpenters typically hold a high school diploma or GED. Having a college degree may help you earn a higher position in management or as a supervisor, but doesnt necessarily guarantee a better starting wage as a carpenter. Carpentry is a career path that focuses more on skill than education, so you might save the cost of an expensive college education by choosing vocational programs instead.

What does a carpenter do?

A carpenter is a construction professional who creates wooden structures, furniture and other building elements. Carpenters understand techniques like precision sawing, drilling, hand sanding and choosing the right type of wood for specific projects. Carpenters often undertake personal projects for clients or work as part of a team for a construction or carpentry company.

Cons of being a carpenter

There are also several cons to consider before pursuing a job as a carpenter, including these six:

1. You can risk accidental injury

Carpentry can present certain hazards, as you work with heavy equipment, sharp hand tools and power tools. For example, you might use saws, drills or hand chisels, which can have sharp edges or rotating metallic parts that can cause injury. Carpenters learn important safety techniques before operating these tools and often earn safety certifications. They also observe strict workplace safety standards to minimize accidents and create a safer workplace for everyone. Most construction businesses require employees to complete safety training modules and work under an experienced carpenter before they can work on projects independently.

2. The job requires hard physical labor

Carpentry is a labor-intensive career path that requires physical fitness and stamina. You often stand, walk and crouch for long periods of time, if not your entire shift. You may also lift heavy objects, position heavy beams, furniture or machinery and use hand tools to shape and cut wood. Physical endurance is a key skill for carpenters and you can build endurance with more experience. You can also adopt an exercise routine outside of work that focuses on cardio workouts to build physical stamina to make the physical demands of the job easier.

3. The job outlook is below average

4. You might need three to five years of training

While you dont necessarily need a college degree to become a carpenter, the job typically requires between three and five years of apprenticeship training. Prospective carpenters spend their first few years gaining direct experience under a certified, experienced carpenter. While three to five years can be a big time commitment, it helps you develop your carpentry skills, industry knowledge and safety standards to operate as a certified carpenter. Apprenticeships can save you money and allow you to earn a living while you learn the job.

5. You may experience inconsistency in work opportunities

Carpenters typically experience some inconsistency during their careers. Availability of work relies heavily on the demand for professional carpenters, and sometimes, there isnt a strong demand. For example, if the housing market is performing poorly, demand for new housing can drop, reducing the need for residential carpenters. While inconsistent work can be a con of the job, it also presents an opportunity for carpenters to seek out new skills or training to increase their competitiveness in the industry. You can use this time to gain new certifications or seek better career opportunities in the field.

6. You might work as a contractor

For carpenters that dont find work with established construction companies or carpentry unions, becoming a contractor is an option. Contractor work can be unreliable and creates a position where youre the manager, marketer and laborer. This can be demanding, but also creates an opportunity to expand your skills and create your own customer base. Contractors also have the advantage of setting their own wages and taking on projects theyre passionate about instead of every project theyre assigned.

Tips for becoming a carpenter

If you want to become a carpenter, here are some helpful tips:

FAQ

Is it worth being a carpenter?

The top 10 percent earn more than ​$87,410​, while the bottom 10 percent earn less than ​$31,200​. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2020, the median income for all workers over the age of 15 was ​$41,535​, so carpenters earn slightly more than the national average.

What are the risks of being a carpenter?

Health and safety hazards of carpenters include:
  • Injury hazards from the use of various machinery and tools.
  • Exposure to toxic molds, fungi and bacteria.
  • Toxic hazards from exposure to chemicals, solvents and other materials.
  • Cancer from exposure to solvents, formaldehyde in pressed wood, and wood dust.

Why is carpentry a good career?

Carpenters have an average base salary of $56,877, or about $26.92/hour. On top of these strong base salaries, additional incentives for travel and overtime can increase take-home pay, in some cases reaching six figures. An additional benefit of pursuing a career in carpentry is the absence of college debt.

Can you make a good living as a carpenter?

The average professional carpenter salary in the United States is $51,120, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — though some states pay better than others. U.S. carpenters make the most money in the following five states.

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