Carpenters do much, much more than simply frame houses. Carpenters are guys who can put things together. Whether it be wood, steel, or anything else, it’s a carpenter that gets the job done.
An entry-level Carpenter Helper usually makes $15-$17/hr and a Lead Carpenter $30 or more (on payroll).
If you’re good with your hands––and know how to think and be a bit creative, then you may have the makings of a Carpenter.
A Union Apprenticeship takes about four years after which time you would typically get knighted as a Journeyman. But there is no reason this career path need be limited to the Union. Really the only difference is that outside of the Union you simply need to monitor your own progress. The truth of the matter is, in as much time as it takes to get a college degree, you can learn to be a Journeyman level Carpenter.
We can help you on that path.
Carpenters come in a wide variety of disciplines.
- Residential Remodeling
- Wood Framing—Usually residential, but sometimes commercial
- Light gauge steel framing—usually goes hand in hand with hanging drywall
- Structural steel framing—usually involves welding
- Form carpentry—as in, someone needs to build these forms from wood so that we can pour concrete in them
- In residential, someone might be more skilled in exterior carpentry and others with interiors. Exteriors usually involve windows, doors, siding..essentially what we refer to as the envelope of the house. Interiors is more of a finish carpenter: cabinets, casings, baseboard, doors, stairs, and railings.
- Cabinet makers, if commercial tend to work more with MDF, Melamine, and Laminates. They work fast and efficiently. Residential cabinet makers might be called on to do very customized work with oak, cherry, maple, or any other number of specialized products. The person who works on a production line, perhaps running a CNC machine and pushing out high-volume of residential cabinets is probably more of a Machine Operator than a carpenter.
- You might call a carpenter to assemble the racks used to mount solar panels to your roof.
- A carpenter would also be the person to assemble modular walls and panels used to build so many office spaces.
A list of tools that a carpenter should probably start with -> here
NOTE: the video is a little old so the wages talked about are low
What is a Cut Man
A Cut Man sometimes called a Ground Man is someone who cuts and feeds materials to the person actually doing the install. For example, a roofing crew may be installing CDX. The Cut Man will be asked to cut complex angles with factory edges to the left or right or whatever, and then run them halfway up the ladder. Similarly, a framing crew would expect the same. Vinyl siding crews will also utilize a Cut Man.
A good Cut Man will know what to cut before it’s needed. In fact, he’ll be asking for specific measurements before the last piece is even installed. A good cut-man will set the rhythm of the entire crew.