How to Be Trained as Midwest Carpenters


Midwest Carpenters

Midwest carpenters: Society will always need structures to be built, renovated, retrofitted, or repaired.

And because carpenters frequently work on non-routine projects with unpredictable variables that require quick problem solving and adaptability.

They are unlikely to get replaced by robots anytime soon.

About 26 percent of carpenters are self-employed.

Being a contractor can boost your income potential.

And give you more freedom to control your schedule and choose the projects you work on.

Many carpenters experience a deep feeling of pride from knowing they have taken on challenging projects and succeeded, leaving behind tangible evidence of their craftsmanship.

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Midwest Carpenters

What Does a Carpenter Do?

Carpenters help build, repair, or renovate residential, commercial, or industrial structures. Depending on their area of focus, their level of responsibility, the particular project they are working on, and the stage of that project, they may be involved in aspects of the trade such as:

Planning and Administration

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints and building plans
  • Identifying and calculating the types and amounts of materials needed
  • Developing and presenting budgets, quotes, and deadlines
  • Obtaining work permits and filing appropriate documents
  • Maintaining records
  • Preparing progress reports

Midwest Carpenters

Building and Construction

  • Erecting and bracing concrete forms
  • Framing walls and ceiling joists using wood or metal studs
  • Laying out, framing, erecting, and/or installing:

Finishing, Remodeling, or Restoration

  • Affixing wood, vinyl, metal, or other types of siding to exterior walls
  • Applying stucco, masonry veneer, or other exterior finishes
  • Completing roofing jobs by closing up valleys and ensuring watertight seals
  • Demolishing old walls and framing new ones
  • Finishing drywall surfaces using compounds, joint reinforcing tapes, and other materials
  • Measuring, cutting, and installing interior moldings around floors, doors, windows, and ceilings
  • Building, laying out and installing kitchen base and wall cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes
  • Constructing and finishing closets and other architectural details
  • Installing hardwood, laminate, tile, or other flooring materials

Midwest Carpenters

Work Settings

People in this trade work in a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments.

Depending on their particular jobs and specialties, carpenters are found in settings such as:

  • Outdoor construction sites
  • Homes
  • Office buildings
  • Factories
  • Workshops
  • Hospitals
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Industrial plants
  • Theaters
  • Studios
  • Shipyards
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As carpenters gain experience, they often develop a preference for particular areas of the trade.

For instance, some would rather stick to new construction.

Whereas others enjoy renovating existing structures.

However, you can pursue specialties that are even more focused than that.

Examples include:

Rough carpentry:

Specialize in building the parts of structures that, in general, aren’t visible when those structures are fully completed.

For example, you might only construct wooden walls, posts, beams, rafters, or subfloors that eventually get covered by other materials.

Or you might build temporary forms, supports.

Or shelters that help other tradespeople perform their jobs during the construction phases of projects.

Midwest Carpenters

Finish carpentry:

Help install and complete various details that are visible at the end stages of projects.

Such as doors, windows, staircases, flooring, baseboards, trim, molding, and cabinets.

Formwork carpentry:

Focus on building and taking down the temporary supports that concrete gets poured into in order to shape and contain it as it hardens (often for foundations, footings, pillars, or other large structural components).


Create wooden cupboards and drawers for kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas of a building.

Some cabinetmakers also build furniture.

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Midwest Carpenters

Acoustical carpentry:

Concentrate on using construction techniques and materials that help reflect or dampen sound in order to reduce noise inside built environments.

Scenic carpentry:

Take on a fun and critical role in the entertainment and performing arts industries by building physical sets and backdrops for film, TV, and theatrical productions.

Midwest Carpenters

Marine carpentry:

Help build, maintain, or fix wooden boats and ships.

What are the advancement opportunities for a carpenter?

As you gain experience within the trade.

You could advance into managerial positions such as:

  • Foreman
  • Crew leader
  • Lead hand
  • Superintendent
  • Site manager
  • Project manager
  • Job coordinator
  • Job planner
  • Safety director

You could also work for yourself by becoming an independent contractor.

Many carpenters find it helpful to get some additional training in construction management when making that transition.

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Is carpentry dangerous?

Data from the BLS shows that, in 2019, 99 carpenters died from work-related injuries.

That’s out of 734,170 carpenters who were employed that year.

So the fatality rate in this trade was just 0.013 percent.

Most carpenters learn how to work safely.

And they use protective clothing and equipment while on the job.

But there is always some inherent risk.

Injuries can happen from tripping, slipping, falling from high places, straining while lifting heavy objects.

Or accidentally coming into contact with sharp objects (such as the blades on power saws).

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Why Carpentry Jobs Are Awesome:

Woodworking and carpentry jobs are often well-loved by the people who have them.

In fact, some adults end up changing careers so that they can experience what many skilled tradespeople already know.

Being a professional carpenter or woodworker can make you feel more alive, more connected, and more accomplished.

Maybe it’s because carpentry goes back hundreds of years.

It’s one of the world’s oldest and most important trades.

Building and making things out of wood has been essential to humanity’s progress.

And the trade has continued to expand and evolve as new techniques, technologies, and materials have been developed.

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Midwest Carpenters

Or maybe woodworking jobs and carpentry careers feel so worthwhile because of their close relationship with the cycle of creation.

After all, they involve using a natural product of the forest to create structures.

And items that enable human beings to live comfortable and enjoyable lives.

Of course, the biggest reasons why a lot of carpenters and woodworkers love their jobs may have more to do with the practical benefits.

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