Apprenticeships, more than any other program, define On-the-Job Training (OJT). Apprenticeships typically involve several years of working directly with an experienced journeyman in a trade that involves working with your hands.
Top 10 Apprenticeship Occupations
The top 10 apprenticeship occupations, by the number of job openings in that occupation, consist of the following:
- Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
- Sheet metal workers
- Brickmasons and blockmasons
- Structural iron and steel workers
- Insulation workers, mechanical
- Elevator installers and repairers
Over time, a carpenter can advance to a first-line supervisor, independent contractor, or general construction supervisor.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 693,050 carpenters in America. Approximately 4 out of 5 carpenter jobs (80%) are union jobs.
Carpenter Education and Certificates
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for a career in carpentry. Vocational-technical training is useful, and some technical schools offer an associate degree in carpentry.
The Home Builders Institute offers the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) that teaches basics for carpenters interested in completing an apprenticeship. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry offers a variety of remodeling certificates.
Sources for Carpenter Apprenticeships
Carpenters learn through On-the-Job Training provided by an apprenticeship. Unions and contractor associations typically sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some carpenters work under an experienced carpenter, as construction laborers or helpers, before becoming carpenters.
For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. All carpenters must pass the 10 and 30-hour safety courses required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Top Carpenter Unions
Two carpenter unions dominate the landscape for the carpenter occupation. They are the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, with approximately 520,000 members and the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) with approximately 650,000 members.
For a list of the local affiliated unions, and organizations go to Union Facts.
Top 5 Carpenter Industries
Top 5 Carpenter Industries, by Employment
Most carpenters work in one of five main construction-related industries. These are:
- Residential Building Construction, with 207,180 carpenters
- Nonresidential Building Construction, with 119,030 carpenters
- Building Finishing Contractors, with 115,750 carpenters
- Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors, with 96,600 carpenters
- Other Specialty Trade Contractors, with 16,400 carpenters
Top 5 Carpenter Industries, by Pay
The 5 industries that pay the highest carpenter salaries are as follows:
- Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing at $77,690
- Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods at $75,890
- Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events at $70,560
- Electronics and Appliance Stores at $69,780
- Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution at $67,730
Top Carpenter Employment Regions
Top 5 Carpenter Employment States
The top 5 states for carpenter employment are also 5 of the states with the largest population. They are:
- California, with 96,460 carpenters
- New York, with 47,220 carpenters
- Florida, with 42,520 carpenters
- Texas, with 37,520 carpenters
- Pennsylvania, with 28,440 carpenters
Top 10 Carpenter Employment Metropolitan Areas
Like with the states, it stands to reason that the 10 metropolitan areas with the most employed carpenters are also 10 metropolitan areas with large populations. They are:
- New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division, with 28,080 carpenters
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division, with16,160 carpenters
- Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division, with 14,420 carpenters
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA, with 13,960 carpenters
- Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division, with 12,980 carpenters
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, with 12,850 carpenters
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA, with 12,740 carpenters
- Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division, with 10,660 carpenters
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, with 10,280 carpenters
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA, with 10,010 carpenters
Top Carpenter Regional Concentrations
For me, I like to look at regions that have the highest concentration of occupations, relative to the rest of the country, because it indicates a disproportionate opportunity relative to the rest of the country.
Also, these states and metropolitan areas tend to be smaller population centers where the available labor pool may not easily fill the demand.
Top 5 Carpenter Concentrations, by State
The 5 states with the highest concentration of carpenters, relative to the rest of the country are:
- Wyoming, with 2.12 times the national concentration of carpenters
- South Dakota, with 2.01 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Montana, with 1.92 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Idaho, with 1.89 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Vermont, with 1.87 times the national concentration of carpenters
Top 10 Carpenter Concentrations, by Metropolitan Areas
The 10 metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of carpenters, relative to the rest of the country are:
- Lake Charles, LA, with 4.02 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Bend-Redmond, OR, with 3.23 times the national concentration of carpenters
- San Rafael, CA Metropolitan Division, with 2.97 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Coeur d’Alene, ID, with 2.89 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Rapid City, SD, with 2.56 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Lancaster, PA, with 2.37 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Punta Gorda, FL, with 2.35 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, with 2.31 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Ocean City, NJ, with 2.29 times the national concentration of carpenters
- Barnstable Town, MA, with 2.28 times the national concentration of carpenters
You can use the lookup directory on OJT.com to locate apprenticeship sponsors for the specific carpenter occupation you are interested in and in the region, you are interested in.
The following carpenter occupations are listed under the Architecture Construction occupation family and the Construction occupation group:
- BRIDGE CARPENTER-HEAVY HIGHWAY (Existing Title: Carpenter, Rough)
- Building/Construction Site Management/Manager;
- Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector;
- Building/Property Maintenance;
- CARPENTER COMMERCIAL INTERIOR SPEC
- CARPENTER, INTERIOR SYSTEMS – 3 YEARS
- CARPENTER, INTERIOR SYSTEMS – 4 YEARS
- CARPENTER, INTERIOR SYSTEMS (Alternate Title: Interior Systems Carpenter)
- CARPENTER, MAINTENANCE (Alternate Title: Maintenance Carpenter)
- CARPENTER, MOLD
- CARPENTER, PILEDRIVER
- CARPENTER, ROUGH
- CARPENTER, SHIP
- FORM BUILDER CARPENTER (Existing Title: Form Builder)
- RESIDENTIAL CARPENTER
- RESIDENTIAL CARPENTER SPECIALIST (Existing Title: Residential Carpenter)
The following carpenter occupations are listed under the Architecture Construction occupation family and the Maintenance/Operations occupation group:
- ACOUSTICAL CARPENTER (Alternate Title: Acoustical Specialist)
- ACOUSTICAL SPECIALIST (Existing Title: Acoustical Carpenter)
Finding Carpenter Apprenticeship Sponsors
The OJT Providers section enables you to search for apprenticeship sponsors by occupation and location. The occupation part of search allows you to specify the occupation family, occupation group (within the selected occupation family) and occupation (within the selected occupation group).
You can perform a search at any level of occupation (occupation family, occupation group, or occupation), but the higher levels (occupation family and occupation group) include more occupations and may give you more results than you want.
The location part of the search allows you to specify whether you want to perform a search across the entire nation, or a state or city. Like with the occupation search, you can perform a search at any level of location (nation, state, or city), but the higher levels (nation and state) include more results.
After you perform an initial search, the search results page provides you with the same occupation and location search capability to narrow or expand your search.
You can also specify whether you want to narrow your search to schools or apprenticeships.
Proceed as follows:
- Go to the OJT Providers page on OJT.com.
- Click the Apprenticeship radio button to narrow your search to apprenticeship sponsors.
- Click in the CHOOSE OCCUPATION FAMILY field.
- Select the Architecture & Construction occupation family. The OCCUPATION GROUP tab turns white.
- Click in the CHOOSE GROUP field.
Note: The search widget only displays those occupation groups that belong to the Architecture & Construction occupation family.
- Select the Construction occupation group. The OCCUPATION tab turns white.
- Click in the CHOOSE OCCUPATION field.
Note: The search widget only displays those occupations that belong to the Construction occupation group.
- Select the CARPENTER occupation.
Note: You can also select any of the carpenter-related occupations shown in the bulleted list under the Carpenter Training Providers section.
Note: You can perform a search across the entire nation, or narrow your search to a state or city. Sometimes its better to search the entire nation, then narrow your search to a specific state or city when you see how many search results you get.
- Click SEARCH to perform a search across the entire nation. A list of search results displays on the search results page.
- Use the search results page to narrow or expand your search regarding occupations and locations.