Apprentice carpenters are paid trainees who are learning to construct and repair structures of wood, plywood, and wallboard. They attend formal classes and work under experienced carpenters on the job to learn their craft. Carpenters work on residential as well as commercial buildings.

Once the apprenticeship is complete, the person gains the title of journey person and can begin searching for work for themselves.

Duties: As residential or construction carpenters, apprentices may perform some or all of these basic duties:

  • Read plans, blueprints, or instructions
  • Identify and find materials
  • Determine size/shape of the required parts
  • Measure and mark materials for cutting
  • Cut and shape materials using hand or power tools
  • Erect forms, wood framework, sub-flooring, sheeting, partitions, floor joists, studding, and rafters
  • Install trim, wood paneling, cabinets, windows, doors, hardware, and flooring
  • Check accuracy with levels, rules, plumb bobs, and framing squares and make any necessary adjustments

The carpenter who builds commercial buildings usually builds forms and places structural steel in forms. Commercial building carpenters also do many activities similar to those of residential carpenters.

Working Conditions: The normal work week for an apprentice carpenter is 40 hours. As in other building trades, carpentry requires prolonged standing, climbing, bending, and kneeling. The job may be indoors or outdoors, at floor level, or on ladders or scaffolding. Carpenters employed outside the construction industry may perform a variety of installation and maintenance work.

Wages: The typical apprentice earns around 50%-70% of the standard wages for a journey-person. Apprentice wages increase as the person gains more experience.

Carpentry Projects

Woodworking plans for constructing cabinets, chairs, shelves, and other objects typically created by carpenters.


Hand Power Tools

Bench Power Tools


Products and methods for holding parts together.


Building Procedures