Framing Carpenter Job Description
Framing carpenters erect walls, floors, and roofs for commercial, residential, and industrial buildings and other structures. Framing carpenters also install doors, windows, and hardware for construction projects. Framing carpenters work full- and part-time hours for construction companies, both independently and as part of a team, in indoor and outdoor environments of all types, and travel frequently to various job sites to perform their work. These professionals work flexible hours during all shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays, and report directly to the construction foreman or project manager in charge of the building site.
Framing Carpenter Duties and Responsibilities
Daily job duties for framing carpenters vary based on the types of building projects being completed and specific company policies regarding construction. However, the main duties and responsibilities for framing carpenters are the same on any building site:
Interpret Construction Plans
Framing carpenters read blueprints, sketches, and drawings for carpentry projects of all types.
Prepare Building Materials
Framing carpenters cut, shape, and install building materials to build frames for buildings and structures.
Framing carpenters repair existing structures and flooring.
Perform Finish Work
Framing carpenters sometimes perform finishing construction work, such as hanging drywall and paneling over completed framework.
Follow Safety Standards
Framing carpenters adhere to all safety protocols while on the job, including wearing proper safety clothing and gear.
Framing carpenters fit and install trim on finished construction projects.
Framing carpenters keep the job site clean and organized at all times by putting away their own tools and materials after use, sweeping up, and performing other cleaning tasks.
Framing Carpenter Skills and Qualifications
Framing carpenters read construction plans and make precise calculations to install framework for buildings and other structures. Construction companies and crews that hire framing carpenters look for professionals who possess the following skills and qualifications:
- Math skills – framing carpenters make mathematical calculations to determine the height, width, and length of materials needed to create structurally sound building components
- Physical stamina– because framing carpenters lift up to 50 pounds at a time and work in extreme environments while squatting, crawling, and climbing, professionals seeking this job need the strength and endurance to perform these tasks
- Critical thinking– framing carpenters analyze construction plans, spot potential structure problems, and find ways to make repairs on existing structures, all of which require good critical thinking skills
- Attention to detail– framing carpenters are detail-oriented professionals who can follow precise construction plans, spot potential defects in building materials, and take exact measurements
- Communication skills– framing carpenters use verbal communication skills to maintain job site safety and relay information while working with other construction professionals
Tools of the Trade
Framing carpenters work regularly with the following tools:
- Hand tools (saws, hammers, clamps)
- Power tools (grinders, nail guns)
- Measuring devices (tape measures, carpenter’s square)
Framing Carpenter Education and Training
Framing carpenters must have a high school diploma or GED to get started in this career field. Because there is a great deal of travel associated with the job, framing carpenters must maintain a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
Many construction companies also require framing carpenters to have previous construction experience. However, some employers regard this as an entry-level job and will provide training to inexperienced framing carpenters. New framing carpenters work closely with more experienced coworkers during this training period, which varies based on the hiring company and lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Framing Carpenter Salary and Outlook
Career statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median pay rate for carpenters is $43,600 annually and $20.96 hourly. This includes carpenters of all kinds, including framing carpenters. There were more than 1 million carpenter jobs available in 2016, a number that will rise by 8 percent through 2026. Based on these projections, carpenter jobs are growing at the same rate as the national average.
Full-time framing carpenters receive basic healthcare benefits from some employers, as well as vacation leave and paid sick days. Rarely do framing carpenters receive 401(k) plans and life insurance benefits. Part-time employees and framing carpenters who work as independent contractors don’t receive any benefits and must manage their own healthcare and vacation needs.
Learn how to hone the skills framing carpenters need, find jobs, and discover strategies for career success with these resources:
Carpenter’s Calculations Manual - use this book as a reference tool for basic carpentry calculations and to learn methods of solving common construction problems
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America - this website was created to provide access to training programs, construction videos, useful news updates, and other content for professionals in all carpentry fields, including framing carpenters
The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic Framing for Residential Construction - learn the basics of residential framing carpentry with this book, which covers building tasks such as cutting and installing materials, joisting, raising walls, and framing different types of roofs
National Framers Council - framing carpenters find valuable information about safety regulations and tools at this website, which is dedicated specifically to framers in all carpentry and construction careers
Roof Framer’s Bible: The Complete Pocket Reference to Roof Framing - this book is an in-depth guide to framing various types of roofs, including irregular roofs. The content includes illustrations, common calculations, and mathematical tables
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