Journeyman Carpenter Job Description

Journeyman carpenters perform carpentry work to build and repair structures and elements within structures primarily using wood and metal. Construction companies, builders, and construction crews hire journeyman carpenters to work mostly daytime weekday shifts, but evening, weekend, and on-call hours are sometimes required. Travel is frequently required for this job, as journeyman carpenters go to and from supply houses, job sites, and the company shop. Journeyman carpenters work in a team environment while reporting to a foreman or supervisor.


Journeyman Carpenter Duties and Responsibilities

Day-to-day job tasks vary for journeyman carpenters based on the construction project at hand. However, they all perform these core duties on a regular basis:

Read Building Plans

Journeyman carpenters read plans, blueprints, job orders, and drawings to accurately plan building and repair projects.

Prepare Materials

Journeyman carpenters determine materials and tools needed for projects and retrieve these supplies from supply companies or the company inventory. They then cut and shape construction materials to precise specifications based on measurements.

Perform Carpentry Work

Journeyman carpenters repair foundations and structures.They build cabinets, framing, staircases, windows, exterior siding, and doors, in addition to hanging drywall, installing carpet, and laying tiles and wood flooring.

Train Staff

Journeyman carpenters train apprentices and other employees.

Keep Track of Inventory

The journeyman carpenter keeps track of inventory so new materials can be ordered as needed. Journeyman carpenters who operate out of a service truck are responsible for maintaining all the inventory stored there.

Follow Safety Standards

Journeyman carpenters follow all OSHA and company safety regulations. This includes wearing proper protective equipment.


Journeyman Carpenter Skills and Qualifications

Journeyman carpenters are detail-oriented professionals with construction knowledge who are good at working with their hands. Employers value candidates with the following skills:

  • Construction knowledge – journeyman carpenters use construction knowledge to read and interpret blueprints and plans and determine how to build the projects depicted
  • Communication skills – journeyman carpenters use verbal communication skills to work as part of a collaborative construction crew, report to supervisors, and relay material needs to supply houses and inventory managers
  • Physical stamina – journeyman carpenters work indoors and out, in all weather conditions, while laying, bending, squatting, and stretching, which are tasks that require physical fitness
  • Math skills – journeyman carpenters use math skills to estimate material needs for various building and repair projects
  • Measuring skills – journeyman carpenters know how to take and record precise measurements
  • Leadership – because the journeyman carpenter trains apprentices and other staff, strong leadership skills are essential
  • Attention to detail – journeyman carpenters use analytical skills and good attention to detail to determine how to build new structures and make repairs to existing ones


Tools of the Trade

A journeyman carpenter regularly uses the following tools:

  • Hand tools (hammers, chisels, levels, screwdrivers, clamps)
  • Power tools (saws, drills, routers)
  • Measuring tools (tape measures, laser measurement devices, squares)


Journeyman Carpenter Education and Training

Many employers require journeyman carpenters to have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as a valid driver’s license. Journeyman carpenters must have previous carpentry experience, the length of which varies by employer, but three to five years is a common requirement.

Professionals are not required to have completed an accredited apprenticeship or trade school program, but candidates with this experience stand out to employers. Training for journeyman carpenters is not typically provided, as they have already accumulated the necessary skills needed to perform their jobs.


Journeyman Carpenter Salary and Outlook

According to job data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), carpenters earn a median income $45,170 annually. Carpenters and journeyman carpenters perform the same job duties, and the two titles are interchangeable. Per BLS numbers, there were more than 1 million jobs for carpenters in 2016. This number is predicted to rise 8 percent by 2026, which is as fast as the national job growth average.

Employers give journeyman carpenters health insurance coverage that may include dental and vision benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits and paid vacation days are usually included in benefits packages. Additional benefits, such as clothing reimbursement or company uniforms, may also be offered.


Helpful Resources

Use these books and websites to find career strategies, job opportunities, industry events, and other resources for journeyman carpenters:

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America – visit this website to find training programs and strategies for performing common carpentry and construction tasks

Carpenter Career: The Insider’s Guide to Finding a Job at an Amazing Firm, Acing the Interview & Getting Promoted – this career guide covers all the steps to finding and obtaining a carpentry job, including tips for doing well at the interview and earning promotions

Institute of Carpenters – this site provides carpenters with education information, dates of upcoming carpentry competitions, and various membership benefits

Practical Problems in Mathematics for Carpenters – master the math skills carpenters need with the information in this straightforward book

Woodworkers Guild of America – learn more about woodworking safety, read about woodworking techniques, find information on various carpentry and woodworking projects, and discover skill-building strategies at this website

Carpentry – this illustrated book provides step-by-step instructions for common carpentry tasks, including tools, materials, and equipment used by journeyman carpenters and other carpentry professionals


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