|This highly recognized general construction trade,
provides many attractive career options.
Carpentry is one of the oldest and recognized trades
in the world. Around every neighborhood, carpenters can be seen erecting
the wooden frame of a new building or home. Of course, this is just
a small glimpse into the many tasks carpenters perform and the type
of structures on which they work.
If you become a carpenter the
skills you’ll learn and nurture are:
||• Reading an architect’s
blueprint and turn the diagrams and instructions on those blueprints
into a finished structure.
• Measuring, marking,
and arranging materials according to the blueprints and plans.
• Expertly cutting and shaping building materials and
assembling those materials with nails, screws,
staples, or adhesives.
• Thoroughly checking the accuracy of the work with levels,
rules, plumb bobs, and framing squares using
basic mathematics, geometry and common sense.
This important step – attention to detail and ensuring
the quality of the product -- reflects their skill and training
and sets the professional carpenter apart from others.
There are also specialties within the carpenter trade an individual
can pursue. These are:
Millwright, Cabinetmaker/Millworker, Floorlayer and Residential
The following is a current schedule of salaries and earning
potential. Wages are periodically adjusted upwards through collective
Carpenter General Foreman
|$34.52 per hour
$39.70 per hour
$44.88 per hour
||• Health insurance for
the entire family
Most carpentry work – whether residential or
commercial -- is done outdoors. In general, carpentry requires lifting
of lumber and other building materials. Both hand and power tools
are used. Prolonged standing, climbing, bending, kneeling and working
off a ladder are often necessary.
The trend in home sales bodes well for the residential carpenter
and the residential floor layers profession, ensuring that there
will be a healthy demand for carpenters over the next decade. According
to the federal government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook,
“well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities.”
Entrepreneurial Opportunities: High
One in every four carpenters goes in business for him or herself
as a private contractor.
A carpenter’s apprenticeship lasts between 5,200 and
8,000 hours of on-the-job training over a four-year period. In addition
to the on the job training, at least 800 hours of related training
must be completed in the training center. Training takes place at
one of the three state-of-the-art training centers operated by the
New Jersey Carpenters Apprentice Training & Educational Fund:
The Joseph J. D’Aries Carpenters Training Center
The Wm. J. Neylan Sr. and Sam F. Secretario Carpenters
Training Center in Trenton
The Thomas C. Ober Carpenters Training Center in Mullica
Township (Atlantic County)
The training centers duplicate on-the-job conditions. The apprentice
must come to the center each day prepared to work with work clothes,
work shoes and the proper tools – just as they have to do
on the job site.
Each apprentice is assigned to a core skill area and will work
in that area with an instructor who is a skilled journeyman currently
working in the trade. The core areas are Concrete Form Work, Interior
Systems, Wood and Metal Framing and Interior / Exterior Finish.
Once the apprentice has watched a presentation and feels confident
they can complete a task in the particular skill, using blueprints
or drawings, they are given a task to complete. The instructor inspects
the final project to ensure it meets industry standards and offers
a pass/fail grade. If the apprentice passes, he or she moves to
the next skill area. If they fail, they will be re-instructed in
that same project in the future.
At the end of each six months of training the apprentice will be
given a brief test on what they have completed in related training
during the past six months. Each test must be passed with a minimum
score of 70 percent.
The minimum requirements for eligibility in the carpenters
apprenticeship program are:
||• 18 years of age or older
• Physically able to perform the manual work of the trade
• Ability to pass a basic skill entrance test with a minimum
score of 70 percent
Candidates who pass the basic test and the oral interview will be
given a physical examination by a licensed physician. The examination
includes a drug test. Candidates who test positive are ineligible
for the apprenticeship program.
The career options don’t end when someone chooses a
career in carpentry. Various specialties allow the apprentice to
explore and pursue their particular strengths and interests. The
following pages provide detailed descriptions of the most popular
Millwrights rarely work with hammers and nails at all. These
high-in-demand specialists work with machine tools and precision
instruments to install, repair and maintain heavy machinery like
turbines, escalators and conveyor systems. They work in factories,
power generation stations and nuclear power plants. In addition,
they work with state-of-the-art laser optical equipment to align
the equipment they repair and install.
Millwrights earn a slightly higher wage than general carpenters.
Once the structure is in place with the floor and drywall
installed, the cabinetmaker and millworker goes to work on the finishing
touches. Cabinetmakers and millworkers craft the molding, stairs,
railing, furniture and fixtures that make a building complete.
Working mostly with their hands and precision tools, cabinetmakers
and millworkers cut, shape and assemble wood, metal, plastics and
glass. These specialists are true artisans who have the skill to
create the most intricate designs.
As the title suggests, floorlayers install flooring in structures
– from hardwood to soft tiles (linoleum, for example). This
specialty is attracting many young men and women because of the
high skill level required for this craft.
Carpet, tile, and other types of floor coverings not only serve
an important basic function in buildings, but their decorative qualities
also contribute to the appeal of the buildings. Carpet, floor, and
tile installers and finishers lay these floor coverings in homes,
offices, hospitals, stores, restaurants, and many other types of
Men and women who have the following characteristics are
ideal carpenters apprentice candidates:
||• Inclination to work with
• The desire to create, whether with wood,
concrete or metal
• Solid math and geometry skills
• Good reading and comprehension skills
• A desire to produce quality work
with an eye for precision
|Students interested in a career in carpentry
should contact one of the following training centers:
||Joseph J. D’Aries Carpenters Training Center
221 South 31st Street, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
||John Mackay Sr., Training Director
||Thomas C. Ober Carpenters Training Center
2100 White Horse Pike (Route 30)
||Thomas Sommers, Training Director
||William J. Neylan Sr. and Sam F. Secretario Carpenters Training
41 Ryan Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08610
||Sam F. Secretario, Training Director
Earn a Wage and a Free Education
A carpenter apprentice receives an education that it worth
more than $60,000 over four years and they can earn as much as $140,000
in that time.
State of the Art Training Through PETS
All of the training centers utilize the Performance Evaluated
System of Training, which first proved successful in the‘70s
and has been upgraded continually to remain current with new technologies
ever since. The PETS training program teaches an apprentice to be
proficient, productive and how to produce quality work in all phases
of the trade. It also teaches apprentices to think and reason so
that they can accomplish new procedures using new technologies that
may arise when they are journey level carpenters.