Would you enjoy creating wood products that are both beautiful and useful? Do you like to work with machines and computers? If so, then read on to learn about a career in woodworking carpentry.
Woodworkers use a variety of tools to build furniture and other wood fixtures. If you pursue a career in carpentry, you should be comfortable using tools such as power saws, drill presses and routers. You'll need to follow safety measures and work cautiously. Each carpentry project has special requirements, so paying careful attention to detail is necessary. Strong computer and mathematics skills are also becoming essential due to new woodworking technology.
If you train to become a professional carpenter, you can concentrate on a certain type of project, such as cabinet building, furniture crafting and model making. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that increased use of automation technology has slowed demand for woodworking carpenters (www.bls.gov). However, if you specialize in an area and know how to use computer woodworking technology, you'll have the best job opportunities. As reported by the BLS in May 2010, the income of woodworkers varied according to project type. The median annual salary was $27,820 for furniture finishers and $30,130 for cabinet makers.
Woodworkers are required to have at least a high school diploma. You can learn woodworking skills from other experienced carpenters through on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. If you complete a carpentry apprenticeship program, you'll receive journeyperson certification. Throughout training, you'll learn to read blueprints, operate machinery and use computer programs. You can expect to spend about three years training before you become a skilled woodworker.
Although formal education is usually not required for woodworkers, you can benefit from a postsecondary education if you wish to become a supervisor, building inspector or business operations manager. A diploma, certificate or undergraduate degree program in woodworking technology provides you with opportunities to take carpentry courses in wood processing, milling, finishing and facility management. Additional courses in computer aided drafting and business management helps you attain skills in multiple areas of the woodworking industry. Some degree programs will also offer internship and apprenticeship opportunities. You choose from a variety of specialization options, such as wood production supervising, lumber inspection and computerized saw operation.