Additional Information & Resources

Information on Construction Careers

Careers In Carpentry

Careers in carpentry

What is a Carpenter?

Carpenters work with many tools and materials to build schools, erect skyscrapers, construct bridges, tunnels, and highways. Just about every building in your community was at least partially built by skilled journeyman carpenters. To be a carpenter is to be a member of one of the oldest and most respected trades. You can build a lifetime career in carpentry if you like working with tools and like to create things.

Interested to see a first-hand experience of a carpenter working in the field? Click here to watch a video on a career as a carpenter.

What is a Millwright?

Millwrights are an elite group who work primarily in metal and with machinery and equipment requiring precision. If you like to work with machine tools and precision instruments, and have a keen eye for the perfect fit and have a good grasp of mathematics, you might consider being a millwright. Millwrights sometime work to specifications requiring tolerances to a thousandth of an inch. They install escalators, giant electrical turbines, and generators. Millwrights install and perform maintenance on machinery in factories, as well as much of the precision work in nuclear power plants. They are also skilled construction mechanics who study and interpret blueprints, and then put their knowledge and expertise to work drilling, welding, bolting and doing whatever else is necessary to assure that the cogs of industry are in perfect working order.

What is a Piledriver?

These are the people who work with pile-driving rigs. Usually the first workers at the construction site, they drive metal sheet piling to hold back dirt during excavations. They drive concrete and metal piling as part of the foundation system upon which skyscrapers are built, and they drive wood and concrete piling to hold up docks, wharves, and bridges. In some cases, they work on off-shore oil rigs and as commercial divers involved in underwater construction. Piledrivers are usually involved in the installation of heavy timbers requiring the use of cranes and the skill of rigging. Piledrivers are frequently called upon to cut, join and fasten metal construction materials using welding equipment and oxy-acetylene torches.

What is a Residential Carpenter?

Residential carpenters are the primary craft workers on homes, apartments, and condominiums. They assemble and erect the frameworks of residences. They build the partitions, install the flooring, and do much of the finish work, often staying in a particular job from the start until completion. The residential carpenter has experience in nearly every aspect of residential construction.

Student apprentice carpenter.

What is an Interior Systems Carpenter?

Here is an expanding field of work which offers challenges to many young people entering the construction trades. It involves the installation of a variety of factory-produced systems and construction materials in commercial buildings and public structures. Specialized skills are brought into play as they assemble complex interior systems using technical data supplied by manufacturers. From acoustical ceiling systems to metal doors, jambs and hardware the Interior Systems Carpenter is the vanguard in modular construction methods.

What is a Cabinet Maker/Millworker?

Cabinetmakers and millworkers cut, shape and assemble quality wood products, including cabinets, moldings, panels, and furniture. They also fabricate store fixtures, which often includes the use of metals, plastics, and glass. Cabinetmakers and millworkers operate a number of machines, including power saws, planers, joiners, shapers and other woodworking machinery.

What is a Floorlayer?

The installation of carpeting, hardwood flooring, soft tiles and linoleum-type products made of vinyl and rubber is the work of the floor layer. They cut, fit and install hardwood flooring and various types of underlayment to ensure smooth, level surfaces for the finished floor. They also scribe, cut, fit layout and seam tile and sheet stock in a variety of patterns. They are skillful in cutting, binding, sewing, and installing carpet. They work from the specifications of architects and interior designers and must be good at estimating materials and doing a layout. One of their specialties is geometrical designs in floors which sometimes require the installation of inlaid pieces.


What is a Plasterer?

Plasterers mix and apply cement and gypsum based wet plaster to provide a fire-resistant finish to internal surfaces such as walls and ceilings, etc. They also mix and apply wet polymer-based sand and cement protective finishes to external walls sometimes using spray equipment. Plaster remains popular due to the relatively low cost of the material and overall durability of the product. Plasterers apply plaster veneer “thin-coat” over drywall to create a smooth or textured abrasion-resistant finish. They also install prefabricated ornamental casts in plaster to create interesting and decorative architectural effects.


Other Careers In Construction

What is a Sheet Metal Worker?

Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks, or forms using hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; or inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces. Includes sheet metal duct installers who install prefabricated sheet metal ducts used for heating, air conditioning, or other purposes.

What is an Electrician?

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. They ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. Electricians may also install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Interested to see a first-hand experience of an electrician working in the field? Click here to watch a video on a career as an electrician.

Additional Resources

Below you will find additional resources related to an apprenticeship career track.

Resources for Women

A Woman's Guide to Construction Careers
A Woman’s Guide to Construction Careers
Pre-Apprenticeships: Pathways for Women Into High Wage Careers

Occupational Resources

Occupational report for carpenters
Occupational report for carpenters
Occupational report for electricians
Occupational report for electricians
Occupational report for first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
Occupational report for first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
Occupational report for sheet metal workers
Occupational report for sheet metal workers

01_apprenticeships Rates-of-Return-to-Investments-in-Apprenticeships-copy The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships – A Business Perspective etaop_2012_10 Apprenticeship ROI Research and Statistics

Benefits of Apprenticeships for Students and Businesses

Apprenticeships and Their Potential in the US
Apprenticeships and Their Potential in the US – 2016
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Apprenticeships
Cost-Beneift Analysis of Apprenticeships
Rates of Return to Apprenticeships
Rates of Return to Apprenticeships
Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeship
Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeship