Although a hampered economy may slow trade work, the trades are always among the first industries to come roaring back after a recession. But which trade is right for you? There are lots to choose from and the answer to the question ‘is finish carpentry a good career’ is typically a suggestive one. But in today’s post, we aim to help people decide for themselves if finish carpentry is right for them by presenting some key considerations and indisputable facts. But as always, you can find more information and resources regarding the trades here.
One of the most attractive prospects that the trades have for young people is that these jobs never die. The trades are one of the safest bets in terms of job security. No matter what the economic climate is, people will always need structural repairs, plumbing repairs, electrical service, and other types of projects. Even in the current pandemic crisis, many trade jobs in many states like Washington have been deemed essential.
What is A Finish Carpenter?
A finish carpenter is one who specializes in the finishing touches of a structure construction project. Finish carpenters are typically hired to install molding, hang windows, drywall, hang doors, install stairs, install flooring, and other lighter-duty work. They essentially come in after most of the work is done and handle the more delicate aspects of a construction or remodeling job. Finish carpenters work in both the residential and commercial sectors.
Why Would Anyone Want to Be A Finish Carpenter?
Finish carpentry tends to be less taxing on the body. In fact, a lot of tradesmen who have been in construction for a long time often shift to finish carpentry because it physically less demanding. If you are interested in the trades but aren’t too keen on doing a lot of dirty work, finish carpentry might appeal to you as well. Most finish carpentry jobs are done in cleaner environments and don’t require the presence of large crews.
There is also the potential for market growth. The job demand between 2016 and 2026 for all carpenters (including finish carpenters) is expected to increase by 8%. So there is also a job security factor at play here.
What Can I Expect to Make as A Finish Carpenter?
The average annual earnings for all carpenters (including finish carpenters) hovers between $44,000 and $46,500. Of course, these are mean figures. They represent an income that is slightly below the national average. But the local market will be a major factor in how much you can expect to make every year as a finish carpenter. For example, the average annual income of a finish carpenter in New York is about $50, 600 while the average annual income of a finish carpenter in North Carolina is only about $37,000.
Carpenters in general however can earn up to 70,000 dollars per year if they are exceptionally skilled and service a robust market.
What Does it Take to Be A Finish Carpenter?
The main requirements you will need to cover to become a finish carpenter are 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of job training. All of this can be covered in a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship program. In most cases, exceptionally skilled carpenters who have been in the trade for years make the leap to finish carpentry naturally.
But aside from qualifications and certifications, you need to have a firm grasp of math. Finish carpenters often follow he blue prints of a general contractor to complete a job. These plans need to be carried out to a tee since someone else came in and did most of the work that will dictate how you go about the work.
Finish carpentry also requires a keen eye for detail. The best finish carpenters – the ones who earn the lion’s share of the work – will also place a high emphasis on craftsmanship as well. Remember, your job as a finish carpenter will be to put the last, crowning touches on a construction job. More often than not, finish carpentry is at least 50% cosmetic. And while there isn’t as much heavy lifting involved in finish carpentry as there is with regular carpentry, you will still have to be able to bend, stretch and work your body in physically exhaustive ways.
Final Considerations as a Career
So is finish carpentry a good career? Now that you have the important facts, you are more suited than anyone to answer that question for yourself. What may appeal to others may not appeal to you. Like so many things in life, the answer to this question is subjective.
But a lot of people gravitate towards finish carpentry because, at heart, they love the artistry of it. It is a great way to be expressive through trade even though you will be following a blueprint most of the time. It can save your body a lot of wear and tear too. If you would like more information on finish carpentry and other trades, become a member of the Contractors Society of America.