How Do I Become a Framing Carpenter?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 16 February 2020
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If you want to become a framing carpenter, you will typically have a few different career paths open to you. One way to go about it is to attend a vocational school or community college after you graduate from high school, where you will be able to study carpentry. After that, you will typically have to work as an apprentice framing carpenter for a certain amount of time. If you prefer to go to work right after high school, you may be able to find work as a carpenter's helper for an individual or company that does framing jobs. That work experience can lead you to eventually become a framing carpenter yourself.

Framing carpenters are responsible for doing much of the initial work of building homes and other structures. They are typically very proficient in framing walls, constructing scaffolding, and performing other similar work. Framing carpenters typically use both power and hand tools, and must have a strong understanding of mathematics, in addition to physical strength and dexterity. Carpenters do both framing and finishing work in some locations, though these two basic categories can be broken down into even more specialized components in certain cases. Large, efficient construction teams will often dedicate certain carpenters to frame only roofs, or perform other specialized tasks.


The first step to become a framing carpenter is to make sure you have a solid background in the necessary skills and disciplines. You can start in high school by taking classes in geometry and algebra, and courses such as technical drawing if they are available. Wood and metal shop can also provide you with some initial practical experience, and more specialized programs are sometimes available as well. You will then have to decide if you want to attend a vocational school after you graduate. A community college or vocational school can provide you with a one or two year technical degree or certification that may help you get work as an apprentice framing carpenter.

Another way to become a framing carpenter is to get a job as a carpenter's helper. This career path will allow you to work under an experienced carpenter, and gain first hand knowledge of how to perform framing jobs. You will see how a framing carpenter works on a day to day basis and learn how he accomplishes various tasks. It is also possible to combine work as a carpenter's helper with trade or vocational school courses, though you will typically still need to work as an apprentice for a certain amount of time before you can become a framing carpenter, but this route might provide you with the greatest opportunity for making contacts in the industry.



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