What do Helpers–Carpenters Do?
Helpers–Carpenters are essential in industries such as residential and nonresidential building construction; building finishing; and foundation, structure and building exterior contractors. These helpers assist carpenters by carrying out tasks that call for less skill. For example, helpers often clean work spaces and equipment, and hold or transport materials and tools.In the United States, job growth through at least 2022 is expected to be stellar, with a net growth of 30 percent. About 1,640 new jobs should open up annually.
Helpers–Carpenters Skills and Abilities
Helpers–Carpenters must have physical abilities as well as knowledge of building and construction, mathematics, mechanics, transportation and English. In this job, you practice active listening every day and use complex problem-solving skills. Your physical abilities include near vision, arm-hand steadiness, flexibility, and dexterity with your hands. For example, you often need to quickly manipulate or assemble tools and materials, and bending, stretching, twisting and reaching with your body, arms and legs is common.
As a helper in carpentry, you perform a wide range of tasks. You work toward clean and safe workplaces by cleaning and prepping machines, tools and equipment. That often includes:
- Measuring, marking, drilling or cutting materials
- Transporting tools to the work site
- Setting up braces or scaffolding
- Positioning timber and lumber for cutting
- Using sighting rods and similar equipment to set reference points
- Preparing and cutting tile and linoleum, and covering flooring with adhesives
- Preparing surfaces by covering them with laminated plastic
You also have the chance to do more-detailed work. For example, many carpenters ask helpers to install handrails under their supervision. Many helpers also install insulation and building fixtures.
Helpers–Carpenters Tools and Technology
Helpers–Carpenters draw from a wide range of tools in their duties. You’ll use carpenter’s levels and precision levels. You’ll also use power sanders and various types of saws such as circular saws and table saws. Phillips head screwdrivers, framing squares and layout squares are other examples of common tools in this job. The technology that assists you includes accounting/job-costing software, drawing and drafting programs, Microsoft Office software such as Excel, and project management software.
Education and Training for Helpers–Carpenters
Most people who serve as this type of helper enter the field with a high school diploma or at least some high school education. Some workers have college experience, while a small percentage of the helpers have associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Once you’re hired, you undergo on-the-job training for a short period. If you’re thinking about a future as a carpenter, gaining entry as a helper is a great way to get hands-on experience.
In the United States, Helpers–Carpenters are paid pretty well, especially since educational requirements are not high. The median earnings are $26,600, with the top 10 percent pulling in more than $38,600. The bottom 10 percent makes about $18,600.The five top-paying industries are highway, street and bridge construction; utility system construction; performing arts companies; architectural, engineering and related services; and nonresidential building construction. However, even these five industries combined make up a tiny percentage of the total amount of Helpers—Carpenters. You find the most helpers in residential and nonresidential building construction.
Helpers–Carpenters Jobs by Geography
Rather than seeking higher pay by industry, you might have better luck seeking higher pay by geography. Head to Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota for the highest-paying jobs, but keep in mind the cost of living as well. Helpers–Carpenters work in the greatest numbers in the following five states: Texas, New York, Virginia, California and Maryland. For the highest levels of employment per thousand jobs, check out South Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, Montana and Vermont.