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    Department of Labor & Workforce Development
     NJ Building & Construction Trades Council

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This highly recognized general construction trade, provides many attractive career options.

Carpentry is one of the oldest and recognized trades in the world. Around every neighborhood, carpenters can be seen erecting the wooden frame of a new building or home. Of course, this is just a small glimpse into the many tasks carpenters perform and the type of structures on which they work.

If you become a carpenter the skills you’ll learn and nurture are:

   • Reading an architect’s blueprint and turn the diagrams and instructions on those blueprints   into a finished structure.
• Measuring, marking, and arranging materials according to the blueprints and plans.
• Expertly cutting and shaping building materials and assembling those materials with nails,    screws, staples, or adhesives.
• Thoroughly checking the accuracy of the work with levels, rules, plumb bobs, and framing    squares using basic mathematics, geometry and common sense.

This important step – attention to detail and ensuring the quality of the product -- reflects their skill and training and sets the professional carpenter apart from others.

There are also specialties within the carpenter trade an individual can pursue. These are:
Millwright, Cabinetmaker/Millworker, Floorlayer and Residential Carpenter.

Salary & Benefits
The following is a current schedule of salaries and earning potential. Wages are periodically adjusted upwards through collective bargaining.

Carpenter Journeyman
Carpenter Foreman
Carpenter General Foreman
$34.52 per hour
$39.70 per hour
$44.88 per hour

Benefits include:
    • Health insurance for the entire family
• Pension
• Annuity

Working Conditions and Career Outlook
Most carpentry work – whether residential or commercial -- is done outdoors. In general, carpentry requires lifting of lumber and other building materials. Both hand and power tools are used. Prolonged standing, climbing, bending, kneeling and working off a ladder are often necessary.
The trend in home sales bodes well for the residential carpenter and the residential floor layers profession, ensuring that there will be a healthy demand for carpenters over the next decade. According to the federal government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities.”

Entrepreneurial Opportunities: High
One in every four carpenters goes in business for him or herself as a private contractor.

A carpenter’s apprenticeship lasts between 5,200 and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training over a four-year period. In addition to the on the job training, at least 800 hours of related training must be completed in the training center. Training takes place at one of the three state-of-the-art training centers operated by the New Jersey Carpenters Apprentice Training & Educational Fund:

The Joseph J. D’Aries Carpenters Training Center in Kenilworth

The Wm. J. Neylan Sr. and Sam F. Secretario Carpenters Training Center in Trenton

The Thomas C. Ober Carpenters Training Center in Mullica Township (Atlantic County)

The training centers duplicate on-the-job conditions. The apprentice must come to the center each day prepared to work with work clothes, work shoes and the proper tools – just as they have to do on the job site.

Each apprentice is assigned to a core skill area and will work in that area with an instructor who is a skilled journeyman currently working in the trade. The core areas are Concrete Form Work, Interior Systems, Wood and Metal Framing and Interior / Exterior Finish.

Once the apprentice has watched a presentation and feels confident they can complete a task in the particular skill, using blueprints or drawings, they are given a task to complete. The instructor inspects the final project to ensure it meets industry standards and offers a pass/fail grade. If the apprentice passes, he or she moves to the next skill area. If they fail, they will be re-instructed in that same project in the future.

At the end of each six months of training the apprentice will be given a brief test on what they have completed in related training during the past six months. Each test must be passed with a minimum score of 70 percent.

Qualifications for Apprenticeship
The minimum requirements for eligibility in the carpenters apprenticeship program are:
    • 18 years of age or older
• Physically able to perform the manual work of the trade
• Ability to pass a basic skill entrance test with a minimum score of 70 percent

Candidates who pass the basic test and the oral interview will be given a physical examination by a licensed physician. The examination includes a drug test. Candidates who test positive are ineligible for the apprenticeship program.

The career options don’t end when someone chooses a career in carpentry. Various specialties allow the apprentice to explore and pursue their particular strengths and interests. The following pages provide detailed descriptions of the most popular carpentry specialties.

Millwrights rarely work with hammers and nails at all. These high-in-demand specialists work with machine tools and precision instruments to install, repair and maintain heavy machinery like turbines, escalators and conveyor systems. They work in factories, power generation stations and nuclear power plants. In addition, they work with state-of-the-art laser optical equipment to align the equipment they repair and install.

Millwrights earn a slightly higher wage than general carpenters.

Once the structure is in place with the floor and drywall installed, the cabinetmaker and millworker goes to work on the finishing touches. Cabinetmakers and millworkers craft the molding, stairs, railing, furniture and fixtures that make a building complete.

Working mostly with their hands and precision tools, cabinetmakers and millworkers cut, shape and assemble wood, metal, plastics and glass. These specialists are true artisans who have the skill to create the most intricate designs.

As the title suggests, floorlayers install flooring in structures – from hardwood to soft tiles (linoleum, for example). This specialty is attracting many young men and women because of the high skill level required for this craft.

Carpet, tile, and other types of floor coverings not only serve an important basic function in buildings, but their decorative qualities also contribute to the appeal of the buildings. Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers lay these floor coverings in homes, offices, hospitals, stores, restaurants, and many other types of buildings.

Men and women who have the following characteristics are ideal carpenters apprentice candidates:
    • Inclination to work with their hands
• The desire to create, whether with wood, concrete or metal
• Solid math and geometry skills
• Good reading and comprehension skills
• Good physical condition
• A desire to produce quality work with an eye for precision

Where to Go:

Students interested in a career in carpentry should contact one of the following training centers:
  Joseph J. D’Aries Carpenters Training Center
221 South 31st Street, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
  John Mackay Sr., Training Director
(908) 241-8866
  Thomas C. Ober Carpenters Training Center
2100 White Horse Pike (Route 30)
Hammonton, NJ
  Thomas Sommers, Training Director
(609) 567-5675
  William J. Neylan Sr. and Sam F. Secretario Carpenters Training Center
41 Ryan Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08610
  Sam F. Secretario, Training Director
(609) 392-0028


Earn a Wage and a Free Education
A carpenter apprentice receives an education that it worth more than $60,000 over four years and they can earn as much as $140,000 in that time.

State of the Art Training Through PETS
All of the training centers utilize the Performance Evaluated System of Training, which first proved successful in the‘70s and has been upgraded continually to remain current with new technologies ever since. The PETS training program teaches an apprentice to be proficient, productive and how to produce quality work in all phases of the trade. It also teaches apprentices to think and reason so that they can accomplish new procedures using new technologies that may arise when they are journey level carpenters.