Carpenters construct and repair building structures made from wood and other materials, including door frames, stairways, and more. They also install household items such as cabinets, drywall, and siding.
Carpenters have a variety of skills. Some even specialize in particular tasks, including insulating buildings or building kitchen cabinets. There are also different types of carpenters, including residential, commercial, and industrial carpenters.
Below is a list of the top six most important skills for a carpenter, as well as a longer list of other skills employers seek in candidates for carpentry jobs.
Top Six Carpentry Skills
Mechanical Skills Carpenters require mechanical skills to work with a variety of tools and machines. These might include ladders, electronic levels, and rotary tools, such as power saws. Carpenters must be comfortable operating, and occasionally repairing, these types of tools
Math Skills Carpenters require math skills to measure materials to be cut and installed. They also require math skills to plan a project – this might include reading blueprints and making measurements, as well as calculating costs to make sure the project comes in under budget. Carpenters use arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and even calculus and statistics.
Detail Oriented Carpenters must be very precise in their work. They have to measure distances and the size of items exactly when installing household items. An eye for detail helps with making measurements and fitting structures.
Critical Thinking Skills Carpenters must be able to problem solve when issues arrive in a project. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur, such as materials arriving late or in the wrong size. Carpenters have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, carpenters can use logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.
Physical Strength Carpenters need physical strength to lift and wield heavy tools and materials, including lumber (which can often be quite heavy). They also need physical stamina – most jobs require standing, climbing, lifting objects, and/or bending down for long periods at a time.
Communication Communication is a useful soft skill for a carpenter. Carpenter should be able to communicate effectively with clients. They need to listen carefully so they can understand what the client needs. They also need to be able to explain complex technical issues to their clients. Customers appreciate a carpenter who listens to their needs and explains things clearly and kindly.