The median annual wage of carpenters was $39,530 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,650, and the top 10 percent earned more than $71,660.
The starting pay for apprentices usually is between 30 percent and 50 percent of what fully trained carpenters make. As they gain more skill, they receive pay increases.
Nearly all carpenters work full time, which may include working evenings and weekends. Overtime is common in order to meet deadlines.
About 39 percent of carpenters were self-employed in 2010. Self-employed workers may be able to set their own schedule.
About 16 percent of carpenters are union members. Although there is no single union, the largest organizer for carpenters is the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition