Employment of carpenters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population growth should result in more new-home construction—the largest segment employing carpenters—which will stimulate the need for many new workers. Home remodeling needs should also spur demand for carpenters.
In addition, the need to repair and replace roads and bridges should increase employment of carpenters. Much of this growth, however, depends on spending by federal and state governments as they attempt to upgrade existing infrastructure.
The construction of factories and power plants also may result in some new jobs.
However, moderating some of the growth will be the increasing use of modular and prefabricated components. Roof assemblies, walls, stairs, and complete bathrooms are just a few of the prefabricated components that can be manufactured in a separate facility and then assembled onsite by carpenters. Installing prefabricated components replaces the most labor-intensive and time-consuming onsite building activities.
Overall job prospects for carpenters should be good over the coming decade as construction activity continues to grow. There remains a need to replace many carpenters who left the occupation since 2006. Prospective carpenters with a basic set of carpentry tools will have better prospects.
The number of job openings is expected to vary by geographic area. Because construction activity parallels the movement of people and businesses, areas of the country with the largest population increases will require the most carpenters.
Employment of carpenters, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the one hand, workers in these trades may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, peak periods of building activity may produce shortages of carpenters.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Construction trades workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program