A lead carpenter is a skilled laborer with a focus on constructing wood-based products. Most lead carpenters work in an industrial or construction setting to build housing frames (rather than building rocking chairs and furniture); however, some upscale furniture products are still made by hand. The work life of a lead carpenter varies depending on the industry. Some carpenters have more structured work hours; for example, they may work during regular business hours with pay for any overtime work. Some carpenters are self-employed with work hours that are much more variable.
Carpenters work in both an indoor or outdoor setting. Some carpenters work in a factory or on a construction site. In all settings, the use of power tools and the presence of sawdust are common. A skilled carpenter must be able to expertly work with power tools such as lathes, power drills, table saws, and band saws. These tools do not require certification to use.
The education requirements of lead carpenter typically include a high school diploma or equivalent. Much of the lead carpenter's work is learned “on the job,” and many carpenters start out as skilled apprentices. As an apprentice, the carpenter learns from a skilled craftsman on how to use the power tools and, after a few years, becomes a full union member.
Lead Carpenter Tasks
Analyze construction blueprints and plans to create timeline, project layouts, and resource needs.
Prepare, build, repair, and remodel project elements as needed.
Inspect site for safety, changes and progress and communicate effectively to clients and team.
Manage team members and validate their work regularly.