Lead Carpenter Salary
Job Description for Lead Carpenter
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.Read More...
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
- Inspect site for safety, changes and progress and communicate effectively to clients and team.
- Manage team members and validate their work regularly.
- Analyze construction blueprints and plans to create timeline, project layouts, and resource needs.
- Prepare, build, repair, and remodel project elements as needed.
Common Career Paths for Lead Carpenter
Lead Carpenters may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Construction Project Manager. The latter position pays an average of $75K annually. Lead Carpenters moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Construction Project Managers or Construction Foremans. The median paychecks in those roles are $20K higher and $1K higher, respectively.
Lead Carpenter Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Lead Carpenter
Lead Carpenters seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Carpenter, Carpentry, and Finish Carpentry are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 21 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Those listing Roofing Materials Installation as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Kitchen/Bath and TRIM also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Blueprints also tend to know Project Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Lead Carpenter
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Lead Carpenters, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $42K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $47K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $50K in this role. Lead Carpenters who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $51K.
Pay Difference by Location
Boston offers some of the highest pay in the country for Lead Carpenters, 45 percent above the national average. Lead Carpenters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+13 percent), Baltimore (+12 percent), Portland (+10 percent), and Philadelphia (+7 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 18 percent south of the national average, can be found in Orlando. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Cincinnati (17 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively).