Carpenter salary guide | Earnings & trends

Carpenters play an essential role in the construction process, and their work has had a significant impact on the evolution of the built environment in the united states. Carpenters are professionals who work with wood and other building materials to construct, repair, and install building framework. Their work can be observed in a broad variety of places, from private homes and public buildings to highways and bridges (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2023).

Knowing the salary ranges in this industry is a must. Those contemplating about making a career change into carpentry should read this to learn more about the income expectations and prospects for advancement in the field. Employers can utilise this data to their advantage by setting salaries that are competitive in the market and thus able to draw and keep a talented and driven team.

Moreover, for stakeholders and economic experts, knowing the trends in carpenter remuneration might be an indicator of the building industry's health and economic viability. As the building sector evolves, so do carpenters' opportunities and salaries (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2023).

Historical Perspective on Carpenter Salaries

Over the past decade, the pay scale for carpenters in the united states has shifted significantly. The economy, technical progress, and consumer demand are only a few of the variables that have prompted these shifts.

The median yearly wage for carpenters is now higher than it was in 2011. The typical annual wage for carpenters in 2021 was $48,260, a significant increase over the previous decade (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2023). This expansion is attributable to the growing need for highly trained carpenters in niche areas of the construction industry, such as sustainable design and energy conservation. Wage increases have contributed to the general trend toward urbanisation, which has necessitated new investments in physical infrastructure.


While there has been a growing tendency in the national average, it is important to highlight that there are significant regional differences. Cost of living, regional economic conditions, and market demand all play a role in how much money you may expect to make in a certain state or city.

In addition, the upward trend in carpenter earnings is reflective of the construction industry as a whole. The knowledge of carpenters is more in demand than ever as construction projects get more complicated and intricate designs and sustainable materials are required. Because of this, it seemed reasonable to boost their pay.

Breakdown of Carpenter salary in the U.S.

Average Carpenter salary

With its long tradition and constantly developing skillset, carpentry is a trade that has steadily increased in pay over time. The median yearly salary for carpenters in the united states was $58,210 as of May 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2023).

Several factors influence this average:

  • Like many other fields, a carpenter's wage is heavily dependent on their level of expertise. The annual salary of someone in the 10th percentile, or an entry-level employment, is about $36,160. However, experts in the 90th percentile can anticipate annual salaries of over $89,950.
  • A carpenter's income is highly sensitive to where they work. For instance, carpenters in Hawaii have the highest average salary of any state at $80,160. However, states like Florida have a median wage that is far lower than the national average of $46,140.
  • Carpenters that have a specialty, like sustainable construction or historical restoration, can usually charge more for their services.

Table: Top 5 states with the highest average carpenter salary

Union Carpenter salary

Joining a union can have a major impact on a carpenter's salary. When compared to their non-union counterparts, union carpenters typically earn more money and have superior benefits and job security. Union carpenters often earn a premium over the industry average, though the precise amount can vary depending on the specific union and locality.

Benefits of being a union carpenter:

  • Better Compensation: Carpenters' unions frequently succeed in negotiating higher pay for their members. Unionized carpenters are less likely to be fired without warning.
  • By joining one of the several unions that offer training programmes, carpenters can sharpen their skills and stay abreast of developments in their trade.

Carpenter Apprentice salary

Apprentice carpenters learn their trade from more seasoned professionals. An apprenticeship is the best way to learn the trade and become a proficient carpenter. As of 2022, the median wage for a journeyman carpenter in the united states is more than twice that of an apprentice. Apprentices typically see a raise in their starting salary when they complete training and prove their worth to their employers.

Factors Influencing Carpenter Salaries

The modern carpentry industry has a lengthy history, but it faces several challenges today. The pay for carpenters can vary widely, even among those with comparable levels of expertise. Consider the following breakdown of the factors at play:

Geographic Location:

A carpenter's compensation is heavily influenced by the location of his or her place of employment. Carpenters in high-cost states like Hawaii and New Jersey should be paid more than their counterparts in states where living expenses are lower. During construction booms, wages in urban areas typically rise more than in rural ones.

In 2023, a carpenter can expect to make an average hourly wage of $22.75, as reported by PayScale. The difference is rather large, with some jurisdictions paying as much as $37 per hour and others paying as little as $15.62.

Level of Experience and Specialization:

Carpenter pay is highly dependent on the individual's level of experience. An entry-level carpenter can expect to earn an average of $16.67 per hour. However, a carpenter with experience greater than five years may make more than $37 per hour (PayScale, 2023).

Specialized knowledge is another consideration. Earning potential may increase for carpenters who specialise in areas such as green building, historical restoration, or custom furniture making.

Economic trends and construction industry dynamics:

Carpenter pay is sensitive to the general state of the economy and the building sector. There is a larger demand for carpenters and thus higher wages when the economy is booming. On the flip side, construction slows during economic downturns, which can affect carpenters' ability to find work and earn a living salary.

The demand for particular carpentry abilities can be influenced by technological developments like the adoption of modern construction processes and tools, which in turn can affect salaries.

Carpentry itself is a constant, but the money you can make at it depends on a wide variety of things beyond your control. All carpenters, from those just starting out to those who have been in the trade for decades, would do well to familiarise themselves with these factors.

trends in Carpenter Salaries

Like many other fields, carpentry is affected by a wide range of extraneous variables. Looking ahead, we can see a few trends that may have an impact on carpenters' salaries in the future.

Predictions for the future Based on current data and industry trends:

Some areas of the construction business, like manufacturing, are predicted to continue to do well, while others, including retail and conventional office buildings, may face a decline (Construction Dive, 2023). This could indicate that carpenters who focus on manufacturing projects have a better chance of seeing salary rise than their counterparts in industries that are slowing down.

There will likely be a lot of building done in the next years thanks to the government's encouragement of domestic manufacturing, particularly in high-tech fields like chip fabrication and electric vehicle battery plants. Carpenters working on these projects may see a rise in demand and pay as a result.

The Impact of Technology and Automation on Carpenter Salaries:

Carpenters must change as the construction sector adopts more advanced technologies. For instance, the growing popularity of prefabricated and modular building could decrease the need for traditional carpenters while simultaneously increasing the demand for carpenters with expertise in assembly and installation.

Despite its negative connotations, automation may actually present an opening for previously manual occupations. Carpenters who acquire new skills and are able to operate with modern machinery may be able to command better wages.


The skilled trade of carpentry has a long and storied history in the united states, and it continues to play a vital role in the country's modern building industry. The average carpenter wage has increased throughout the years, although this increase is dependent on a number of factors, such as the carpenter's location, level of experience, the state of the economy, and the state of the construction industry. Carpenters, who have to adapt to a changing industry driven by technology, must be lifelong learners. Employers that want to attract and retain skilled carpenters will do well to keep up with industry trends and offer competitive pay. Carpenters and the broader construction sector have a mutually beneficial connection that will continue to mould America's built environment in the future.

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