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 A Career as a Carpenter

A carpenter is one of the most important jobs when building a structure.


There are two basic types of carpentry, rough and finished carpentry. Both of these are equally important and dependent on each other when building a home.  "Rough" carpentry involves the framing of a home or building.  After the foundation is laid, framers build the floors, walls, ceilings, and roof.  This is extremely important work. 


A properly framed house (plumb and square) sets the stage for a beautiful home. Structures built out of plumb or square cause construction delays and unneeded costs which will reflect on the finished product.  The carpenter who specializes on finishing work is very focused on detail. Finish carpentry work can include built-in bookshelves, counters or media centers, trim around doors and windows, special stairways, specialty trim, and several other details in a home. 

Watch the video below and hear what a young carpenter has to say about his career in Northern Michigan. 

Start your Career as a Carpenter

High School:​

​​High schools in Northern Michigan that offer building-trades classes are Petoskey High School, Charlevoix High School, Pellston High School, and Harbor Springs High School. The Char-Em Intermediate School District helps coordinate these programs.

Click the link below for information on career training by the local high schools:

Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District

Post-Secondary Education:

These colleges and universities in Michigan offer educational programs in construction management:


A Day in the Life of a Carpenter

  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches, or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required

  • Measure and mark cutting lines on materials, using a ruler, pencil, chalk, and marking gauge

  • Shape or cut materials to specified measurements using hand tools, machines or power saws

  • Install structures or fixtures such as windows, frames, floorings, trim, or hardware 

  • Build or repair cabinets, doors, frameworks, floors, or other wooden fixtures used in buildings. Learn to use woodworking machines, hand tools or power tools.

  • Remove damaged or defective parts/structures and repair or replace them

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