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How much do carpenters earn per hour in the US: What is the average salary?

Carpenters skills are required for many types of construction projects where wood and other materials are employed. Here’s a look a what they get paid.

Average pay for a carpenter in the US

There were nearly 950,000 carpenters in the United States in 2021. The profession is expected to grow slower than the average, at 2 percent, over the next decade but that will still mean an additional 20,500 jobs.

However, it is projected that there will be roughly 91,200 openings on average for carpenters each year over that period. The majority of those openings will come from current carpenters changing professions and exiting the labor force mainly to retire.

How much do carpenters earn per hour in the US?

The median annual earnings nationwide were $48,260 per year in 2021 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the latest year that data is available. That breaks down to $23.20 per hour, not far off what Indeed found from over 39,000 reported salaries as of February 2023. The average base salary on the online jobs site was $23.45 per hour and $7,015 overtime per year in the United States.

However, as with any profession, the amount that carpenters get paid varies depending on experience, for whom they work. According to the BLS, the bottom 10 percent average $31,880 annually while the top 90 percent average $80,940 per year. Almost a quarter of carpenters work in residential building construction where the annual mean wage is $51,880.

Likewise, from one state to the next salaries can vary widely with the median ranging from $77,070 in Hawaii to $38,600 in South Dakota. For perspective, in neighboring Minnesota the median earnings for a carpenter are more than $20,000 per year more.

What does being a carpenter involve?

The typical enter-level education needed to become a carpenter is a high school diploma or equivalent as the skills are learned on the job through apprenticeships. The job takes place on numerous types of construction projects either indoors or outdoors.

Carpenters construct, install and repair building frameworks and structures made from wood and comparable materials. The jobs could be anything from contructing and installing cabinets to building bridges and highways.