The Average Salary of a Carpenter

Carpenters provide an important specialized skill, and can work in the construction industry, offer specialized skills such cabinetmaking, work in ships, and more. The amount you’ll be making as a carpenter, depends on the kind of carpentry work you do. In general, carpenters who offer more specialized skills, tend to make more than those who work in the construction industry.

You will, however, come across more construction jobs for carpenters. Essentially, carpenters can earn on an hourly, or a project by project basis, depending on the kind of job they take on.

Who is a Carpenter?

A carpenter is anyone who works with wood, and knows how to install, repair, and maintain wooden installations. There are several kinds of carpentry, which range from rough carpentry, to carpenter who make and repair musical instruments.

Essentially, anyone who provides services related to installing, assembling, or dealing with wooden objects and installations, is a carpenter. Despite this, the salary of a carpenter can vary greatly. Some kinds of carpenters, such as rough carpenters, tend to find more consistent work. Where you live, will also have a role to play in how much you earn. Carpenters who live in certain cities can earn nearly double what their carpenters earn in other cities.

Keep in mind however, that cost of living is also greater in such cities. So you’ll be spending more on your living expenses, compared to what you would in lower paying cities. The salary outlook for carpenters, however, has generally been positive. There has been a constant upwards trend in how much carpenters have been making, over the past decade.

In 2010, carpenters made just less than $45,000 per year. By 2019, this number had climbed to around $55,000. How much a carpenter makes is expected to rise, with the coming years. The demand for carpenters and carpentry jobs is increasing, making carpentry an attractive trade to build your career in.

Keep in mind that the salary of a carpenter can vary greatly depending on the kind of carpentry work you provide. If you own your own shop, and sell wooden wares, then you can decide the price of your wares yourself. Cabinetmakers, or artisanal carpenters use their skills to create wooden objects. Cabinetmakers make dressers, and other wooden holding compartments as well. Artisanal carpenters on the other hand, can provide decorative or specialized wooden objects, that take care and precision to make.

Carpenters who work in rough carpentry, that is, in the construction industry, tend to earn less per project, but find work more often. You can also choose to specialize in an aspect of building carpentry, such as roofing or flooring. When you offer specialized skills, then what you can charge as a carpenter, also increases.

How Much Will You Earn?

How much a carpenter makes can vary greatly, depending on the kind of job they do. On average, a carpenter can expect to make around $48,330 per year. On the lower end of the payscale, a carpenter can expect to make around $37,140 per year. On the higher end of the payscale however, carpenters can make up to $63,050.

If you find yourself working in one of the higher paying cities for carpenters, then you can earn upwards of $70,000. If you own your own carpentry business, then you can also expect to earn more, as a carpenter. Carpenters who earn more, tend to offer specialized skills. If you want to increase how much you’re earning as a carpenter, then consider learning specialized skills. Since such carpenters are harder to come across, you can increase your rates, and end up earning more per hour.

Which Cities Pay Carpenters The Most?

Where you live can also play a role in how much you earn as a carpenter. In the highest paying cities, carpenters earn upwards of $70,000. Take for example, Honolulu in Hawaii. There, the average salary of a carpenter is around $78,650.

New York City is another location where carpenters can expect to make a lot of money. You can make around $71,040 by working as a carpenter in New York. Salinas in California is another location where carpenters get paid well. In Salinas, you can expect to make around $74,350 as a carpenter. Another city in the state of California, is also known for paying carpenters well. That city is San Francisco. In San Francisco, carpenters can expect to make around $71,490 every year.

The last city you should consider, if you want to move somewhere where carpenters earn more, is Atlantic City in New Jersey. In Atlantic City, carpenters make an average salary of $74,280.

Any of these five cities can be perfect for carpenters who are looking for higher paying jobs, both in the construction industry, as well as in specialized carpentry trades.

In general, five states are known for paying carpenters more. The first of these is Hawaii, where carpenters earn an average salary of $76,930. The second state is New Jersey. Here, carpenters earn an average salary of $67,200. The third state you should consider is Illinois. Here, carpenters earn roughly $66,620. The fourth state to consider is Alaska. In this state, carpenters make an average salary of $66,020. The final state to consider is New York. In New York, carpenters make on average, $65,850.

How Much Do Carpenters Earn Compared to Other Trades?

Carpenters, on average, earn around $52,850. Compared to carpenters, structural iron and steel workers earn slightly more. They earn around $59,170 on average. Brickmasons as well as blockmasons earn on a scale similar to carpenters, earning around $56,740 on average.

Glaziers earn slightly less than carpenters, making around $49,810 per year on average. Construction workers earn less than carpenters as well. On average, a construction worker earns around $41, 730 per year on average.


The salary of a carpenter can vary, depending on the kind of carpentry work you choose to do. Where you live, can also play an important role in how much earn. Some states, such as Hawaii and Alaska, pay carpenters more than other states. If you choose to work as a rough carpenter, then you can expect to find more work, but rough carpenters also earn less on average.

You can also choose to operate your own shop, providing wooden wares to customers. Carpenters earn well, compared to other trades in the construction industry. As a carpenter, you can expect to experience financial stability and job security.

While considering ways to protect your financial stability, think about insurance for carpenters. This is as you’re exposed to certain career risks, as a carpenter. A client who is unhappy with your work could sue you, leading to an expensive legal case. Without carpentry insurance, you would have to pay for your own legal costs, and this could be exorbitant. If you did have insurance for carpenters on the other hand, you could be financially covered against such career risks.

Consider protecting yourself, as well as your finances, with the help of carpentry insurance. Carpentry insurance provides financial coverage against the most common career risks for carpenters. If you would like to learn more about carpentry insurance, then click here.

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