Finish Carpenter

Finish wood trim, sand banisters, and hang kitchen cabinets.
picture of Finish Carpenter

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$25,000 – $72,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Finish Carpenters do?

If you love the feel of wood pressed against your fingers, and take pleasure in the detailed, artistic use of fine-toothed saws, sandpaper, and brad guns, the job of a Finish Carpenter might be perfect for you. Part construction and part art, a Finish Carpenter’s job is to complete the finishing touches on a construction project. This isn’t the internal structural support of the building—although Finish Carpenters know how to do that, too—but all the things the client sees. You might work on roofing materials, install siding or stairs, or hang kitchen cabinets. Most commonly, you install all kinds of trim.

Look around your house. Every door, window, floorboard, and wall has trim somewhere on it. So as you can imagine, this is no small task. And, it requires finesse and an attention to the smallest of details, because when the homeowner sees your work, they will notice whether it was done with care or if it looks sloppy. So you take pride in each measurement, cut, and seam. And you make sure you don’t have any gaps, and that frames are square.

To perfect this skill, you need practice. This often comes from experience as a Rough Carpenter, where you use tools and practice woodworking techniques. Once you’ve honed those skills, your work becomes more and more precise until you are ready to tackle the fine, detailed art of finish work.

Should I be a Finish Carpenter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Boat Finisher, Finishing Carpenter, Inside Finisher, Wood-Sash-And-Frame Carpenter

    How to become a Finish Carpenter

    Finish Carpenters generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Finish Carpenter-related education!
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