Rough Carpenter

Work with raw materials to build houses and other buildings.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$25,000 – $72,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Rough Carpenters do?

If you’re looking for a job that you can do outside, where you can soak up the sun and feel the cool spring air on your face, then this job might be for you. As a Rough Carpenter, you work with raw supplies to build homes, buildings, and other structures. This is a rewarding job that allows you to turn bare land into something valuable and useful.

As a Rough Carpenter, one common responsibility that you have is to frame the structure in. That means you study the blueprints, grab your hammer and nails, and start connecting two-by-fours. Rough Carpenters use a truck full of special tools to measure, cut, and mount beams, joists, and roof supports. When you’re done, every bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, door frame, and closet is carefully planned for and framed in lumber.

In addition to your carpentry work, you need strong communication skills. As a Rough Carpenter, you might take orders from and consult with a Supervisor. Or if you’re the boss, you delegate jobs, explain directions, and supervise the progress of the project. On big projects, you might converse with Architects or Engineers about things like where the ductwork should go or which side of the building the stained glass window should be placed.

You’ll also need those communication skills to make sure the job goes smoothly. You need to notify superiors about low supplies, or make arrangements to order or pick them up yourself. As you can see, this job requires a combination of management and construction skills to see the project through to completion.

Should I be a Rough Carpenter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Hammerman, Trestle Mechanic

    How to become a Rough Carpenter

    Most Rough Carpenters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:ae9oda&chl=|doctorate+%284%25%29|no+college+%2856%25%29|certificate+%2837%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,56
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