Once upon a time, carpentry and construction were trades that workers learned on the job, often from friends or family members who passed their skills along. Today, with advances in technology increasing the complexity of knowledge needed for the job—and the business of development tending toward larger, corporate endeavors—formal training... is the way to stay competitive.
There are several certificate and degree programs in the field of carpentry and construction. A program in Construction Management will teach students how to manage a construction project from start to finish, planning and overseeing each phase of development. It is important that construction managers know how to complete a project on time and on budget, which requires mathematical skill, knowledge of labor and material, and a strong business sense.
Carpenters are the skilled workers who actually cut and assemble wood that form the structure of buildings and other wooden fixtures, including cabinetry and flooring. A degree in carpentry, offered most often at the associate's level, trains students in use of specialized tools, blueprint reading, workplace safety, and basic contract law. Many schools offer students apprenticeship opportunities as well.
Because skilled workers are often represented by unions, they can expect fair wages and job stability. However, for those who choose to stake out independent careers, prospects for self-employment in this field are great.
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