While carpenters and woodworkers work in similar areas, the two trades have very different roles. A carpenter usually assembles and installs wooden fixtures, while a joiner crafts objects after they are constructed. The former will typically build and install doors, windows, and other furniture, while a joiner makes and joins wood.
Both types of woodworkers must undergo extensive training to become skilled in the craft. They often attend vocational or community colleges, complete apprenticeships, and learn on the job. This training is vital to the safety of both the workers and the consumers. Though there are many differences between the two types of woodworkers, you can learn a few things from each.
Both woodworkers and carpenters generally require a high school diploma. However, some jobs require additional training, such as an associate’s degree in carpentry. Alternatively, many carpenters complete an apprenticeship program. This process can take up to four years and involves classroom instruction and on-the-job training.
The two professions are related in some ways, but their main differences are their focus areas. Woodworkers use tools like saws, planes, and drills to build and install wooden things. Carpenters use hand tools and measuring devices, such as rasps and files, to shape wood.
The two professions overlap in many ways. While both woodworking involves wood, carpentry focuses on building structures, and joiners focus on furniture. A carpenter makes doors, windows, staircases, and other building elements. A joiner, on the other hand, assembles those building components.
While both professions require similar skill levels, carpenters have their skills. They often need to use different kinds of wood. Moreover, carpenters may work with plastic. They can also install baseboards and molding. And they can build playhouses, gazebos, and other structures.
A carpenter is a practical person who builds houses and makes occasional shelves. They are not likely to dream of building cathedrals or creating a masterpiece for a museum. Their focus is on practicality. Neither is a carpenter interested in measuring tolerances or using rulers.
A carpenter usually works with large-scale construction projects, while a woodworker generally works with small-scale production shops. A carpenter is more likely to create fine wooden boxes or furniture. In addition, carpenters sometimes work on large-scale commercial construction projects.
While carpentry and woodworking are two distinct fields, both involve using hand tools. A carpenter will likely know how to use hand tools such as hammers, chisels, and routers. A woodworker may also use specialized equipment to make complex joints and joinery.
Generally speaking, carpenters make more money than woodworkers. They also enjoy a more favorable job outlook. From 2016 to 2026, jobs for carpenters are expected to grow by 8%. On the other hand, Woodworkers are projected to grow at a slightly slower rate, at a little over 2%. However, this may be due to increased automation and more sophisticated machinery.