Welders vs. Carpenters

welder vs carpenter

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If you’re interested in a skilled trades career, you might have considered becoming a welder or a carpenter – two commonly known blue-collar professions. Welders and carpenters share a lot of similarities: they are both skilled tradesmen, they both work in construction often, and their salaries are typically comparable.

However, their job duties are actually quite different. These differences can, at times, significantly affect their career paths and earning potential. While carpenters usually learn their craft on-the-job, welders learn their trade through certification-focused welding training program. Here’s a direct comparison between these two skilled trade careers:



Welders work with all kinds of metals in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to construction. Their tasks usually include:

  • Studying and following blueprints and building plans
  • Calculating dimensions
  • Joining and welding different metal parts through application of heat
  • Filling holes or indentations in existing metal products
  • Repairing damaged products by re-welding seams to make them stronger
  • Maintaining equipment and machinery[1]

Having a shortage of skilled workers for years, employers these days often prefer welders who have completed postsecondary training. This is especially true as welding technology is becoming increasingly advanced and complex. Vocational training programs like the ones offered at TWS can be finished in less than a year, which allows you to start earning money relatively quickly.

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You can potentially boost your earning potential if you seek out particularly lucrative jobs. Welders also enjoy a lot of flexibility, as their essential skills are the same across many different industries. [2]



Carpenters typically work with materials needed in construction, like wood, drywall, and plastic. A carpenter normally performs the following duties:

  • Studying and following blueprints and building plans
  • Installing wood or metal frameworks, such as walls, stairways, floors, rafters, or doorframes, as per blueprints and building codes
  • Measuring, cutting, and shaping building materials
  • Building and installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets or molding
  • Repairing various frameworks of existing structures and fixtures, such as stairways, partitions, rafters, windows, and doors[3]

Carpenters have little access to formal vocational training. Most of their skills must be learned in the “field,” via apprenticeships, or working with more experienced mentors. Such on-the-job training can take several years.[4] The median wage of a carpenter is a bit higher than that of a welder, but they’re more restricted with regard to where they can work: the overwhelming majority of carpenters is employed in construction.[5]

Which one is better?

Both welders and carpenters help construct the buildings in which we live and work. Both professionals work with their hands and use equipment tailored to their duties. Carpenters rely on hand hammers, nails, and chisels to install and join wood or drywall structures. Welders use welding tools like cutting torches and welding machines to bend, cut, join or fix metal parts.

Yet, the differences between these two blue-collar professions can have a big impact on their career paths. Carpenters typically learn their craft on-the-job, while welders can train at welding schools like TWS, perfecting their skill set through a combination of in-class instruction and hands-on practice. Most carpenters work in the building construction industry, whereas welders have a much wider choice of work environments, including thriving sectors like energy production or car manufacturing.

Ultimately, you decide what matters to you and which aspects you prioritize. Are you looking for a lot of flexibility? Do you want a short training program? Would you like to work in advanced industries? In any case, a career in the skilled trades can open many opportunities for you.

Additional Sources

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