The wooden frames that people see when houses are under construction are the work of framers - also called framing carpenters. These skilled workers read and follow blueprints to erect the vertical, horizontal, and slanted boards that form the skeleton of new buildings. They often work in teams and need a strong body to withstand long hours of standing, kneeling or crouching in a job that requires making quick mental calculations.
The minimum requirement for a career as a framer is a high school diploma, although many framers participate in apprenticeship programs to learn their trade. These programs combine classroom studies with on-the-job training and mentoring by a certified framer, called a journeyperson. Apprentices earn while they learn and usually start at about 50 per cent of a journeyperson's hourly rate.
A metal stud framer, who is typically employed by a general contractor, can expect to make about $48,463 a year in the United States. This includes a base salary, bonus and profit sharing.
A seasoned framer who relocates to a more lucrative city can increase their earnings by several thousand dollars. This is because the cost of living in some areas is far below the national average. In fact, 51% of framers feel their salaries are enough to pay for the cost of living in their area. For those interested in advancing their careers, earning a bachelor's degree in a relevant field can also boost a framer's earnings potential and qualify them for supervisory positions.