If you like to work with your hands, you can find a job with the government. The government needs carpenters, electricians, mechanics, painters, and other workers whose hands-on skills make them essential to keep government buildings and other structures up and running. This chapter describes jobs that allow you to get physical as you earn a living.
Carpenters build, install, and repair structures and fixtures made from wood and other materials. This is a great career for the handy because your work leaves a lasting monument to your craftsmanship.
Sometimes carpenters specialize in one technique, or they might be knowledgeable in many. For example, a carpenter might specialize in cabinetmaking, metalwork, drywall installing, or fence building. The smaller the business, the more a carpenter must know. Employees in large construction companies usually have a specialty.
Most carpenters work from blueprints or instructions from supervisors. They measure and arrange materials in accordance with local building codes. They cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall using hand tools and power tools. They join the materials with nails, screws, staples, and other adhesives.
Carpentry work is often strenuous. It involves a lot of standing, climbing, bending, and kneeling. The risk of injury exists when one works with sharp or rough materials and uses sharp tools and power equipment. Carpenters also work in areas where slip-and-fall hazards are more common. The numerous home-improvement shows on television will give you an idea of what the work entails. Take some adult education courses at your community college.