What are the different types of carpentry role?

Carpentry is one of the oldest trades and today it is still well sought-after in the construction industry. There are so many different types of carpentry which means there are lots of career opportunities for individuals to grow and specialise in an area of interest.

You can find the job role of a carpenter here.

In all specialities, a carpenter will have to be comfortable using a range of hand and power tools and they will have to stay organised to ensure they have all the equipment they need with them on the day.

Now let’s explore the carpentry types…

Rough carpenter

A rough carpenter is not only a professional in building wooden structures, but they often work with other construction materials such as steel, concrete and stone. They will accurately study blueprints to understand the dimensions of the structure and then measure, cut and assemble the frameworks and supports.

Trim carpenter

A trim carpenter is also known as a finish carpenter because they typically complete the job by applying the finishing touches. They are responsible for the installation and repairs on moldings, the trims found on doors and windows, skirtings and ornamental pieces.


The duty of a cabinetmaker has changed over the years. Previously, they would have been responsible for creating furniture for homes and workplaces but since the invention of industrial design, this is no longer required.

Today, cabinetmakers offer a bespoke, custom-made experience. A client will request a bespoke piece or project and the cabinetmaker will take measurements, provide drawings to help visualise the whole project, and suggest various materials that could be used.


Framers usually are the first tradesman on the construction site as it’s their responsibility to build the structure of walls, floors and roofs. They’ll work with a variation of materials from lumber, sheet wood, timber and sometimes composite lumber.

At the beginning of a project, a framer will be based on a construction site so it’s important to note that their work will be impacted if there is bad weather. Once the framework has been completed, a framer will move inside and erect frames across the interior walls.


Roofers specialise in roof construction which involves planning, building and maintaining the rafters, trusses and beams of both residential and commercial projects. The projects can be brand new developments, renovations, or roof repairs. The principal is the same throughout - assess the plans and determine the best materials for the installation. There are many different materials that a roofer could use, including rubber, polymer, metal, asbestos and tile.

The ultimate goal is to ensure the roof is structurally durable, both inside and out.

You can explore this job role in more detail here.

Ship’s carpenter

With a hint in the name ship carpenters use blueprints to build and repair boats. Being in this specialised job role offers opportunities to work on cruise ships, naval ships, or industrial fish boats. A ship carpenter will erect frames, assemble structures and repair them. The materials used in shipbuilding are slightly different to the norm - they include fibreglass, wood and aluminium.


A joister’s work involves installing floor joists (the horizontal boards that are connected to the frame structure). Similar to a rough carpenter, this speciality has the main focus on structural integrity and durability.

Green carpenter (Green woodworking)

The old technique of green woodworking is starting to make a comeback.

This technique involves using freshly cut trees and splitting them along the grain to make furniture or other objects. By using freshly cut trees, the wood is unseasoned and has high moisture so it’s much easier to handle - the worker will only need to use hand tools to work with this type of wood.

Scenic carpenter

A scenic carpenter, also known as a theatre carpenter, builds sets and stage elements for live performances at theatres and concerts. They will work with wood and metal to erect structures to use on stage.

Formwork carpenters

Formworkers support the building process during construction by installing and carrying out maintenance and repairs on temporary frameworks.

They are most likely to use wood or metal to help complete their duties, including:

  • Forming foundations
  • Building structures
  • Dismantling casts so they can be reused
  • Measuring, cutting and shaping materials.

Sound interesting? Discover more about a career as a formworker here.

Find out more about a career as a carpenter 

There are a lot of different specialises in carpentry, so it’s important you choose a field that is of interest to you.

Explore everything you need to know about a career in carpentry here.

Find a carpentry apprenticeship near you today.