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Carpentry is a skilled
trade in which the
primary work
performed is the
cutting, shaping and
installation of building
materials during the
construction of
buildings, ships, timber
bridges, concrete
formwork, etc.
Carpenters traditionally
worked with natural
wood and did the
rougher work such as
framing, but today
many other materials
are also used and
sometimes the finer
trades of
cabinetmaking and
furniture building are
considered carpentry.
Carpentry in the United
States is almost
always done by men.
With 98.5% of
carpenters being male,
it was the fourth most
occupation in the
country in 1999, and
there were about 1.5
million positions in 2006.
Carpenters are
usually the first
tradesmen on a job and
the last to leave.
Carpenters normally
framed post-and-beam
buildings until the end of
the 19th century; now
this old fashioned
carpentry is called
timber framing.
Carpenters learn this
trade by being
employed through an
apprenticeship training
—normally 4 years—
and qualify by
successfully completing
that country's
department of labour
competency test in
places such as the UK,
USA and South Africa. It
is also common that
the skill can be learnt by
gaining work experience
other than a formal
training program, which
may be the case in
many places.

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