We can argue for a very long time what types of carpentry exist because anybody can classify them according to different criteria. In my opinion, the most correct would be to classify carpentry according to the kind of work performed. The most general and straightforward list of types of carpenter works is below.

Different types of carpenter are:

  • Rough Carpenter;
  • Joister;
  • Trim Carpenter;
  • Finish Carpenter or Joiner;
  • Cabinet Maker;
  • Framer;
  • Roofer;
  • and Ship's Carpenter.

Let's try to figure out how these types of carpentry really differ from each other. Also let's highlight some features of the types of carpentry. I sure this post will help you to classify who a Carpenter is and what he does.

Rough Carpenter

As the name suggests, this type of carpenter does rough joinery work, including roofing, framing, formwork, and other jobs. As a rule, all these works belong to large-scale structural works.

In this picture, you can see examples of Rough Carpenter's work.
Examples of Rough Carpenter's work

A true professional rough carpenter must-own and confidently operate with information related to timber frame structures' design and construction and the methods of installation and connection of the frame.

In other words, rough carpentry is any work done on the framing, including walls, floors, and roofs.


Joister is a carpenter who installs floor joists. Floor joists are horizontal boards that are connected to the frame structure of the building. The floor is attached to them. Also, joister put on joists on buildings for the decks.

In this picture, you can see examples of Joister's work.
Examples of Joister's work

Joister must have a solid knowledge of materials' mechanics because he creates structures that will support the floor and ceiling.

Trim Carpenter

In common, a Trim Carpenter is a carpenter who specializes in molding and decoration. They oversee the leveling and trimming of doors, windows, and baseboards. They are responsible for installing curtain rods and trims on doors, windows, and skirting boards. They scribe the moldings to ensure they fit correctly on even or uneven surfaces.

In this picture, you can see examples of Trim Carpenter's work.
Examples of Trim Carpenter's work

So, Trim Carpenters are responsible for preparing and implementing the layout of the finishing project. In other words, they should be highly detail-oriented.

Finish Carpenter or Joiner

Joinery is an essential part of most types of woodworking. A Finish Carpenter or Joiner is a specialist who makes handcrafted woodwork furniture, make small wooden arts and crafts, woodworking gifts, model making, parquet, and does other similar work.

A Joiner is a craftsman who builds things by joining wood art pieces or decorating a carpenter's woodwork, including furniture.

In this picture, you can see examples of Joiner's work.
Examples of Joiner's work

In my opinion, Joiner (as a Cabinet Maker, see below) is the only wood working specialist who can work for himself, who can work without licenses. That is, actually doing woodworking as a hobby, and at any moment, can turn it into areal profitable business.

Cabinet Maker

Cabinetmaking is a very delicate and detailed work associated with the manufacture of cabinets, dressers, wardrobes, storage boxes, and other woodwork furniture. So, Cabinet Maker manufactures or refurbishes furniture and installs and puts prefabricated wood pieces together. The typical work of Cabinet Maker also includes the manufacture and furnishing of kitchens and bathrooms.

In this picture, you can see examples of Cabinet Maker's work.
Examples of Cabinet Maker's work

Cabinet Maker can work both independently and as part of a team. As a rule, a specialist has the following personal qualities:

  • Able to follow written instructions;
  • Knows how to work with high precision;
  • Know show to make simple mathematical calculations;
  • Have good hand-eye coordination;
  • Have basics of woodworking;
  • Have a desire to learn new woodworking techniques;

And also, he should be able to enjoy practical and manual lessons. Is this not a description of the ideal hobby for a person who loves to work for himself and others?

I have to note in advance that the cabinetmaking business can bring significant profits.

To figure out more about these specialties, Joiner / Cabinetmaker, please check it out the post Is a Joiner a Carpenter?


This activity is a part of Rough Carpentry. The main task of the framer is to make a level frame of the building quickly. A framer is a carpenter who puts together the main structural elements of a frame. They build walls from studs, windowsills, and headers. Also, they make floors from beams and joists and frame roofs. I think everyone saw this stage in the process of building; look at the picture below.

In this picture, you can see examples of Framer's work.
Examples of Framer's work

As a rule, except for small backyard construction, the framer is working for a construction company. And the more experience you have, the higher salary you get in the company.


Roofer, or in other words - roof mechanic, as the name hints, specializes in roof construction and focuses on setting up rafters, beams, and trusses. So, in a nutshell, Roofers replace, renovate, and install roofs of buildings. And yes, roofing is a more physical job than other carpentry work types and quite dangerous because you work mostly at height. Although, with the observance of safety measures, the risk of falling from a height will not be too high.

In this picture, you can see examples of Roofer's work.
Examples of Roofer's work

The basic requirements for a roofer are as expected:

  • Strength: they have to carry up heavy materials upstairs onto the roof;
  • Stamina: they spend most of their working time on their feet, despite the cold and heat;
  • No Fear of heights: sometimes, you have to work very high.

But typically, a roofer never works alone, usually as part of a team.

Ship's carpenter

Oh, Ship's carpenters are the true professionals in the carpentry business. As you guess, they specialize in shipbuilding as well as all ship/boat maintenance and repair.

They never work alone, only if they need to fix a neighbor's boat or build themselves a lake boat. The art of building and repairing boats and ships studies in the appropriate educational organizations for several years.

In this picture, you can see examples of Ship's Carpenter's work.
Examples of Ship's Carpenter's work

Anyway, to be an excellent Ship's carpenter, it is not enough to be just a good carpenter; you have to be in love with the Sea.

If we are talking about woodworking passion, all of these carpentry types deserve their attention. In each of these types of carpentry, there are real professionals with tremendous woodworking skills. And all products they made can rightfully be called wood artwork. 

But my resource is still devoted to hobbies and ideas on how to turn your hobbies into cash. That means to turn your hobbies into a real business. It isn't easy to imagine the process of building ships or houses as a favorite hobby. If it is, you are most likely either a professional working for a well-known construction company or the owner of such a company. Then most likely, your real hobby is not construction but the development of the woodworking business. That is not the same thing. 

As part of this web resource, I do not consider such types of work as a Rough Carpenter, Joister, Trim Carpenter, Framer, Roofer, or Ship's Carpenter. But in my article "Wood Joinery," I dwelled on Joinery and Cabinetmaking in detail. This type of carpentry deserves our attention as a hobby that we can doin our free time for our souls. 

Suppose you are thinking carpentry for a living. In that case, you have to know the Joiner/Cabinet Maker does more several times than specialists engaged in other types of carpentry work, even if you are a woodworking beginner.

How easy do you think it can be to turn a hobby Joiner/Cabinetmaker into a real profitable business?