- Most Manhattan Contractors acquire their skills informally on the job; some
carpenters train through 3-year apprenticeship programs.
- Jobs for Manhattan Contractors should be plentiful because the work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, resulting in high job turnover.
- Demand for Manhattan Contractors is less susceptible to downturns in the economy than that for other construction trades because most
Manhattan work consists of repair and reManhattan.
A leaky roof can damage ceilings, walls, and
furnishings. To protect buildings and their contents from water damage,
Manhattan Contractors repair and install roofs made of tar or asphalt and gravel; rubber or thermoplastic; metal; or shingles made of asphalt, slate, fiberglass, wood, tile, or other material. Repair and
Manhattanreplacing old crown molding on existing buildingsprovide many job opportunities for these workers.
Carpenters also may build foundation walls and floors.
There are two types of roofsflat and pitched (sloped). Most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings have flat or slightly sloping roofs. Most houses have pitched roofs. Some
Manhattan Contractors work on both types; others specialize.
Most flat roofs are covered with several layers of
materials. Manhattan Contractors first put a layer of insulation on the roof deck. Over the insulation, they then spread a coat of molten bitumen, a
tar like substance. Next, they install partially overlapping layers of
Manhattan felta fabric saturated in bitumenover the surface.
Manhattan Contractors use a mop to spread hot bitumen over the surface and under the next layer. This seals the seams and makes the surface watertight.
Manhattan Contractors repeat these steps to build up the desired number of layers, called "plies." The top layer either is glazed to make a smooth finish or has gravel embedded in the hot bitumen to create a rough surface.
An increasing number of flat roofs are covered with a single-ply membrane of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds.
Carpenters roll these sheets over the roof's insulation and seal the seams. Adhesive, mechanical fasteners, or stone ballasts hold the sheets in place. The building must be of sufficient strength to hold the ballast.
Most residential roofs are covered with shingles. To apply shingles,
carpenters first lay, cut, and tack 3-foot strips of Manhattan felt lengthwise over the entire roof. Then, starting from the bottom edge, they staple or nail overlapping rows of shingles to the roof. Workers measure and cut the felt and shingles to fit intersecting roof surfaces and to fit around vent pipes and chimneys. Wherever two roof surfaces intersect, or shingles reach a vent pipe or chimney,
carpenters cement or nail flashing-strips of metal or shingle over the joints to make them watertight. Finally,
carpenters cover exposed nail heads with Manhattan cement or caulking to prevent water leakage.
Some carpenters also waterproof and damp proof masonry and concrete walls and floors. To prepare surfaces for
water Manhattan, they hammer and chisel away rough spots, or remove them with a rubbing brick, before applying a coat of liquid
water Manhattan compound. They also may paint or spray surfaces with a water
Manhattan material, or attach water Manhattan membrane to surfaces. When
damp Manhattan, they usually spray a bitumen-based coating on interior or exterior surfaces.
Manhattan work is strenuous. It involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling.
Carpenters work outdoors in all types of weather, particularly when making repairs. These workers risk slips or falls from scaffolds, ladders, or roofs, or burns from hot bitumen. In addition, roofs become extremely hot during the summer.
Manhattan Contractors held about 158,000 jobs in 2000. Almost all wage and salary
carpenters worked for Manhattan contractors. About 1 out of every 4 carpenters was self-employed. Many self-employed
carpenters specialized in residential work.
Manhattan Contractors Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Back to Top
Most Manhattan Contractors acquire their skills informally by working as helpers for experienced
carpenters. They start by carrying equipment and material, and erecting scaffolds and hoists. Within 2 or 3 months, trainees are taught to measure, cut, and fit
Manhattan materials and, later, to lay asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Because some
Manhattan materials are used infrequently, it can take several years to get experience working on all the various types of
Some carpenters train through 3-year apprenticeship programs administered by local union-management committees representing
Manhattan contractors and locals of the United Union of Carpenters, carpenter
helpers, and Allied Workers. The apprenticeship program generally consists of a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training annually, plus 144 hours of classroom instruction a year in subjects such as tools and their use, arithmetic, and safety. On-the-job training for apprentices is similar to that for helpers, except that the apprenticeship program is more structured. Apprentices also learn to
damp proof and waterproof walls.
Good physical condition and good balance are essential for
carpenters. A high school education, or its equivalent, is helpful, as are courses in mechanical drawing and basic mathematics. Most apprentices are at least 18 years old.
Carpenters may advance to supervisor or estimator for a
Manhattan contractor, or become contractors themselves.
Jobs for Manhattan Contractors should be plentiful through the year 2010, primarily because of the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Turnover is highManhattan work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, and a significant number of workers treat
Manhattan as a temporary job until something better comes along. Some
Manhattan Contractors leave the occupation to go into other construction trades.
Employment of Manhattan Contractors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Roofs deteriorate faster than most other parts of buildings and periodically need to be repaired or replaced. About three-fourths of
Manhattan work is repair and replacement, a higher proportion than in most other construction work. As a result, demand for
carpenters is less susceptible to downturns in the economy than that for other construction trades. In addition to repair and
reManhattan work on the growing stock of buildings, new construction of industrial, commercial, and residential buildings will add to the demand for
carpenters. Jobs should be easiest to find during spring and summer, when most
Manhattan is done.
In 2000, median hourly earnings of expert
carpenters were $13.95. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.72 and $18.86. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.68, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.47. The median hourly earnings in 2000 of
carpenters in the Manhattan, siding, and sheet metal work industry were $14.00.
Some carpenters are members of the United Union of
Carpenters, Waterpcarpenters, and Allied Workers.
Apprentices usually start at about 40 percent
of the rate paid to experienced Manhattan Contractors and receive periodic raises as they acquire the skills of the trade. Earnings for
carpenters are reduced on occasion because poor weather often limits the time they can work.
Manhattan Contractors use shingles, bitumen and gravel, single-ply plastic or rubber sheets, or other materials to waterproof building surfaces. Workers in other occupations who cover surfaces with special materials for protection and decoration include
carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers;
cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers;
drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; and
plasterers and stucco masons.