Carpentry Vs Woodworking : Differences Between them

Carpentry refers to the art of trading in cutting and joining logs for constructing buildings and other joineries, like window or door frames, etc. Woodworking, on the other hand, is related to the skills and craftsmanship of carpentry to make things out of wood. This article is dedicated to knowing the subtle dissimilarities between the above two terms.

If you are a tenderfoot, who is really intended to figure the visible differences between the craft of carpentry and woodworking, then this post might help. Here, we have discussed all about the working in carpentry and woodworking. Then we talked about the possible benefits of both domains, which domain is more money-making, which job is more strenuous, followed by a conclusion. So, let’s check out the sections in detail!

Overview of Working in Carpentry and Woodworking



Carpentry generally deals with making joineries including the structures of doors, cabinets, frames, etc. and other functional items. Before delving further into the topic, let’s understand the difference between a construction worker and a carpenter. Well, a construction worker, as the name suggests, is responsible for building the structure of an under-construction building; takes care of the external portion of the building. A carpenter, on the other hand, is there to complete the interior portion of the building.

Installation of shelves, stairs, cabinets, drawers, windows, doors, flooring, etc. are some of the instances of carpentry. A carpenter follows a designated guideline/plan while working on a project so that the work meets the customer’s requirements. In order to understand which part of the house is suitable for installing what type of furniture, the carpenter must be well-versed in understanding the blueprints for the construction plan of a house. Some construction workers also do carpentry work. However, those are typically different from the building process.

A carpenter might require most of the tools required byba woodcrafters and many of the carpenters do woodworking projects as well. So, this is a two in one opportunity for someone who knows both the type of work. Where woodworking depends much on the worker experience, expertise, and imagination to turn a log of timber into an extraordinary piece of art, a carpenter’s job is basically where the need is to shape, cut, and do installation in different sections of a building. in different areas of insulation.

They are always on the move depending on their work requirement by the customer; sometimes it is about shelving, sometimes drywalling or cabinetry, etc. Some of them (carpenters) are skilled enough and that’s the reason they are hired. A good carpenter always creates a visible difference in the quality of the job done by a mediocre carpenter. So, if you are thinking carpentry is much easier than woodworking, then it is not. Both the trades demand skills and hands-on experience. 



Woodworkers is a generalized classification with an artistic connotation. Be it making a workbench or designing a clock, or fitting jigs to the timber, a woodcrafter is adept and inventive in their work. However, they yet follow a proper guideline or a preplanned outline of the project to be conducted in the right direction. Woodworking tools consist of hammers, saws, clamps, chisels, calipers, and block planes.

The woodworkers utilize all these tools and much of their innovation and imagination to come up with a wooden masterpiece every time! Pro-grade woodworkers generally have hands-on experience in dealing with multitude of varied wood projects; be it making a child’s play to producing a well-designed cabinet. While many woodworkers prefer to work on small to medium wood projects as well, the others rather prefer working on major time taking woodworking projects.

Recently, woodworking has started to return to the limelight. Most buyers find it sick to purchase mass-manufactured wood products from whole-sell retailers. If you go to a woodworker to buy a piece, despite following a guideline, the item will not appear to be exactly the same. While buying from a woodworker, you have the freedom cum advantage to personalize the item by adding some flair to it.

That is the reason woodworking is making a quicker comeback in the market. Luckily, the trend goes on as many skilled woodcrafters are available these days who can make a good deal of money out of the woodshops. Well, there is much more to know about woodworking; this is just a gist. We will cover the other relevant aspects of it shortly. Now let’s move on to carpentry.

Carpentry or Woodworking: Which is the Best?

Carpentry Vs Woodworking

Plus Points of Carpentry

If you are thinking which is the better option- woodworking or carpentry- then there is no universal answer to this. If you are more into making structures for home furnishing and things like those, and prefer moving with a preplanned project guideline, then carpentry is for you. However, if you are not an expert in this, the career scope of carpentry will not be that much effective to you. So, it is important to make sure that you maintain the quality of your work. As long as you keep yourself updated to the newer techniques of carpentry and more, this is indeed a good career option to pursue.

Carpentry can be quite gratifying, if that is what you expect to look for. You get to specialize in any of the following trades: sheetrock, flooring, shelving, and cabinetry. Whichever you pick, if done well, can be a good career option. As far as the question is about which is the best? only you must be knowing the answer to this.

Plus Points of Woodworking

On the contrary, if you are more interested in works that require creativity, then woodworking is for you. You get leeways to get your innovative ideas flowing on your projects. Woodworking gives you a broader range of choices. Unlike carpentry, you will not have to necessarily follow a plan, if you are already an expert woodworker.

For the beginner, it is always better to be on the safer side and follow instructions; whether he or she is dealing with carpentry work or woodworking. It has a good career scope if you can make it happen. There are countless opportunities that you can expect to build by creating a wide customer base, who will like to return to you, every time they need something customized.

When it comes to woodworking, most people stoop to this option as it has greater freedom of work if compared with carpentry. Whether you choose woodworking or carpentry- you should always give it a test to confirm if your chosen option was right or wrong for you.

Carpentry or Woodworking: Which is a Better Discipline to Make Money ?

A Carpenter’s Payout

A carpenter makes a pretty good amount of cash compared to what a woodworker does. According to the Bureau of Labor, the carpenters are well trained in their chosen discipline. The average payout of a carpenter is around $53,722 per annum in the United States. This can vary between a wide range from ($46,392 to $61,915) per annum. The level of their yearly salary is based on the discipline that they adhere to as their career option. Cabinet makers do as fine as an adept furniture maker does.

However, carpenters do not have any personal freedom or freedom to choose their work hours, both of which are available to a woodworker, despite the latter making a bit less money than the former.

A Woodworker’s Payout

A woodworker’s salary is based on the type of work he or she can do and how precisely. These two are the most primary things that create a visible difference in the salary of a mediocre woodworker and a professional woodcrafter. The extra addition to your salary also depends on how reputed you are to the people, how many customers you have, what type of projects you deal with, etc. Most people avoid going for woodworking because of the low income if compared with carpentry.

There is a marked difference in the payout range of a carpenter and a woodworker. As per the statistical record of the Bureau of Labor, a Woodworker’s yearly payout is not more than the range of $19,177.60 to $39,192 per annum. The maximum hourly payout of a woodworker ranges from $9.22 to $17.40. The rest depends on your hands-on experience, your work precision and quality, and others. If you have a personal workshop, then still have a chance to make much money as you will not have to pay commission to the shop owner this time!

Personal freedom in woodworking in terms of choosing one’s project and the timeline to complete the same are two of the many reasons why creative people go for l woodworking. If you are a more workaholic kind of person to whom dealing with strenuous jobs does not matter, then you are the one fit for woodworking jobs. Conversely, if you are a plan based working person, then carpentry is what fits you the most.

Woodworking or Carpenter: Which is a Harder Job?

While some find woodworking easier, others prefer carpentry as it contains a properly planned guideline to follow throughout the process. There is no such definite answer to indicate which is the easier and which is the harder trade between the two. It all depends on the person who has to make the choice based on his or her knowledge and skills regarding any of these two disciplines. If you are more creative and do not like following a pre-planned procedure, then carpentry might not be fit for you.

You should then rather go for woodworking which is more open to freedom and interpretation in doing the work by your way. You can customize the items as per the buyer’s preferences. This is one of the primary aspects liked in woodworking by many. However, in order to be more precise and systematic in your work, you have to maintain a structure in your work; just like in carpentry. Understand your purpose and give the best of your effort to your work. This is the only rule behind the success of any trade; whatsoever you choose.

Considering the physical effort required in both the trades: carpentry and woodworking, the latter is harder. However, based on your skill and experience in handling large projects, you might eventually figure out a way to deal with such jobs more comfortably than before. In the beginning, you might have to face a lot of issues because then you are just learning the techniques.

It might also be a time taking process to complete the tasks. But, with the gradual progress in your skill and practical experience, these problems will subside. Basically, neither of them is harder in terms of skill level. It all depends on how you chalk out the work in your mind and proceed.

Summing Up

Well, that was the most precise description of woodworking vs carpentry. Other than this, you might find many other opinions out there regarding this topic. However, the points covered here are practically true as confirmed by the pro-grade woodworkers and carpenters, who from their personal experience have provided the details of the benefits and setbacks of both the trades. We have also done our part to bring out the portions which you might find missing in other similar articles, like the payout part, the career scope, and others.

If you are more interested in woodworking but do not like the physical hassle that comes along, then try something in carpentry. You never know your potential unless you try your worth. However, to stay out of monotonicity, we would suggest you to go with woodworking, as it is a wonderful trade and quite fulfilling.

In carpentry, you get to learn a lot about the different disciplines and skills. Actually, neither of the two is better than the other. It all depends on you how you handle and move on successfully with your chosen trade. Go through the videos of both the trades on YouTube. There you will get enough idea about how woodworking and carpentry works. Grab any and every detail and you will probably find your niche in pursuit of your career. 

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