Middle English, from Anglo-French carpenter, charpenter, from Latin carpentarius carriage maker, from carpentum carriage, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish carpat chariot, carr vehicle. The Middle English and Scots word (in the sense of "builder") was wright (from the Old English wryhta), which could be used in compound forms such as wheelwright or boatwright.
- 1:a worker who builds or repairs wooden structures or their structural parts
A carpenter (builder) is a skilled craftsperson who performs carpentry, see also Joiner. Carpenters work with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work may involve manual labor and work outdoors.
Carpentry skill is gained through experience and study. Outside of unions, there are no formal training requirements (in the U.S.) and the trade can be easy to enter. In other countries, such as Germany, Japan and Canada there are strict standards.
In British slang, a carpenter is sometimes referred to as a "chippie". In Australia, they are often called "tradies". One of the German words for carpenter is "Zimmermann" from the Middle High German zimbermann (a compound of zimber, zim(m)er cf. English ‘timber’ + mann ‘man’), and hence is the source for the surname in German and English-speaking countries. Other woodworking names/professions, that also occur as a surname, are Tischler and Schreiner.
Carpentry in the United States is almost always done by men. With 98.5% of carpenters being male, it was the fourth most male-dominated occupation in the country in 1999.