The job of framing structures requires skill in structural engineering and architectural design. A framing contractor must have the ability to read and interpret plans, develop a competitive bid, and then manage the labor and material resources necessary to frame the project in an efficient yet timely manner for their client, the builder.
In addition to the complexity of framing, it is labor intense in comparison to other construction trades. Framing companies employee approximately 40 people on a typical ten-house release, making them by far the largest trade in residential construction. Some large framing contractors employ as many as 5,000 different carpenters in a year. Carpenters typically range in age from 18 to 35 due to the physical requirements of the work performed.
Due to the complexity of the work performed, income is commensurate. Average annual salaries range from approximately $50,000 for experienced journeymen, to over $70,000 for crew foremen, plus an additional bonus potential for meeting the job schedule and completing the home within budget.
The diversity of the workforce reflects the changing demographics of California. In a recent poll of residential framing contractors throughout the State, approximately 85% of the workforce is Latino, 14% Caucasian, and 1% African-American. Managers, supervisors, and foremen reflect these same percentages as well.
It is estimated that over 90% of framing company owners began their careers on the job as carpenters. They epitomize the American dream of working hard and building a business for oneself. One owner describes the framing industry as that which is made up of characters from the Grapes of Wrath, all of whom dream that it is possible to own a business through hard work and perseverance.
Challenges of the Framing Contractor
Workers’ compensation and liability insurance continues to rise, economic conditions in California continue to stagnate in this economy and legislation and regulations continue to create ongoing compliance confusion for business owners. The CFCA is dedicated to providing its members with the necessary tools and information to comply with the ongoing requirements in employment and safety for our members can focus their attention on running their businesses.