Exterior/interior specialists, or interior systems carpenters, work on interior and exterior building surfaces and install equipment and material in commercial buildings such as acoustical ceilings, raised floors for computers, metal framing, wall partitions, and office furniture systems. Metal stud and drywall specialists use metal studs instead of wood in commercial high-rise construction because of their superior fire rating. Insulators work with both thermal and sound insulation using many variations of rolled and rigid insulation systems.

Working Conditions

The work is performed indoors and outside, on walls and overhead, sometimes on scaffolding several stories high, using power tools and power lifts. The apprentice must be able to lift 120-pound sheets of drywall.

Length of Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship is a three-year program with the opportunity to advance every six months. Apprentices must complete 144 related classroom hours per year and 6,000 on-the-job training hours.

Minimum Qualifications

Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 17 years of age to apply. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.

Wage Averages for Oklahoma (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015)

Mean Hourly Wage: $17.45

Annual Mean Wage: $36,300