Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist - MOS 12W

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W)

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialists (MOS 12W) deal with general construction, as the name implies.

Army MOS 12W Specialists are skilled at working on heavy carpentry and masonry projects.

Soldiers need to adapt to their surroundings and often construct infrastructure on the fly.

Learn how you can become an Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) by reading the entire article.

Education, Qualifications,Training and Duty Stations

army mos 12w
Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialists (MOS 12W) receive their training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Army assigns new recruits a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

Soldiers generally get to pick their MOS so long as they meet the specific requirements of the military job.

There is training, education, and qualifications required to become an Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W).

Related ArticleArmy Firefighter (MOS 12M): Career Details


The United States Army requires new recruits to have a minimum education of a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

College is not mandatory yet never hurts as you bring some more education to the table.

New recruits must complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests determine the Military Occupational Specialities (MOS) you qualify based on strengths and weaknesses analyzed on the ASVAB.

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialists (MOS 12W) need to score a minimum of General Maintenance (GM): 88 on the ASVAB to qualify for the MOS.


An Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) needs to be a citizen of the United States.

You also need to have a normal color vision (no colorblindness).

The Army also expects aspiring MOS 12W to meet the “heavy strength” requirement on their physical fitness examination.

Fortunately, there is no security clearance needed for MOS 12W which prevents new recruits from having to undergo a detailed background check with the Department of Defense.

Furthermore, while not a direct qualification, the Army recommends that you are okay dealing with heights and appreciate doing physical labor jobs.

An interest in math and science is also helpful though you’ll get trained on skills you need for MOS 12W.

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialists primarily work outdoors and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.

If that sounds like you then you’ll be an ideal fit for MOS 12W.


Army recruits, regardless of Military Occupational Specialty, begin training at boot camp.

Basic Combat Training (BCT) lasts ten weeks and introduces new soldiers to what life is like in the military.

After completing BCT, soldiers progress to Advanced Individual Training (AIT), where you focus on specialized training for your military specialty.

The length of Army AIT training varies depending on the MOS.

Carpentry and Masonry Specialists (MOS 12W) spend nine weeks of advanced training learning their craft at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The Army will prepare you for the MOS by teaching you a variety of skills, including:

  • Basics in concrete technology, proportioning, materials, and control tests.
  • Basics in structure foaming, flooring, and roofing.
  • Proper use of carpentry and masonry finishing tools.
  • Placing, consolidating, and finishing construction projects.
  • Edging, jointing, curing and protecting wood and masonry materials.

Speak to a local Army recruiter about any other questions you have preparing for the military role of MOS 12W – Carpentry & Masonry Specialist.

Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 12W can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
  • Ft. Belvoir, VA
  • Ft. Benning, GA
  • Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Ft. Carson, CO
  • Ft. Drum, NY
  • Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ft. Knox, KY
  • Ft. Leavenworth, KS
  • Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Ft. Polk, LA
  • Ft. Sill, OK
  • Ft. Stewart, GA
  • Ft. Yakima, VA
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
  • Cuba
  • Grafenwoehr, Germany
  • Schofield, HI
  • Jackson, South Korea

What does an Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist Do?

army carpenter
Army Carpenters (MOS 12W) become master craftsmen that are able to think and work quickly on their feet. Image: Wikimedia Commons

An Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) assists with medium and heavy construction projects involving the military branch.

The Army always has a need to build new infrastructure, particularly in third world countries or other foreign places.

Carpentry and Masonry Specialists deal with a wide range of construction projects, obviously specializing primarily in masonry and carpentry.

The military job benefits people that are already good with their hands and ideally have some experience building things from scratch.

The biggest challenge for some soldiers is dealing with extreme heights or harsh weather conditions that do come with the military specialty.

Also, you may serve projects located in combat areas so you need to prepare for a number of different scenarios.

Job Duties of Army MOS 12W

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialists (MOS 12W) build and maintain a variety of structures.

Expect to travel with MOS 12W as you never know where the demand for a new military construction project may take you.

According to the U.S. Army, the job duties of MOS 12W include:

  • Performing basic carpentry and masonry skills.
  • Constructing and maintaining rigging devices and trusses.
  • Assisting in the performance of combat engineer missions.
  • Building concrete forms for walls, slabs, and columns.
  • Assisting in building layout, framing, sheathing, fabrication, and roofing structures.

A Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) works closely with an Army Combat Engineer (MOS 12B) on most construction projects.

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What does an Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist make?

army carpenter mos
Carpentry & Masonry Specialists have a bright future in the civilian world because the job skills translate very well to residential and commercial construction. Image: Army Reserves

The U.S. Army bases its pay scale on military rank and years of service, not Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

Therefore, an Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) with rank E-3 makes approximately the same as an Army Bridge Crewman (MOS 12C) – also with an E-3 rank.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePVT$1,917.60
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$2,149.20
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,259.90
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,503.50
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,503.50
e-6E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,980.50
E-7Sergeant First Class SFC$3,445.80
army master sergeant iconE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant 1SG$4,957.20
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$6,055.50
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$6,055.50
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$6,055.50


There are many advantages to joining the U.S. Army including a very good benefits package:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Retirement
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.
  • Education: Soldiers can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses.

Job Reviews

You can find helpful job reviews about a variety of Military Occupational Specialities (MOS) on sites like and

The reviews for Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) are positive for the most part coming from former soldiers that actually served the MOS.

One major advantage of joining the military is the opportunity not only to develop job skills but also grow as a person.

Related ArticleArmy Technical Engineer Specialist (MOS 12T): Career Details

Civilian Job Opportunities

Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) has a really bright civilian job outlooks.

Most Military Occupational Specialities in the Army do not directly translate well to civilian life because a lot of the duties are specific to the military.

However, you can’t say the same about MOS 12W as you develop the same carpentry and masonry skills that you would in a civilian construction job.

Therefore, it is pretty easy for veterans to make the transition to the private sector, but of course, you are not just limited to working in the field of construction for the rest of your life if you have other ambitions.


Army Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) is a rewarding opportunity in the military branch.

Not only will you learn how to build things from scratch using carpentry and masonry skills, but it also translates really well to civilian life.

Most former MOS 12W transition after leaving the military to working as construction foremen or running their own companies.


Rob V.
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