Purpose: This study established a work profile and functional capacity for formwork carpenters (FCs) working at construction sites. Method: Thirty male FCs aged 19-45 were recruited by convenient sampling from the construction training centres. All FCs participated in an interview/questionnaire and a standardized functional capacity evaluation (FCE) using the Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment Primus (BTE Primus) and Valpar Component Work Sample (VALPAR19). Thirty male adults (office workers) aged 19-45 participated in the exact FCE for comparison. Results: The results of the questionnaire indicated that the job demands of formwork carpenters were frequent lifting (46.7%), carrying (50.0%) and handling (60.0%). Significantly higher lifting and carrying capacities were revealed among the FCs, but not in their isometric strengths and the endurance of the upper limbs (X2 = 6.48, df = 2, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The dynamic and repetitive sub-maximal nature of the work of formwork carpentry induced an elevation of job-specific lifting and carrying capacities among the FCs. The job and functional capacity profiles would be useful for formulating guidelines for the rehabilitation of injured workers and the training of new workers in the trade. Copyright © 2003 Taylor & Francis.