Thanks for your interest and so many questions.

Timber framers are specialty woodworkers with a mix of carpentry and heavy material handling skills and no particular common background. (The same is true of many professions....truck driving for one) Wages vary by geography and experience. Those of us that have tools, skills, a willing spouse and our own businesses that do travel are often gone six months a year. It is not that glamorous and before you consider a career eating sawdust remember that it is considered a hazardous workplace material.
Those of us that are working in the friendly atmosphere of a corporate structure are probably paid in line with all educated and skilled trades working in similar circumstances.
If the Dow Jones sees 5000 again, many of us will not be working at all.
Construction is not for everyone I remind myself as I step out of the truck on those -5F days and do something that you can't do with gloves on again. I am sure that also is true of the cube farm.

I would encourage you to follow any dream that you can commit to and if I can help, let me know.
Curtis Milton