Hands-on Skills Hands-on Skills


A joiner usually makes the timber products that a carpenter fixes on-site. So, for example, a joiner might be employed to make the doors, frame and windows for a new building, whereas carpenters construct the building elements on-site.

They can work in many areas, for instance on construction sites, fitting out shops and bars, and building sets for film and TV. If you enjoy working with wood and want to put your practical skills to good use, this could be an ideal career for you. You'll need an eye for detail, good maths skills for working out measurements and the ability to follow technical plans. Employers usually want people with some construction experience and relevant qualifications. You could start as a joiner's mate or labourer to get some site experience then take further training to qualify. Another common way into this career is through an Apprenticeship scheme.


What The Job Involves

What are the key responsibilities for this position?

Key Responsibilities

Cut and shape timber for floorboards, skirting boards and window frames
Make and assemble doors, window frames, staircases and fitted furniture
Make and interiors in shops, bars, restaurants, offices and public buildings
Construct stage sets for theatre, film and TV productions
Build temporary wooden supports to hold concrete in place while it sets, for example building foundations (formwork)

Employers usually look for people with some on-site experience and qualifications. If you have not worked in construction before, you may be able to start as a joiner's mate or labourer to get site experience. Once working, your employer may offer you training in carpentry and joinery.

Another route is to take a full-time or part-time college course in carpentry and joinery. This would give you some of the knowledge and practical skills needed for the job and may improve your chances of finding work in the industry.

Entry Requirements

Labouring site experience
CSCS card
Level 1 Basic Construction Skills
Level 1 in Wood Operations
Level 2 (NVQ) Certificate / Diploma in Wood Occupations
Level 2 Diploma in Construction Crafts (carpentry and joinery)

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

Good practical skills
An organised approach to work
Attention to detail
Ability to follow technical drawing and plans
Good maths skills for measuring and working out quantities and angles
A reasonable level of fitness
Ability to work as part of a team and unsupervised
Awareness of health and safety

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

Salary & Progression

Starting salary: £15,000 a year.
Qualified joiners: £18,000- £25,000 a year
Experienced joiners: £26,000- £30,000 a year
Self-employed joiners can set their own rates
Hands-on Skills Hands-on Skills
Case Study

Kelsey Tuffin


Kelsey Tuffin was awarded our Student of the Year at our recent Graduation Ceremony.

Kelsey Tuffin came to the Trust in April 2016, when she attended a Budding Builders course at the Bermondsey Training Centre where she earnt her CSCS card. Kelsey impressed us all with her work ethic and her skill as a joiner, and was invited back to Bermondsey as a volunteer to work with the next course.

Kelsey achieved a placement with JT Ellis and has since been offered a job as a carpenter - more proof (if it were needed) that jobs in construction are not just for boys!

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Key: Budding BuildersBudding Builders
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