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How to become a Joiner

avg. starting salary

Looking to carve out a career in woodwork? You should become a Joiner… Joiners cut, fit and construct objects out of wood, without the use of metal fasters, such as nails or screws. Although much of the work they do has a crossover with carpentry, becoming a Joiner is a skilled trade in its own right – with the primary difference between the two being that Joiners solely work with wood, usually on more ornamental work (e.g. doors, furniture & bookcases), while a Carpenters craft also includes working with metal, or on less intricate projects (e.g. roofs and flooring). Typical day-to-day duties for a Joiner may include:
  • Measuring materials
  • Cutting and shaping furniture and fittings
  • Assembling doors, doorframes, windows, staircases, and other structures
  • Constructing larger installations, such as shop interiors or film/TV sets
  • Working with other tradesman, such as carpenters and plasterers, to complete the project

If you’re thinking about becoming a Joiner, you’ll need to be a practical person, first and foremost. The job is extremely hands-on, in every sense of the word, meaning you’ll be called upon for construction on a daily basis. If you’re someone who considers themselves more of a ‘thinker’ than a ‘do-er’, this may not be the career for you. The ability to follow technical plans accurately, not to mention perfectly replicate designs, will also be key to your success in this role. For a Joiner, there is no such thing as a ‘guestimate’. Other key skills for a Joiner include:
  • Attention to detail
  • An analytical approach to your work
  • Numerical ability
  • Manual dexterity
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • An awareness for health and safety best practices


Joiner's Mate

Up to £14,000


Up to £30,000

Self-employed Joiner

Up to £40,000

"I started working as a Joiner’s Apprentice as soon as I left school, mainly because I wanted to earn some money while I studied. I’ve always loved building things, and I loved learning a trade which I could use in the long term. I’m now a fully qualified Joiner, and use my skills to make everything from mantelpieces to mock-medieval staircases (you don’t get many of them, to be honest) on a daily basis. Ultimately, I’m looking to start working for myself in the future, which I’ve always wanted to do. . I don’t know really, being a Joiner just seems to ‘fit’ me. Unfortunately, so do terrible puns."

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