Whether you're looking to land your first joinery role or take your existing skills to the next level, now is a great time to get into the trade.

Joinery is experiencing a boom in the UK. With a recent surge in home renovations and a growing emphasis on sustainable building practices, skilled joiners are in high demand

Here's a guide packed with tips to help you excel in this rewarding career.

Professional placements and qualifications

  • Apprenticeships: A traditional route, apprenticeships offer valuable hands-on experience while you earn. Look for placements with reputable companies or joinery workshops. The government also offers financial incentives for employers taking on apprentices.
  • College courses: Many colleges in the UK offer carpentry and joinery courses. These provide a strong foundation in all aspects of the trade, from technical skills to health and safety.
  • National Vocational Qualifications: NVQs allow you to gain qualifications while working. They assess your skills and knowledge through practical tasks and exams.

What tools do you need?

A well-equipped toolbox is essential for any joiner.

  • Hand tools: These include a good quality hammer, saws (such as a hand saw, coping saw, and tenon saw), chisels, measuring tools (tape measure, set square), planes, screwdrivers, and wood drill bits in various sizes.
  • Power tools: Invest in a good quality power drill, a router, and a sander. As you progress, you might consider adding a circular saw, jigsaw, and mitre saw.
  • Clamps: Clamps of different sizes are essential for holding wood together securely while gluing or assembling joints.
  • Safety gear: Always prioritise safety. This includes safety glasses, dust masks, ear defenders, and sturdy gloves.

Consistent practice

The more you practise, the more refined your skills become.

Start with small projects at home, like building a simple garden box or a bookshelf. Look for online tutorials or woodworking magazines for project ideas. There are also community workshops where you can work alongside experienced joiners and access specialised equipment.

Focusing on different skills

  • Technical skills: Master the different jointing techniques – from basic lap joints to more complex dovetail joints. Practice measuring accurately, cutting precisely, and assembling components flawlessly.
  • Machinery: Learn how to operate power tools safely and effectively. Many colleges offer short courses specifically focused on power tool use for joinery.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD): Having basic CAD skills is becoming increasingly important in the joinery industry. This allows you to create technical drawings and plans for projects. Free online resources and introductory courses can help you get started.
  • Business skills: If you plan to set up your own joinery business, brush up on essential business skills such as marketing, pricing, and customer service. Many local authorities offer free or subsidised courses for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Remember, becoming a skilled joiner takes time and dedication. By following these tips, actively seeking opportunities to learn and practice, you'll be well on your way to carving a successful career in this vibrant trade.