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Summary of occupation

Joiners assemble prepared timber to form structures and ready-to-install fittings. This involves cutting timber joints and cutting timber to template size and shape. They may also repair existing fittings, work with plastic laminates, perspex or metals.

ANZSCO description: Cuts, shapes and fits timber parts in workshops to form structures and fittings, ready for installation. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Carpenter
Specialisations: Joiner Special Class, Joinery Machinist, Joinery Patternmaker, Joinery Setter-out, Shopfitter
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A Joiner needs:

  • to enjoy practical and manual work, and especially appreciate working with wood
  • to have good health, eyesight and hand-eye coordination
  • to have some mathematical ability
  • to be able to work as part of a team
  • to be able to lift heavy objects.
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Working conditions

Joiners normally work 38 hours, Monday to Friday in a workshop or at a clients' home or business. Overtime may be necessary when there are deadlines to meet. Joiners typically work in a noisy and dusty environment.

Most joiners are employed within a manufacturing business, preparing and assembling timber components off-site such as stairs, balustrades, specialised doors, frames, etc, ready for installation on-site.

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Salary details

On average, joiners can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

Some joiners are self-employed and/or work as part of a team as an individual sub-contractor. Earnings for sub-contractors or small business operators will depend on their level of skill and experience, the level of demand for their services, as well as the amount of work completed.

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Tools and technologies

Joiners use wood-cutting machines, and hand and air powered tools. They may also work with jigs and templates as well as tools suited to working with perspex or metal.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a joiner you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The joiner or carpenter and joiner apprenticeships usually take between 24 to 48 months to complete and are available as a school-based apprenticeship. 

Workers in the construction industry who undertake installation work on a construction site, must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a "white card"). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety​.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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