How to become a Joiner in Australia: careers in building and construction

A joiner specialises in cutting and fitting wood and other materials to structures or repairing joinery and woodwork. A joiner usually works in cabinet making or other furniture construction as well as working alongside other carpenters in the construction of buildings around windows and doors. Joiners usually work with a type of wood, such as timber, and provide hands-on skills in building and erecting a number of structures such as the framework for rooms, doors and shelves. Joiners need to enjoy working with their hands and are able to calculate and interpret details from a blueprint plan. Most joiners start their career by working in a carpentry apprenticeship or studying a TAFE or similar training course.

  • Task Career in focus: What a joiner does

    A joiner works alongside carpenters and other construction workers, providing their specialist advice on picking the right materials and how to properly and safely build a framework. You will find yourself mostly working with wood and other similar materials, helping people build something important such as a first home or a unique piece of furniture.


    • Study architectural blueprints and provide advice on specifications
    • Provide specialist advice on appropriate material
    • Liaise with clients and other contractors
    • Cut, assemble and erect materials
    • Repair existing structures such as roof constructions or flooring.
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to succeed as a joiner

    Working as a joiner involves a lot more than just cutting and building wood. As a construction worker, you will need to be familiar with safety procedures to work around tools and sites. You will also need to have strong communication skills, as you will need to regularly speak to other contractors, project managers and clients. You will need to have a good knowledge of different materials and their benefits and weaknesses, providing this advice in the planning process. You will need to have an analytical mind that can pay close attention to minor details and easily identify miscalculations.

    • Eye for detail
    • Analytical and mathematical mind
    • Knowledge of different building materials
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Ability to put up with the physical demands of the job
    • Able to interpret and understand architectural designs
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations in building and construction

    There are many ways to become a joiner, and there are many benefits to working in the construction industry. If you wish to progress further in your career, there are opportunities to work as lecturers, passing on your knowledge to others, or become an advisory or surveyor.

    Building inspector

    Building inspectors are passionate about keeping people safe from injury, and make sure everyone in a building site is abiding by WHS procedures. You will need to have a good all-round knowledge about building sites and help others by suggesting improvements to how they do things to ensure all the workers return safely to their families at the end of the working day.


    If you enjoy helping others grow and want to pass on your knowledge, you would benefit from becoming a VET or TAFE lecturer. You will need to further develop your teaching skills and use your past knowledge and experience to pass on your technical expertise.

    Construction manager

    A construction manager works alongside other project managers to ensure the building process is happening on time and under budget. A construction manager talks to their employees and anticipates any issues or delays and takes steps to rectify, using their excellent organisational skills.

    Quantity surveyor

    A quantity surveyor, much like the title suggests, tracks the quantities and costs of contracted work. You will work closely in budget management, tracking real-time spend against budget projections as well as overseeing risk management and other administrative duties involved in construction.

    Inventory officer

    A lot of ex-carpenters or joiners take up work as an inventory officer, as they have a sound, all-round knowledge on construction materials and what is needed for different jobs. You will communicate with project managers and builders, ordering different types and amounts for the materials required for the work.
  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a joiner

    If you’re ready to start your career as a joiner, you will need to complete an apprenticeship in carpentry, joiner or cabinet making. As part of your course, you will also learn how to abide by WHS protocols.

    Starting Out

    You can start your apprenticeship as early as when you finish studying Grade 10 at school, and will give you real-life experiences working on building sites.

    Building Skills

    You can gain employment in either commercial or residential projects, giving you a well-rounded knowledge on all aspects of construction. This knowledge will help you gain recognition under the Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package.

    Developing Your Resume

    Once you have experience as joiner under your belt, you can further develop your skills into a specialised skill or by keeping your knowledge up-to-date with new developments through continual professional development training.

    Industry Recognition

    There are a number of peak bodies in building and construction that you could work towards gaining membership or recognition from. Because this can vary, depending on what state or territory you work, check out our resources section for more relevant information.

    Entering the Workforce

    Once you’ve completed your training, you will need a strong resume to get you ahead in your profession. See our sample resumes and cover letters to get you started.

    Job prospects in building and construction: Working life as a joiner

    In construction and carpentry, employment opportunities have been steadily rising over the past five years and are expected to strongly increase with 50,000 new jobs being created from 2014 to 2019.

Building and Construction Industry Resources:

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