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How to Become a Joiner Without an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “How to become a joiner without an apprenticeship?

Becoming a joiner could be a fulfilling career path if you are passionate about working with wood and enjoy crafting furniture or other wooden items. Traditionally, people would undertake apprenticeships to learn the necessary skills and knowledge to become a joiner. However, there are alternative routes to pursue this career without a formal apprenticeship.

This article will explore the steps you can take to become a joiner without an apprenticeship.

How to Become a Joiner Without an Apprenticeship

Step 1: Acquire Basic Skills and Knowledge

To begin your journey towards becoming a joiner, gaining a solid foundation in woodworking is essential. Start by familiarising yourself with the basic tools used in joinery, such as saws, chisels, planes, and drills. Online tutorials, woodworking books, and local woodworking classes can be valuable resources to develop your skills and understanding of woodwork.

Step 2: Obtain Relevant Qualifications

Though an apprenticeship is not mandatory, having formal qualifications in joinery can significantly boost your prospects. Consider enrolling in woodworking courses or programs offered by local colleges or vocational institutions. These courses may provide you with a recognised qualification, such as a diploma or a certificate, which can enhance your credibility in the industry.

Step 3: Practical Experience

Gaining hands-on experience is crucial in any trade; joinery is no exception. Seek opportunities to work on small woodworking projects or collaborate with experienced joiners on their projects. Volunteer or assist in a local carpentry or joinery workshop to acquire practical skills and industry knowledge.

Step 4: Networking and Mentoring

Building connections within the woodworking community can open doors to valuable learning experiences and potential job opportunities. Attend woodworking events, exhibitions, and seminars to meet other joiners and professionals in the field. Additionally, consider finding a mentor who can guide you, offer advice, and share their expertise in joinery.

Step 5: Create a Portfolio

A portfolio showcasing your best woodworking projects and achievements can be a powerful tool to demonstrate your skills and talent to potential employers or clients. Include clear photographs of your work and brief descriptions of the materials used and the techniques employed.

Step 6: Explore Apprenticeship Alternatives

While an apprenticeship may not be your chosen path, consider alternative routes that provide practical training and on-the-job experience. Some workshops or businesses may offer internships or work placement programs that can give you hands-on experience in a professional environment.

Step 7: Start Your Own Joinery Business

Starting your joinery business could be an excellent option if you feel confident in your skills and have a robust entrepreneurial spirit. This route allows you to be your boss, set your schedule, and focus on projects that align with your interests and expertise.

Step 8: Continuous Learning

Joinery is a skill that can always be honed and improved. Stay updated with the latest techniques, tools, and trends in the industry. Attend workshops, webinars, or online courses to expand your knowledge and stay ahead in the field.


Becoming a joiner without an apprenticeship may require determination, hard work, and a passion for woodworking. By gaining essential skills, obtaining relevant qualifications, seeking practical experience, and networking within the woodworking community, you can pave your path towards a successful career in joinery. Whether you work for a joinery company or start your own business, remember that continuous learning and dedication are key to achieving excellence in this rewarding profession.

Updated on August 3, 2023

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