OFO No: 641503

Other names for Joiner:

  • Door Joiner
  • Joinery Machinist
  • Joinery Patternmaker
  • Joinery Setter-out
  • Ships Joiner
  • Wood Joiner

What is a Joiner?

Joinery is one of the oldest professions, dating back to medieval times.

A Joiner is like a craftman-carpenter. 

The difference between a Carpenter and a Joiner is that a Carpenter usually joins pieces of wood together with nails and screws, while a Joiner cuts the various pieces of wood in a special way so that they form inter-locking joints.

A Joiner is usually found in furniture making, or in construction – specialising in creative window frames, fireplace surrounds, staircases etc and may even be a specialist kitchen cabinet maker.

What does a Joiner do?

  • discusses project with client or project manager
  • takes measurements
  • recommends the right wood for the job
  • orders the wood
  • creates templates
  • measures, marks and saws
  • creates item required
  • sands and treats wood

Are you … ?

  • good with your hands?
  • practical?
  • creative?
  • able to think and work in 3D?
  • mathematically inclined to take measurements?
  • detail orientated?

How do I become a Joiner?

You can choose one of these career pathways:


  • Apprenticeship (training at a TVET college with practical training under a qualified artisan)
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Construction Carpenter (Manufacturing Products from Wood) Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Construction (Carpenter NCCA) NQF 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate (Engineering Studies) N1, N2 and N3
  • Trade Test


  • Artisan Internship
  • Trade Test


  • RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) for Artisans: CLICK HERE
  • If you have already been working a long time as a Joiner without qualifications, you may be able to get your qualification through RPL
  • Trade Test


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Carpenter, Set Designer … or … Musical Instrument Builder … or … Furniture Designer

Is becoming a Joiner the right career choice for me?