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Bench joner

Carpenter, joiner

A bench joiner works offsite, cutting wood and timber to required lengths for building projects. They may work for a builders’ merchant or inside a workshop, making structures to be assembled onsite such as door or window fittings, timber frame buildings and more.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£40000

Typical hours per week

40 - 45

How to become a bench joiner

There are several routes to becoming a bench joiner. You could complete a college course, an apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or apply to an employer directly. 

You should explore these routes to becoming a bench joiner to find out which is right for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.  

College/training provider 

You could complete a training course to help you become a bench joiner, such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Bench Joinery, Carpentry and Joinery, or Wood Machining.  

You'll need: 

  • At least 2 GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent (level 2 course) 
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent (level 3 course).  

> Equivalent entry requirements explained 

> Find a course near you 

> Funding advice 

Apprenticeship 

You could train as a carpentry and joinery apprentice, or wood manufacturing apprentice to work towards becoming a bench joiner. Depending on your previous experience, you could enrol onto an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship. 

You’ll need: 

  • 2 or 3 GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent (intermediate apprenticeship) 
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths (advanced apprenticeship). 

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider. 

> Find an apprenticeship near you 

> Guide to apprenticeships 

Work 

If you have some previous experience in woodworking, you could apply directly to a construction company or builders’ merchant to gain experience as a bench joiner. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced bench joiner and progress as your abilities improve. 

Work experience 

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a bench joiner. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV. 

> Find out more about work experience 

Skills  

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a bench joiner include:  

  • Understanding of building and construction 
  • Good coordination skills 
  • Excellent attention to details 
  • Ability to interpret plans and diagrams 
  • Good maths skills 
  • Confidence to use, repair and maintain machines and tools. 

What does a bench joiner do?

As a bench joiner, you’ll cut timber into required shapes and lengths. You’ll be based inside a workshop and could use wood to assemble structures that are transported onsite to be installed in new buildings, such as window frames or beams. 

Day-to-day responsibilities of a bench joiner may include: 

  • Working to production schedules  
  • Interpreting technical plans and diagrams  
  • Estimating the materials needed for a job and producing cutting lists  
  • Selecting wood that’s suitable for a particular job 
  • Measuring timber and marking it up ahead of cutting 
  • Cutting timber to required dimensions  
  • Programming computerised cutting equipment 
  • Using hand and power tools safely and efficiently  
  • Assembling timber structures in a workshop, such as window and door frames
  • Conducting quality checks and reporting to senior staff. 

How much could you earn as a bench joiner?

The expected salary for a bench joiner varies as you become more experienced. 

  • Newly trained bench joiners can earn in the region of £17,000 
  • Experienced bench joiners can earn up to £40,000* 
  • Self-employed bench joiners set their own pay rates. 

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest bench joiner vacancies:  

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role will vary. New jobs will be posted as they come up. 

Career path and progression

As a bench joiner you could progress into a more senior role as a team leader or manager. 

You could become self-employed or specialise in a particular area of bench joinery, such as timber frame building or retrofitting. 

 


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