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The term shopfitter is a term used in the interior contracting sector to indicate the quality of craftsman that will be working on a particular project. It is a widely held misnomer that the term shopfitter does nothing else but fit out shops; this is most certainly not the case.


Average salaries are in the region of £14,000.00 to £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A shopfitter can work in an office, a workshop, a machine shop or a paint shop. A project can involve surveying and measuring the bare interior of a shop or other unit, then preparing designs and working out how much it will all cost.

What they do

They make the units and fittings using different materials including wood, metal, glass and plastic.The shopfitter may have to arrange for specialist firms to install things such as floors, carpets, phones, lights, radiators and ventilators.

This construction job comes with a lot of responsibilities for keeping everything about the fit (or refit) on track. In some cases, the shopfitter is in charge of the whole project and gives instructions to the various subcontractors involved in plastering, floor laying, heating and lighting.

Shopfitting and interior contracting presents endless options and a plethora of materials to work with. You may wish to consider a career in architectural metal work as many shopfitting companies undertake this work in house.

Once employed the scope of interiors where you are likely to work may range from retail, leisure, heritage, banks, restaurants, bars... the list is endless. Whatever your choice, always remember that today’s directors and owners of shopfitting and interior contracting companies started off as craft apprentices.

Hours & Salary:

  • Newly trained Shopfitters can earn in the region of £14,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience Shopfitters can earn in the region of £19,000 - £30,000
  • Senior/Master Crafts Shopfitters can earn in the region of £23,000 - £32,000

Salaries typically range depending on location and overtime. Self-employed shopfitters set their own pay rates.


 

Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

 

Case Study

John Stewart is a self-employed shopfitter.

What do you do?

When fitting out a shop our role is to remove any existing units and take it back to a blank canvas. Then we install the new set up, which tend to include cupboards, desks, lighting, and even a kitchen. We work closely with other tradespeople, such as a painter and decorator and electrician.

I also work on promoting my business in new ways, using Google to ensure Stewart Joinery is what people click on when looking for a new kitchen in Glasgow.

How did you get started?

I got into this construction job through helping my father from a young age. We were lucky enough to win a contract to fit out a chain of shops across the country and it enabled our business to develop down this route.

I did an apprenticeship to become a joiner in my father’s business. I also had a keen interest in computers and it’s been good to combine these interests in trying to build up my business.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The shops we are refitting are all in different states; some have not been used for a while and I enjoy bringing them back to life. My role also means quite a lot of travel across the UK and Ireland. I’ve enjoyed being able to see places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise, and have made some good friends along the way!

What skills do you need?

You need to have good people skills to work with clients and to build a good relationship with the other trades you work with on the different parts of the job.

Proudest career moment?

The thing I am most proud of is creating my own business from the ground up and making it through some really challenging times. That meant having to adapt and learn new skills to be successful.

What’s your goal for the next 10 years?

I would like to have expanded my business to create construction jobs and opportunities for others looking to start in the industry like I did.

Any advice about joining the construction industry?

With the right amount of effort it is possible to succeed and have a very rewarding career.

Qualifications & Training

You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a shopfitter but it helps to have Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s, GCSEs, Welsh Baccalaureates in English and Maths at A*-C, or the WJEC GCSE in Construction.

Some people move into the trade from another area of construction, such as carpentry and joinery.

As an apprentice in shopfitting and interior contracting, the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations - Shopfitting Bench Joinery qualification has been developed for delivery in a working environment. This means you will need to be employed to study this qualification. 

It has been designed to develop and recognise your skills, knowledge and competence so that you can work in Shopfitting and Interior Contracting within the construction industry or progress onto further learning. 

As an apprentice in shopfitting and interior contracting you will learn key practical skills and knowledge in these mandatory units: 

  • Confirming work activities and resources for an occupational work area in the workplace
  • Installing shopfitting frames and many and varied material finishing’s in the workplace
  • Developing and maintaining good occupational working relationships in the workplace
  • Confirming the occupational method of work in the workplace
  • Installing shopfitting bespoke furniture in the workplace
  • Installing shopfronts and finishing’s in the workplace
  • Setting up and using fixed machinery in the workplace including computer numerically controlled machines
  • Conforming to general health, safety and welfare in the workplace

A good way to start your career is on an apprenticeship with a shopfitting or building company. 

To search for apprenticeship vacancies in your area, visit the government's vacancy matching site, or in Wales, Careers Wales or Skills Development Scotland.  Further details about shopfitting can also be found at "my world of work" (Scotland only)

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Indeed

Total Jobs

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted 

Career trends and forecasts

262,920 total people needed

The UK construction industry will need a total of 262,920 wood trades and interior fit- out occupations (which includes shopfitters) to meet demand between 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand will be in North West, West Midlands, closely followed by Wales.

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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