New kitchen in white minimalist design

Fitting kitchens is an increasingly important construction trade. It is one of the most common ‘home improvement’ projects, alongside bathroom fitting, and is a key part of any new residential development. Kitchen fitting requires a coordinated team of specialist professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, but projects are led by a kitchen fitter who has overall control over the design and installation process.  

How to train as a kitchen fitter

There are two main routes to becoming a qualified kitchen fitter – a college course or an apprenticeship.

Become a trainee kitchen fitter

You could take a full-time college course in some of the trades you will need as a kitchen fitter, such as Level 1 or 2 Diplomas in Construction, Carpentry and Joinery, Plumbing Studies and Fitted Interiors. Some training providers offer specialised Kitchen Fitting courses.

Undertake a kitchen fitting apprenticeship

An apprenticeship in kitchen fitting has the added benefit that you will be employed at the same time as doing your apprenticeship, meaning that you will be earning a salary at the same time as learning your trade.

What can I expect during my kitchen fitting apprenticeship?

What will I be doing?

Apprentice kitchen fitters learn about all aspects of fitting kitchens, which includes elements of carpentry, joinery, design, plumbing and electrics.

What skills & knowledge will I gain?

To fit kitchens successfully you need a range of skills. These include the following:

  • Measuring out work areas
  • Planning a design and layout
  • Removing and disposing of old kitchen units and appliances
  • Essential plumbing and electrics
  • Carpentry – cutting out worktops, building kitchen units, fitting cornices, pelmets and plinths
  • Installing and finishing
  • Using a range of hand and power tools
  • Tiling walls and laying flooring

What qualifications will I get at the end?

Apprentices who complete their kitchen fitting programme of work-based training will receive an NVQ Level 2 qualification. There are several programmes available, such as the Fitted Interiors Installer Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, Level 2 NVQ in Interior Systems and Level 2 Interior Systems Installer Apprenticeship.

How long is a kitchen-fitting apprenticeship?

An Intermediate Apprenticeship in kitchen fitting training usually takes up to 2 years to complete.

What do apprentice kitchen fitters get paid?

A starting average salary for an apprentice kitchen fitter is in the region of £17,000-£20,000.

What does career progression after my apprenticeship look like?

Newly qualified kitchen fitters usually spend the first stage of their career with a kitchen fitting company, learning the trade and building up their experience. After a time they may decide to start their own business. Being self-employed brings the potential of earning more money than you would do as an employee, but has more risk involved, as you will have to find your own job.

What do I need to start an apprenticeship in kitchen fitting?

What personal qualities & skills do I need?

Kitchen fitters need to be very good with their hands. Much of your time will be spent doing physical tasks, so you should have a good level of physical fitness. You need to have design skills, and the ability to visualise how a finished kitchen will look, and demonstrate this to a customer using computer software.

In addition, kitchen fitters need a good understanding of construction, some maths skills and sound attention to detail. You should be a good communicator, as you will be dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis.

What recognised qualifications do I need?

To be accepted on a Level 2 kitchen fitting apprenticeship course you should have a minimum of two GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), including English and Maths.

How can I find an apprenticeship?

There are several ways you can find employers that offer kitchen-fitting apprenticeships. You can use websites like Talentview, apply directly to employers, contact local colleges or ask friends or family members if they know of apprenticeships available at companies.   

Find out if your personality suits a kitchen fitter role

If you like working with your hands and seeing a project through to completion, then working as a kitchen fitter may be for you. To find out if your personality is ‘fitted’ to kitchens, or what other type of job in construction might suit you, take our career explorer.

Interested in an apprenticeship in a different area of construction?

At Go Construct we have over 170 different job profiles, so even if kitchen fitting isn’t for you, there is probably a career in construction for you elsewhere. Each job profile has plenty of useful information, such as salary, training options, key skills and case studies from people already working in construction.