Becoming a joiner requires very specific skills – it appeals naturally to those who prefer hands-on and physical work over the theoretical. You should remember, however, that these skills won’t just benefit you in your career as a joiner. They will serve you well in your daily life and on any other career journey you may undertake. So what are they?
Joinery is rarely a solitary activity if it’s going to be a career rather than a hobby. Teamwork is essential in order to make sure that projects are completed to specification and on time. You’ll need to be able to listen to the ideas of others during project discussions, as well as be able to articulate your own ideas clearly – so communication skills are a must.
Not everything in joinery is done by hand tools any more, thanks to the continued development of labour-saving woodwork machinery. Hand-eye co-ordination is still essential, however, in order to properly operate any machinery and do any handwork that may be necessary to finish off a product. If you’re going into commercial joinery, you’ll need to be able to satisfy high-volume orders.
Joinery projects are never as straight-forward as they can first appear. You may have the plans worked out as to the direction of your project, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be that easy. You need to be able to re-evaluate the situation on the fly when difficulties arise, developing solutions to reach your goals without sacrificing the requirements of your customers.
Everything you do as a joiner will boil down to your ability to accurately measure the materials you’re working with to the dimensions that you require. You’ll need a natural aptitude to working with figures, which will be constantly improving as it’s a foundational skill in joinery. There’s no room for guesswork, you have to be able to work out measurements to the dot.
Joinery will require you to keep a close eye on the quality of what you’re doing. As most joinery projects are multi-stage, you will need to monitor your progress consistently in order to ensure that what you’re making is up to standard. You’ll need to be able to maintain these standards, even when working on multiple projects at the same time, and to high volume.