Occupational profile - carpentry and joinery

Information on apprenticeships in the construction crafts (carpentry and joinery) industry, including what’s involved; skills and knowledge needed and progression routes for apprentices

Carpentry and joinery

Carpentry and joinery involves carrying out advanced skilled work, primarily using timber products, either on a construction site, or in a workshop, creating and installing building components.

The level 3 carpenter and joiner can do complex job tasks, requiring high levels of practical skills and knowledge, as well as managing their own work and leading small teams.

The main differences between a level 2 site carpenter/ bench joiner and a level 3 site carpenter/ bench joiner are that the level 3 carpenter/ joiner has responsibility for managing their own and other people’s work, as well as being required to complete complex and non-standard work. Examples of complex tasks include curved products, irregular joints and bespoke work.

This apprenticeship involves completing mandatory and optional units and has two pathways:

Pathway one: level 3 site carpenter

A level 3 site carpenter will normally work on a building site, or in domestic and commercial premises, preparing and installing complex and often bespoke building components, such as:

  • high-quality doors
  • shaped linings
  • staircases with turns
  • complex wall and floor units
  • erecting bespoke structural carpentry (inclined roofs and joists)
  • erecting complex roof structures (such as inclined roofs with hips, valleys and dormers)

Pathway two: level 3 bench joiner

A level 3 bench joiner will normally be employed in a workshop, producing complex building components by setting out, marking out and manufacturing bespoke architectural products (such as doors, windows, staircases with turns and panelling/cladding).

Core occupational standard

Pathway one: specific level 3 site carpenter standard

On completion of this apprenticeship, level 3 site carpenters will have the same occupational skills as a level 2 site carpenter but also be able to show they can:

  • use a range of advanced trade skills which allow them to carry out complex carpentry work to highly skilled standards and tolerances, to include measuring, marking out, fitting, cutting, splicing, finishing, positioning and securing
  • install complex and non-standard doors and window frames, shaped door and hatch linings, partitions with openings and changes of direction and staircases with turns
  • install accessible service encasements, bespoke wall/ floor units and fitments, panelling and stair components (such as balustrades, handrails and spindles with turns)
  • erect inclined roofs with gables, roof verges and eaves, including finishings, joists and roof coverings
  • repair and or replace frames, mouldings, floor or flat roof joist coverings, door and window ironmongery, window components, structural joists and rafters, window components, guttering and downpipes

Pathway two: specific level 3 bench joiner standard

On completion of this apprenticeship, level 3 bench joiners will have the same occupational skills as a level 2 bench joiner but will also be able to show they can:

  • use advanced trade skills to carry out complex architectural joinery work to a high standard and to demanding tolerances
  • set out complex work tasks for non-standard architectural joinery products, including complex door sets, doors, windows, units and fitments, staircases (straight and with turns) and products with single/ double curvature features
  • mark out accurately from setting out details for the manufacture of complex doors, opening windows, units and fitments and staircases
  • manufacture complex and non-standard architectural joinery products including doors, windows with opening lights, units and fitments, panelling/cladding, staircases (straight and with turns) and veneers
  • use, maintain and store marking and testing tools, hand tools, power tools and associated equipment required for advanced work
  • Set up and use fixed machinery such as circular saws, planers, thicknessers, bandsaws, morticers, tenoners, spindle moulders, drills, grinders and sanders

National occupational standards (NOS)

Every framework must be underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS) which will set out the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding.

Behaviours may be detailed within or alongside the NOS.

Core NOS

Unique registration  number (URN)

Title of the occupational standard

VR209

Confirm work activities and resources for the work

VR210

Develop and maintain good working relationships

VR211

Confirm the occupational method of work

VR641

Conform to general workplace health, safety and welfare

Available NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

VR09

Install first fixing components

VR10

Install second fixing components

VR11

Erect structural carcassing components

VR14

Produce setting out details for routine products

VR15

Mark out from setting out details for routine products

VR16

Manufacture routine products

VR25

Maintain non-structural and structural components

VR28

Produce CAD setting out details

VR472

Produce wood and wood-based products using computer numerically controlled (CNC and NC) machinery

VR628

Set up and use transportable cutting and shaping machines

VR631

Erect roof structure carcassing components

VR632

Manufacture bespoke products

VR633

Set Up and use fixed machinery

VR634

Produce setting out details for bespoke products

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