What is the Difference Between a Carpenter and a Joiner?

Many tradies begin their careers as carpenters and joiners, often because it serves as a solid foundation to build the rest of their career on. But what is the difference between these two professions? This article will explore the similarities and differences between carpenters and joiners, highlight the skills needed for each role, and explain how to become either a carpenter or joiner with a certificate from Major Training.  


What Do Carpenters Do?  

Carpentry is all about creating and constructing buildings. Carpentry involves budling frames for roofs, windows, and walls, laying floorboards, installing doors, windows and fitting out staircases. It can involve making cabinets, constructing roof trusses, fitting architraves around doors and windows, assembling furniture, and constructing other items out of wood such as roof tiles. The daily duties for a carpenter change regularly depending on the project. This is an extremely sought after trade and a career that will never decrease in demand.  

The Skills Needed for Carpentry  

To become a qualified builder you will need a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry. This certificate is earnt through a four year apprenticeship, where you will be working in the field whilst learning.  

Carpenters need to have adequate physical strength and a good eye for detail, so that everything is measured accurately. You must be able to read technical drawings as well as understand building regulations.  


What Do Joiners Do?  

Joinery is all about creating things. These things can include shelving units, stairs, window frames and so on. Joinery usually involves building with a range of materials such as MDF board, chipboard or a hardwood like oak or walnut. 

 Joinery tasks often require more precision than those required from carpentry. This means that joiners must be able to stay focused on intricate tasks for extended periods of time while maintaining accuracy. This is essential to create high quality pieces of furniture or fittings. 

Joinery projects are often made-to-order meaning they need to be tailored according to specific requirements set by clients. A joiner needs to be creative to provide unique solutions for every customer’s differing needs.                                 

The Skills Needed for Joinery   

To be a qualified joiner, you will also need to complete the CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry. You will then have the opportunity to pick electives that are based more on joiner duties then carpentry duties. As mentioned previously, precision is key when it comes to joinery so having good attention-to-detail is an essential skill if this is the path that interests you most.  

Both a carpenter and a joiner are good paths into the construction industry. Whilst slightly different, they both require a Certificate III, which can be obtained through Major Training. To learn more about these career paths, please call us on 1300 790 922.  

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