If you are considering a career as a shopfitter or have seen a shopfitting job advertised and wonder whether or not you have the right sort of skills to apply for it successfully, then read on. Find out what is involved in the everyday life of a professional shopfitter and the sort of things you can expect from the job.
To begin with, trainees can often acquire some of the skills they will need to progress their career in the shopfitting trade on the job. Usually, however, shopfitting firms will only take you on if you have some basic skills ready to bring to the table. Firstly, it is likely that you will have some carpentry or joinery skills. Many shopfitting companies want to take on trainees with a qualification in either discipline but this is not universal. What will be expected, however, is the ability to handle a saw and deal with woodwork. In addition, you will need some good maths skills. These won't need to be advanced but basic arithmetic and the ability to think in three dimensions will be necessary. Some knowledge of basic fabrication techniques can also be an advantage in what is primarily a hands-on job.
Tasks Shopfitters Perform
If you are taken on by a shopfitting company, then it is common for you to start in the firm's workshop or yard. This will mean preparing materials to take to a site where they will be assembled. Although much of the work shopfitters do is carried out at clients' business premises, as much preparation as possible before arriving there is preferable. This minimises disruption to customers and makes for a more efficient installation process. Typically, you'll be asked to mark out wood, plastic, glass and other materials for the design to be used to save time on site. You will probably be asked to prepare materials with hand and power tools so they're prepared for assembly down the line.
As your career in shopfitting progresses, you can expect to spend more and more time on-site. This means shops but also other places of work, such as bars, hotels and restaurants. Fitting out a design can mean working unsocial hours and even overnight shifts in some cases. So, you will need to be prepared for that and even for spending several days away from home. That said, experienced shopfitting personnel can expect to see better rates of pay if they've proven themselves to be reliable and diligent in their work.