Shopfitters use wood, metal, glass and plastic to build interior fittings, shopfronts, doorways and exterior fixtures. They fit these parts into shops, offices, hotels, restaurants, bars and other commercial premises.
You could be:
surveying and measuring the bare interior of the shop
designing the fitments and preparing working drawings
estimating the costs of labour and materials and submit a tender
making the fitments out of wood, metal, glass and plastic using computer-controlled machines
assembling and installing the fitments within the space
arranging for specialist firms to install items such as floors, carpets, phones, lights, radiators and ventilators
managing the whole project, making sure it meets deadline and budget
maybe working in one of the above areas, rather than the whole range of tasks.
Rates of pay for shopfitters are usually higher than average. The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
There is a minimum wage for apprentices in Scotland. As of June 2022, the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) rates for a 4-year apprenticeship based on a 39-hour week are:
Year 1 – £219.87 (£5.64 an hour)
Year 2 – £292.61 (£7.50 an hour)
Year 3 – £367.02 (£9.41 an hour)
Year 4 – £367.02 (£9.41 an hour) (without SVQ Level 2)
Year 4 – £388.21 (£9.95 an hour) (with SVQ Level 2).
Please note these rates may vary if the Apprentice is 21 years old or over and has completed the first year of their apprenticeship. National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) will apply.
Qualified shopfitters can earn between £18.00 and £30.00 an hour. You can earn extra through overtime.
You work mostly indoors, producing the designs, drawings and estimates in an office.
You construct the fitments in a workshop and fix them within the site.
The workshop and onsite locations might be dusty and noisy.
You have to travel to and from the sites, transporting materials.
You might have to spend periods away from home.
You will probably work shifts and overtime, including night shifts.
Work is often on a contract basis, for a few weeks or months at a time.
You will wear safety gear: hard hats, footwear, goggles and ear protectors.
You could get in through a Modern Apprenticeship with an employer.
You do not always need formal qualifications, but some employers may ask for subjects at National 4 or 5 including English, Maths and a science or technological subject.
You could study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Construction (SCQF Level 4 or 5) in S3-S6, which can help to get into a relevant Modern Apprenticeship.
You will usually have to sit an aptitude test as part of the application process.
You may move into this job after working in another trade such as carpentry and joinery, tiling or plastering.
You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a site. You will need to pass a health and safety test.
You usually need a driving licence.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
accurate when measuring or calculating
able to follow drawings and plans
good at working with others
able to work to deadlines.
You should have:
good practical skills
good communication and negotiation skills
business skills if self-employed.
Training during a Modern Apprenticeship is mainly on the job with off the job training. You would work towards SVQ in Carpentry and Joinery (Construction) at SCQF Level 6 and PDA Carpentry and Joinery.
After completing the SVQ, you could go on to study for an Advanced Craft Carpentry and Joinery qualification part time at college.
During your career you could train further towards supervision and site management qualifications.
With experience and training you could go on to a supervisory or management role.
You could go on to set up your own shopfitting business.
For more information please see the list of organisations below: