Furniture Designer

Job Description:

Furniture designers create designs for mass-produced furniture, furniture made in small batches and one-off pieces.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

Day-to-day tasks
In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • carry out research to develop ideas
  • work to a plan or ‘brief’ agreed with the client
  • produce new designs or improve existing ones
  • work out costs, practicality and availability of materials
  • prepare sketches for ideas, by hand or using computer software
  • test ideas using models, prototypes and computer aided design (CAD)
  • work with manufacturers on the production process


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
  • design skills and knowledge

As well as:

  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creative skills)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisation skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination (ambition & drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

You could take a foundation degree, higher diploma or degree in:

  • furniture and product design
  • 3D design crafts
  • interior design

You could start by doing a college course like a Diploma in Furniture Design and Making or a course in Craft and Design.

This would teach you some of the skills you’ll need and could help you to get a job as a design assistant with a furniture-making company.

You may be able to get into trainee or assistant designer roles through an advanced apprenticeship like:

  • new furniture product developer
  • fitted furniture design technician
  • bespoke furniture maker



Working Hours and Environment:

A typical working week consists of 40-42 hours a week.

You may need to be flexible about your working hours, especially when you have deadlines to meet. If you’re self-employed you may work longer hours to meet customers’ needs.

You’ll spend a lot of your time in a studio but may travel to visit clients, suppliers and to attend meetings and trade shows.

If you’re employed by a company, you may be part of a design team. As a self-employed designer, you’ll have your own workshop or studio, or share premises with other designers.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to a more senior design position, or into a specialised area, like ergonomics.

You could also set up your own design consultancy.