Furniture makerJob Description:
Furniture makers make or restore furniture like chairs, tables and display cabinets.Job Category:
What you will do:
You’ll work mainly with wood but you’ll also use metals, plastics and other materials. Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- working from technical drawings
- cutting and shaping materials with hand and machine tools
- creating designs for furniture on paper and on computer
- talking to customers about designs and agreeing prices
- working out the quantity and type of materials needed
- assembling items
- adding parts like brackets, hinges, handles and locks
- restoring antiques or repairing damaged furniture
- finishing products with veneers, lacquers or French polish
- design skills and knowledge
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- knowledge of maths
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- the ability to analyse quality or performance
- creative skills
There are no set entry requirements.
You could complete a college course in furniture making, carpentry or wood machining, but this isn’t essential.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
The following intermediate apprenticeships could lead into this role:
- Furniture manufacturer
- Wood product manufacturing operative
You could also complete an advanced apprenticeship like:
- Advanced furniture CNC technician
- Bespoke furniture maker
- New furniture product developer
- Fitted furniture design technician
If you specialise in coverings, you could take an advanced upholsterer apprenticeship.
You could apply for jobs if you have experience or qualifications in furniture or cabinet making, or carpentry. Employers often value skills and experience over qualifications.
Working Hours and Environment:
Your working hours will depend on whether you’re employed by a company or self-employed.
If you’re working in a factory, you’ll usually work a basic 39-hour week, which could involve shiftwork.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll arrange your own working hours.
You’ll sometimes need to work longer hours and at weekends to meet deadlines.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience, you could become a workshop supervisor or quality control inspector.
With further training, you could become a furniture or product designer.
In larger firms, you could move into estimating, buying or training.
You could start your own business and specialise in hand-crafted furniture or restoring antique items.