- Use practical craft skills to make furniture using different materials
- Work in a company or for yourself
- Progress into supervisory roles, furniture design or technical roles like ergonomics
As a furniture maker, you'll work mainly with wood but you'll also use metals, plastics and other materials.
- 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
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.
To be a furniture maker, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, knowledge of maths, building and construction, the ability to work well with others, to work well with your hands, to accept criticism and work well under pressure, knowledge of manufacturing processes and production, and design skills and knowledge.
You could complete a college course in furniture making, carpentry and joinery, or wood machining, to get some of the skills needed for this job.
You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in furniture manufacturing, or carpentry and joinery.
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.
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.