Description: Furniture designers and makers craft cabinets, tables, and other furniture in work environments varying from small, artisan shops to industrial factory settings.
Knowledge Required: Furniture designers and makers use a variety of power tools and woodworking machines. In addition to cutting and shaping the wood, they also verify dimensions and use fasteners and adhesives to connect the pieces. They must have knowledge of measurements, geometric concepts, and design.
Skills: Physical strength and stamina, math, mechanical skills, problem solving, attention to detail
Career Path: Taking courses at a community college or technical school can provide needed training in wood technology, furniture manufacturing, and production management. Furniture designers and makers should also take classes that focus in computer applications and mathematics. In order to become a fully trained woodworker, an individual may need 3 or more years of on-the-job training. Competency with automated equipment and computer-controlled machinery is becoming more and more essential.
Best Cities for this job: Los Angeles, Baltimore, Memphis, Virginia Beach, Camden
Median Annual Income: National: $27,360; CA: $26,630
Future Growth: Due to an increasing population, growing wealth, and continuing renovation and repair projects, this field is projected to grow 18 percent by 2020. Because much of the industry will increase its use of automated systems, more workers will be required to operate and maintain equipment.
From the field: “The thing I love the most is just the act of creation—of having an idea, taking just a concept or a sketch, and making it this tangible object that could bring tears to someone’s eyes. ” – Jared Rusten
Did You Know?: Ancient Egyptians invented the art of veneering and developed varnishes for finishing woodworking projects.View more Day at Work videos »