Why We Love It
$35,710Potential Avg. Salary
Creativity FocusedCareer Attribute
High Job SatisfactionCareer Attribute
Skill-Based WorkCareer Attribute
Furniture makers create custom furniture using wood, metal, cloth, and a variety of tools. While many furniture makers are self-employed and sell unique and original pieces of furniture, others work for corporations and design templates for furniture that will be mass-produced and sold in high quantities.
What is a Furniture Maker?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in furniture maker roles:
- Craft custom furniture using different types of wood, metal, cloth, paint, stain, and other materials
- Employ a variety of tools, such as table saws, sanders, wood burning tools, chisels, sewing machines, and torches
- Create furniture designs for corporations to use when designing furniture that can be crafted at a reasonable price and sold in mass quantities
- Sell hand-crafted furniture in an owned shop, online, or through partnerships with other shop owners
A Day in the Life
Many furniture makers are self-employed artists who create custom furniture using different materials and a variety of tools. Furniture makers may be woodworkers who create tables, cabinets, chests, and other types of wood furniture, or they may combine woodwork with metal work, glasswork, or textile artistry to create mixed-medium pieces like chairs, outdoor furniture, and couches.
While some furniture makers simply craft fine furniture using high quality wood and techniques that create lasting pieces, others create extremely detailed and intricate pieces using chisels, sanders, paint, wood burning tools, and stains. The latter type of furniture making requires proficiency with woodwork and artistic talent as most of the detail work is intricate, requires an understanding of design, and demands aesthetic appeal.
Furniture makers who are self-employed must sell their furniture in order to earn a living from their work. They use a variety of mediums to sell furniture: some operate their own shops, some have websites or use craft-sales platforms like Etsy, some partner with other shop owners to sell products, and some have booths at trade shows and/or arts and craft shows. Because of this, furniture makes must have some sense of how to market and sell, as well as how to operate a business.
Typical Work Schedule
Self-employed furniture makers are able to set their own schedules and work as much or little as they want, whichever hours of the day suit them best. Furniture makers who work for corporations or other businesses typically work full-time during normal business hours.
Most furniture makers are self-employed. Other furniture makers work for employers in the furniture retail industry, commonly for large businesses and corporations.
How To Become a Furniture Maker
No formal higher education is required to work as a furniture maker, though most furniture makers must undergo some form of training even if that training occurs outside of an institution. Many aspiring furniture makers work in an apprenticeship for many years under an experienced furniture maker to learn the trade. In an apprenticeship, they learn how to safely operate tools, how to identify different types of wood, what materials are best to use, and other important furniture-making techniques.
If an aspiring furniture maker is unable to find an apprenticeship opportunity, he/she may alternatively consider earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a specialization in furniture making or woodworking. Like an apprenticeship, a fine arts degree teaches students the basics of furniture making, proper tool handling, and also provides students with a history of famous and successful furniture makers that can be useful when a furniture maker is developing plans and designs in the future.
Another benefit of studying for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts is that there are opportunities to earn some credits needed for graduation by taking business and/or marketing classes. These classes can be beneficial in the long run for furniture makers who are interested in working for themselves and selling their own hand-crafted furniture.
Furniture Maker Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Furniture Maker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Furniture Maker's can make an average annual salary of $35,710, or $17 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $23,010 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#608 Nationally for All Careers
Highest Education Among Furniture Makers
- 1.9% Doctorate
- 12% Masters
- 45% Bachelors
- 9% Associates
- 18.4% College
- 10.7% High School
- 3% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs10,600
2024 Est. Jobs10,600
Job Growth Rate---
Est. New Jobs---
How does Furniture Maker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 10,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#594 Nationally for All Careers
What Companies Employ The Most Furniture Makers
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Independent artists, writers, and performers||1,700||100||0%|
|Clay product and refractory manufacturing||400||-100||0%|