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Furniture-Making as a Career

If you have passion for building things while incorporating your knack for creativity, you should consider getting a job as a furniture maker. There is an increasing demand for people who are skilful in making furniture for both commercial and residential interiors. According to The Art Career Project, IKEA had recorded a worldwide profit of €29 billion in 2013 while furniture and home furnishing stores in the United States had a whopping $101 billion in sales that same year.

Preparing a Career in Furniture Making

As early as high school, you can enrol in vocational programs where you will learn the techniques in woodworking, fundamentals of drafting, safety handling of tools and some computer skills. You can also work as a carpenter’s assistant for hands on experience in furniture making.

There are apprenticeship programs and courses that will further strengthen your knowledge in furniture making. For instance, TAFSE SA has courses in furniture furnishing, furniture making, timber and composites machining, glass and glazing, and cabinet making. Moreover, apprenticeship programs in furniture making will upskill trainees on in-depth woodworking skills and production techniques. The duration of these programs are usually from 20 months up to 5 years.

Qualities of a Good Furniture Maker

Basically, you can tell whether a furniture maker is good or not based on his/her creation. His/her skills or expertise will be manifested on:

  • the choice of wood or other material
  • how the wood was placed or highlighted on the furniture 
  • construction technique
  • choice of veneers and fittings
  • accuracy of each component of the furniture
  • the overall appearance of the furniture

Furthermore, he/she must be:

  • skilful in using power tools and other equipment used in furniture making
  • able to comprehend designs and technical drawings
  • adept in computations in general
  • patient and can work in great care
  • fit to work
  • having good interpersonal skills

Working Environment

More often than not, furniture makers are exposed to dust and chemicals when working in the factory. With regards to the working hours, you should be ready to work for at least 40 hours a week. Aside from plodding away on the furniture, there will be instances where you will travel to see clients and suppliers.