Furniture maker
Craft & Food Trades

Furniture makers create and build furniture and room panels for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and workplaces and freestanding furniture such as cabinets, wardrobes, audio visual units, chairs, tables and desks, using wood, metals, plastics and other materials.

Work Activities

What does a furniture maker do?

Furniture makers consider how furniture will look and work, they interpret and adjust designs and may work directly with clients, interior designers and building companies to discuss their requirements. Products may be hand made using traditional techniques and tools or on a larger scale in a factory. Joinery and finishing techniques such as veneering, finishing and polishing may be also carried out.

Many furniture makers work on a self-employed basis, others may be employed directly by companies and a good knowledge of traditional and contemporary design is important.

Duties may include:

  • meeting clients to discuss design requirements, budgets and timescales
  • interpreting drawings and technical designs
  • creating new furniture and repairing existing products
  • using machinery and techniques to work with different materials
  • presenting ideas to clients
  • operating tools and machinery safely
  • cutting wood and materials

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills required

  • creative
  • strong design, drawing and joinery skills
  • knowledge of period and contemporary design
  • excellent IT skills, computer aided design software, such as Auto CAD 2, WoodWOP, Google Sketch Up and Adobe Photoshop
  • ability to use specialised tools and machinery
  • ability to translate designs into products
  • good team player
  • high level of attention to detail
  • excellent communication and customer service skills
  • highly organised, with the ability to manage deadlines and costs
  • a driving licence is required for many jobs

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

  • design studios
  • interior designers
  • furniture designers and retailers
  • department retailers
  • colleges and universities


Qualifications and training required

Creativity and the ability to problem solve is a key requirement to become a Furniture designer.

Apprenticeships may be offered by some companies. City and Guilds offers a range of Level 1, 2 and 3 courses in furniture production, furniture making, furniture installation and restoration. Short courses are also offered by some specialist colleges.

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