How To Become A Woodworker
Career Video: Woodworker
As a woodworker, you will craft many types of wooden projects such as furniture, cabinetry and more. You will be working on many different projects. You must have a great sense of hand eye coordination for this position, and enjoy working with equipment. A woodworker must be detailed and creative. There is no required education to become a woodworker, though some schools offer programs for a more enhanced view into the profession.
Why Become A Woodworker
Wood is one of the most important materials used in construction today. Woodworkers are necessary to help craft the materials we use in our daily lives. Some wood products are mass produced, such as furniture, cabinetry, and other materials. Other people seek out companies to custom make designs for the home, including kitchen, bathroom, and more.
Today’s woodworking trade is highly technical and involves many computers and specialized equipment to get the job done. Workers use machinery such as computerized numerical control machines (CNC) to do their work. There is a variety of tools that are used to complete projects. Whether it is working on a production line or doing customized work, woodworkers need to be able to use equipment to complete a project.
A woodworker is an important part of the economy. They are responsible for crafting furniture, cabinetry, and other items. Wood is an integral material in our lives and woodworkers create pieces to keep up with the demand for these products. Woodworkers have a special skill that is necessary to industry.
This is a good career for somebody who enjoys working with their hands, is okay working in a shop environment for the entire day, and likes working on projects and creating things.
Woodworker must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Good at Math
- Detail Oriented
- Physically Fit
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solver
- Manual Dexterity
- Quality Control
Woodworker Work Environment
Some woodworkers may be self-employed, working by themselves, or in a small shop with only a few others. Others may work in large production factories with several hundred other people. In a woodshop environment, workers must handle heavy and cumbersome materials. There is a lot of debris, dust and noise in a shop. They will be handling equipment. There is an element of risk and injury involved with this job. Woodworkers must be alert at all times and must also wear protective gloves and safety goggles. Most woodworkers work full time.
The median hourly wage for woodworkers was $14.50 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Woodworkers are typically paid an hourly wage, rather than a salary. There are many things that can affect salary in a position. There are several industries a woodworker may be employed in – such as furniture manufacturing, cabinetry, sawmills, wood preservation, and more – and this has an impact on salary. The city or state a person is located in may also have an effect on salary.
Average Woodworker Salary
- Executive woodworkers (Top 10%) earn $50,540 ($24.30 an hour)
- Senior woodworkers (Top 25%) earn $39,540 ($19.01 an hour)
- Mid Level woodworkers (Median) pay is $28,500 ($13.70 an hour)
- Junior of woodworkers (Bottom 25%) earn $21,880 ($10.52 an hour)
- Entry Level of woodworkers (Bottom 10%) earn $18,930 ($9.10 an hour)
Woodworker Salary By State
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Woodworker Career Outlook
Employment of woodworkers is not expected to change much in the following years. In fact, there is an expected decrease of potentially one percent from 2014 to 2024.
Automation and computers are becoming the driving forces behind the woodworking industry. Because of this, there will be less need for woodworkers. Many jobs are being completed by machines or outsourced to companies in other countries for less expensive rates. Companies that focus on customized pieces such as cabinetry, furniture, moldings, etc. will still need to hire woodworkers in the future.
There is no degree necessary to become a woodworker. Anybody with any educational level or background may learn how to obtain this profession.
A high school diploma is generally recommended to become a woodworker. Reading, writing, and mathematical skills learned in high school will be very helpful in this position. Because of the widespread use of computers within the woodworking industry, it is important for woodworkers to be able to handle equipment and know how to use computerized machinery.
What matters most in a woodworker’s position is experience. Woodworkers are trained on the job, where they learn from other, more experienced workers. They are given basic tasks to complete. This training may last anywhere from one to two years.
Many community colleges and vocational schools offer similar programs. For people who want to gain additional training, there are programs such as wood technology, furniture manufacturing, wood engineering, and production management. This is a great way to learn more about the industry and find out if it is the right fit for you. Or, if you have already started your career, it is a good way to learn more and advance your skillset.
Certification is not required to become a woodworker. However, it can help somebody demonstrate advanced knowledge and professionalism in their craft. It can also help somebody gain a promotion in their career. The Architectural Woodwork Institute offers training programs for woodworkers. The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America also offers a national certificate program.