Have you ever thought about the beautiful wooden furniture in your house? The doors, windows floor panelings? All these lies under woodwork, and the people behind these are the woodworkers. How beautifully they convert the straight timber into different useable home decors. Woodworking is an ancient industry since the beginning of civilization and will last as long as civilization does.
With the evolution of technology, there have been evolved many alternatives to wooden home decors. But the appeal of wooden things hasn’t perished, and people think wooden furniture as a sign of luxury. That’s why the demand for wooden items will never be finished. This made this woodworking industry a lucrative one among the others. Here you’ll get the opportunity to craft your creativity and make money as well. So why don’t you think you should try it?
However, before approaching a new career path, you should know its details, such as its potential and prospects, salary, market demand, job growth, etc. Don’t worry! I am going to walk you through the ins and outs of the woodworking career. Here, you’ll get a detailed insight into the career path, and it will help you to make your decision. So, let’s dig deeper.
Types of woodworking
First of all, you have to know about the types of woodworking. Think about the use of wood in your house. Wood is everywhere. Right? There are wooden fittings, doors, windows, staircases, and furniture. So, what do you think who made these all? Is there a single person behind every wooden thing? No, it’s not. Since there are different uses of wood, there are different types of woodworkers involved behind these. And, based on their work, there are broadly three types of woodworkers available in the industry.
You know that wood comes from trees. We cut down the trees, send them to mills where the trees are processed into the timber. Then some people process the timber and turn them into finished wood for industrial and residential uses. The people who are responsible for the processing of logwood into finished wood are the wood machinist. They cut and prepare the timber for making a range of wooden products. Basically, the woodworking machinist prepares the wood and passes the baton to the other two woodworkers.
This is the most common and well-known job in the woodworking industry. Carpenters are mainly involved in construction works. They make doors, windows, wooden fittings, floor and wall panelling, staircases, etc. In a word, carpenters do whatever woodwork which is involved in constructing a building. And, you’ll find them in a range of works – from the construction sites to the workshops making products for building uses.
Furniture makers make the things that we use as home decors and furniture. They make a range of wooden furniture such as cabinets, tables, chairs, cupboards, beds, etc. A furniture maker also prepares the beautiful oak-wood couch on which you’re sitting and reading this article. Furniture makers are the most creative people in the woodworking industry. They craft their creativity on wood and make various furniture with beautiful designs.
Prospects of the Woodworking Career
So, you’ve learned about different woodworking jobs. Though they have different roles, they all are interconnected. To furnish a home, All the woodworkers play a collective role. Wood machinists prepare the wood, carpenters make the fittings, doors, window frames, partitions, etc., and furniture makers make all the interior furniture. Thus, from construction to decoration, woodworkers are always involved. That’s why the demand for woodworkers will never perish. Therefore, the woodworking career is one of the world’s most prospective jobs, so it is in the UK.
Salary of Wood Machinist, Carpenter, And Furniture Maker
Whether you’re a wood machinist or a carpenter, or a furniture maker, you’ll be earning a handsome amount every year. Wood machinists usually work in timber processing units, saw-mills, plywood and veneer factories, etc. Carpenters mainly work in construction firms, and furniture makers work in interior design firms, furniture shops, etc. Also, the last one allows you to be self-employed working with personal clients as the demand for wooden furniture is always high.
In the UK, a wood machinist earns an average of £21,450 per year or £11 per hour. As a newbie in the industry, you’ll be earning £16,000 per year. And, it will be up to £30,000 per year with growing skills and experience.
Carpenters also earn almost the same amount of wood machinist. The average salary of a carpenter is £21,639, and it ranges from £16,000 to £40,000 per year based on their experience level and skills. A carpenter has to work 40 to 45 hours a week.
As I mention the woodworking industry one of the most lucrative industries, furniture makers also earn a handsome wage. In the UK, the average salary of a furniture maker ranges from £14,000 to £30,000. It depends on the experience. However, as a furniture maker, you can earn some additional amount if you work more out of your working hours. And, there are plenty of opportunities for furniture makers to do this.
However, the salary and earning of a woodworker depend on some other factors, such as location, market trend, market size, etc. It’s not unusual that you can expect to earn more in a big city than in the suburbs.
So, now the prospects and potential of a woodworking career are clear to you. What are you thinking about it? Shouldn’t you make a try? Yes, you should. Now let’s talk about how to get into a woodworking job and what skills you’ll require.
How to become a woodworker
Being a woodworker isn’t something that difficult. All you need is having a passion for learning and growing more. You can get into the working jobs with the following ways:
Like any other job, woodworking also requires some particular qualification. However, it doesn’t mean academic qualification. You don’t need any particular academic background to get into a woodworking job. You need practical knowledge of woodworking, such as woodturning, furniture restoration, interior decorating with woodwork, carpentry, etc. You could do some college courses on carpentry and woodworking where you’ll get first-hand practical knowledge. Besides, there are many online course providers in this field and a diploma in a relevant field will give you the credential to get into a woodworking job.
Once you have finished your courses on woodworking, you should look for an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is great for any job to learn the things in a real-world context. In an apprenticeship, you’ll be working as a trainee with professionals in the woodworking industry. You’ll get practical experience which will help you kickstart your woodworking career.
You don’t need to be tensed about finding an apprenticeship. There are many woodshops, saw-mills, timber factories, and furniture companies that are willing to give you the opportunity.
Besides, you can apply through the National Apprenticeship Service (England only) to get one. Apart from these, you can register with CITB to find an apprenticeship. CITB is the main apprentice provider in the construction sector of the UK as a whole.
Apply for a job
After working for a while as an apprentice, you’ll have hands-on experience in woodworking and you’re ready to get into the job sector. You can now apply for a job in relevant factories and companies. If you become a furniture maker, you can start your own furniture-making business. But we suggest working for a few years in the established companies before you go for your own business. It will help create a value of you and make a connection with your potential clients.
The skills that a woodworking job requires
Like other jobs, woodworking jobs also require some specific skills. Here are the 5 essential skills that you must have for being successful in the woodworking career.
Physical strength and fitness
The first thing about woodworking is that it is a labour-intensive job. Daily, you have to handle heavy wood planks, panels, skirt boards, etc. and it requires a strong physical ability. Otherwise, it will be tough for you to survive in this industry.
Attention to detail
Woodworking needs precision in joining and finishing. Without a proper finish, the whole furniture may lose its beauty. So, you have to pay attention to detail to make your work precise and accurate leaving no defect.
It doesn’t matter what type of woodworker you are, you’ll be using different machines and tools daily. So, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of using these tools and machines.
Creativity is required mostly in furniture making. Since people want beautiful furniture, you have to be creative enough to craft the designs that will amaze them. Not only in furniture making but also in other woodworks, creativity adds more value to your works.
Woodworking isn’t a solo work. Always, you’ll be working with others in your job. Whether it is making a cabinet or making the whole wooden fittings of a house, you’ll be working in a team. So, you should have the ability to work with others. You should be a team player.
Now let’s wrap up. After going through this article, now you have a clear overview of the woodworking career. We hope that you’ll find this helpful in making your decision about your career. However, if you want to make your career in woodworking, it would be better to try the easiest way first.
Furniture restoration is the easiest way to get into the woodworking career as it doesn’t require intense labour and skills. You consider taking an online course from John Academy on furniture restoration where you’ll gain the necessary practical knowledge from an expert. So, try it out.