Skip to content

Arts & crafts

Furniture maker

Furniture makers make and restore items like chairs, tables, beds and display cabinets.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £28,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

42 to 44 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 4.8% fewer Furniture maker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You'll work mainly with wood but you'll also use metals, plastics and other materials. In your day-to-day tasks could:

  • work out what to do from technical drawings
  • cut and shape materials with hand and machine tools
  • create designs for furniture on paper and on computer
  • estimate the quantity and type of materials needed
  • assemble items
  • add parts like brackets, hinges, handles and locks
  • apply finishes like polishes and varnishes
  • restore antiques or repair damaged furniture

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a workshop or in a factory.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could do a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Making
  • Level 2 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery
  • Level 3 Diploma in Wood Machining
  • T Level in Craft and Design

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information

The following intermediate apprenticeships could lead into this role:

  • Furniture manufacturer
  • Wood product manufacturing operative

You could also complete an advanced apprenticeship like:

  • Advanced furniture CNC technician
  • Bespoke furniture maker
  • New furniture product developer
  • Fitted furniture design technician

If you specialise in coverings, you could take an advanced upholsterer apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You could apply for jobs if you have experience or qualifications in furniture or cabinet making, or carpentry. Employers often value skills and experience over qualifications.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join The Furniture Makers' Company for professional recognition and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about craft careers from Discover Creative Careers.

Showing jobs in:
View all vacancies in this region

With experience, you could become a workshop supervisor or quality control inspector. With further training, you could move into furniture design.

In larger firms, you could work in estimating, retail buying, sales or training.

You could also start your own business and specialise in hand-crafted furniture or restoring antique items.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register