What does a woodworker do?
Woodworkers assist in meeting the demand for products made out of wood by creating many different items such as furniture, musical instruments, and cabinets. They build items by hand and use a variety of power tools and automated equipment. Their work is often done on an assembly line. They determine the best technique of creating products by reading blueprints and drawings. They measure, cut, shape, and assemble materials and check them for accuracy. Then woodworkers sand, stain, and coat products with sealers if needed. Woodworkers also set up, control, and maintain all types of woodworking machines. Many woodworkers use computerized numerical control (CNC) machines to control tools and create many different complex designs. Some woodworkers focus on a particular type of product or items that are unique.
What kind of training does a woodworker need?
Woodworkers need at least a high school diploma. Most learn their skills through intensive on the job training and some complete formal training programs from vocational and technical schools and colleges and universities. Some have degrees in wood engineering, wood technology, production management, and other related fields. The programs prepare students for higher level positions. Employers provide on the job training where new woodworkers learn from experienced workers. They learn the basic machine operations and the essential woodworking skills. They learn to read blueprints, plan work sequences, and set up machines. Woodworkers must stay up to date on advancements in the field and often complete additional training throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a woodworker?
Employment of woodworkers is expected to grow slower than average for all professions, increasing 3% of 2006 to 2016 (1). Increased automation in the wood products manufacturing industry and international competition will contribute to the slow job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for woodworkers with advanced skills and specialties. Many job opportunities will arise from the need to replace woodworkers that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.
How much do woodworkers make?
As of November 2009, the average annual salary for woodworkers is $24,000; average annual woodworker salaries vary greatly on location, company, industry, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a woodworker is a great choice for people interested in making a wide variety of products made out of wood. Woodworkers must have manual dexterity, mechanical ability, good judgment, and the ability to pay close attention to detail. They must have physical stamina and be able to perform many different tasks and be accurate and precise. They must be able to effectively work as part of a team as well as independently. Woodworkers must always follow safety procedures to avoid injury and prevent accidents.