WOODWORKERS are found in sawmills, plywood mills, and in industries that manufacture furniture, musical instruments, and other fabricated wood products. Precision woodworkers usually work in small shops that make architectural woodwork, furniture, and other specialty items. Some woodworkers produce the structural elements of buildings while others mill hardwood and softwood lumber. Production woodworkers set up, operate, and tend woodworking machines. Precision or custom woodworkers, such as cabinetmakers and model makers, work on a customized basis, often building one-of-a-kind items.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $30,000 average per year ($14.50 per hour)
- A medium occupation (106,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.5% per year)
Most WOODWORKERS are trained on the job, picking up skills informally from experienced workers. Employers increasingly seek applicants with a high school diploma or the equivalent, because of the growing sophistication of machinery and the constant need for retraining. Some woodworkers obtain their skills through vocational education, or by working as carpenters on construction jobs. Others may attend colleges or universities that offer training in many areas including wood technology, furniture manufacturing, and wood engineering. No special licensing or certification is required for woodworkers.