Is Woodworker a Good Career?

is woodworker a good career

Woodworking is an ancient industry that has stood the test of time, making it a viable and rewarding career option for individuals with a passion for craftsmanship. Despite advancements in technology and the availability of alternative materials, the demand for wooden items remains high, ensuring a steady stream of job opportunities in the woodworking industry.

Carving out a career in woodworking comes with numerous benefits. Not only does it allow individuals to pursue their passion for creating beautiful and functional wooden pieces, but it also offers job stability and growth prospects.

Woodworkers have the opportunity to work in various roles within the industry, such as wood machinists, carpenters, and furniture makers. Each role plays a crucial part in the production process, from processing raw timber to crafting intricate furniture designs.

Woodworking presents a world of possibilities for those who possess the necessary skills and are willing to put in the effort. In this article, we will explore the potential of a woodworking career, discuss the various job opportunities available, and delve into the skills needed to thrive in this industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Woodworking is a viable and rewarding career option that offers job stability and growth prospects.
  • There is a high demand for wooden items, ensuring a steady stream of job opportunities in the woodworking industry.
  • Woodworkers can find employment in various roles, including wood machinists, carpenters, and furniture makers.
  • Skills such as attention to detail, knowledge of woodworking tools, and the ability to work well in a team are crucial for success in woodworking.
  • The job outlook for woodworkers is projected to grow 3 percent over the next ten years, indicating a stable industry with future opportunities.

Types of Woodworking Jobs

Woodworking offers a variety of job opportunities in different areas of the industry. Here, we will explore the three main types of woodworking jobs:

1. Wood Machinist

Wood machinists play a crucial role in the woodworking process. They are responsible for processing timber into finished wood that can be used for various purposes. From cutting and shaping the wood to ensuring precise measurements, wood machinists use a combination of hand and power tools to transform raw timber into high-quality, ready-to-use wood.

2. Carpenter

Carpenters are skilled craftsmen who work in the construction industry. They specialize in creating and installing wooden fittings and structures in buildings. Carpenters can be involved in tasks such as constructing doors, windows, staircases, and roofs. They work with different types of wood, measuring and cutting it to fit specific dimensions and designs. Carpenters also perform installation and finishing work, ensuring that the wooden elements are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

3. Furniture Maker

Furniture makers are artisans who specialize in creating custom-made wooden furniture. They use their creativity and woodworking skills to design and build unique pieces of furniture. Furniture makers work with various types of wood, ensuring the selection of materials that suit the desired style and purpose of the furniture. From crafting intricate details to assembling and finishing the furniture, their work requires precision and craftsmanship.

These different types of woodworkers contribute to the woodworking industry by processing wood and creating final products. Each role requires a specific skill set and offers its own set of challenges and rewards.

Salary and Earnings in the Woodworking Industry

Woodworkers can earn a handsome salary in the woodworking industry. The average salary for a wood machinist is £21,450 per year in the UK, with the potential to earn up to £30,000 per year with experience. Carpenters also earn a similar amount, with an average salary of £21,639 per year ranging from £16,000 to £40,000 per year based on experience. Furniture makers earn an average salary ranging from £14,000 to £30,000 per year, with additional earnings possible through self-employment and working with personal clients. Salary and earnings may vary based on factors such as location and market demand.

Here is a breakdown of the average salaries for woodworkers in the woodworking industry:

Woodworking Job Average Salary (UK) Potential Salary (UK)
Wood Machinist £21,450 Up to £30,000
Carpenter £21,639 £16,000 – £40,000
Furniture Maker £14,000 – £30,000 Additional earnings possible through self-employment and personal clients

*Salaries are average figures and may vary based on factors such as experience, location, and market demand.

Woodworking job earnings can also be influenced by additional factors such as working for a reputable company or having specialized skills. Experienced woodworkers who establish their own businesses or work with high-end clients have the potential to earn higher salaries.

woodworking industry salary

How to Get Into Woodworking

Getting into woodworking is an accessible and rewarding pursuit that does not necessarily require a specific academic qualification. Practical knowledge and skills can be acquired through a variety of avenues, including college courses and online training programs.

For those interested in formal education, many colleges offer woodworking qualifications that provide a solid foundation in carpentry, joinery, and furniture making. These programs typically cover essential woodworking skills, such as understanding wood properties, using hand and power tools, and crafting various types of joints.

However, it’s important to note that a formal qualification is not a strict requirement for entering the woodworking industry. In fact, many woodworkers gain their expertise through hands-on experience and self-directed learning. This can be achieved by starting with small projects at home, studying books and online resources, and seeking guidance from experienced woodworkers.

One excellent way to gain practical experience and further enhance woodworking skills is through apprenticeships. Woodworking apprenticeships provide aspiring woodworkers with the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals, learning the craft firsthand. These apprenticeships can be found in various settings, such as woodshops, sawmills, and furniture companies.

Organizations like the National Apprenticeship Service and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) can assist individuals in finding suitable woodworking apprenticeships. These programs typically combine on-the-job training with classroom learning, allowing apprentices to develop a diverse range of skills while earning a wage.

After gaining experience as an apprentice, individuals can explore various career paths in woodworking. Many woodworkers find employment in relevant factories and companies, working on projects ranging from construction to furniture production. Others may choose to start their own woodworking business, leveraging their skills and creativity to offer custom-made woodwork.

Advantages of Woodworking Apprenticeships

Woodworking apprenticeships offer several benefits for those looking to enter the industry:

  • Hands-on experience: Apprenticeships provide valuable practical experience, allowing individuals to learn woodworking techniques directly from experienced professionals.
  • Enhanced skills: Working alongside skilled craftsmen and women provides apprentices with the opportunity to refine their skills and gain a deep understanding of the craft.
  • Networking opportunities: Apprenticeships introduce individuals to a network of industry professionals, opening doors to potential job opportunities and collaborations in the future.
  • Industry recognition: Completing an apprenticeship demonstrates a commitment to the craft and enhances employability by showcasing practical skills and knowledge.
  • Personal development: Apprenticeships foster personal growth by instilling discipline, problem-solving abilities, and a strong work ethic.

Whether through formal education, self-directed learning, or apprenticeships, acquiring the necessary woodworking skills is the first step towards a fulfilling career in woodworking.

Essential Skills for Woodworking

Woodworking requires a range of essential skills for success. Whether you are working on a small DIY project or crafting fine furniture, these skills can make a significant difference in the quality of your work. From physical ability to attention to detail, here are the key skills every woodworker should possess:

Physical Ability

Woodworking can be physically demanding, requiring strength and endurance. Woodworkers often handle heavy materials, use power tools, and perform labor-intensive tasks such as sawing, sanding, and lifting. Having good physical fitness and stamina is essential for effectively completing woodworking projects.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is crucial in woodworking as even the tiniest mistake can affect the overall quality of the finished piece. Woodworkers must measure accurately, make precise cuts, and ensure precise joinery for seamless and professional-looking results. Paying close attention to the smallest details ensures the integrity and beauty of your woodworking projects.

Knowledge of Woodworking Tools

A comprehensive knowledge of woodworking tools and machinery is fundamental for any woodworker. Understanding the proper usage and maintenance of various tools, such as saws, routers, hand planes, and chisels, is essential for working with different types of wood and achieving desired results. Being familiar with the capabilities and limitations of different woodworking tools allows for efficient and safe work practices.


Creativity is one of the most valuable skills in woodworking. Woodworkers with a creative eye can transform raw materials into beautiful and unique pieces of art. The ability to visualize designs, select appropriate materials, and create innovative solutions sets apart exceptional woodworkers. Embrace your creativity, experiment with different designs, and let your imagination guide you in producing stunning woodworking projects.


Collaboration and teamwork are essential aspects of woodworking, particularly in larger projects or when working in a professional setting. Woodworkers often collaborate with clients, designers, and other craftsmen to bring their vision to life. Effective communication, coordination, and the ability to work well with others ensure a seamless and successful woodworking process.

By honing these essential skills, you can harness your potential as a woodworker and enhance the quality of your craft. These skills, combined with passion and dedication, will empower you to create exceptional woodworking projects that showcase your talent and craftsmanship.

essential skills for woodworking

Skill Description
Physical Ability Ability to handle heavy materials, perform labor-intensive tasks, and operate power tools.
Attention to Detail Ability to work with precision, measure accurately, and ensure seamless joinery for high-quality results.
Knowledge of Woodworking Tools Comprehensive understanding of various woodworking tools and their proper usage.
Creativity Ability to visualize designs, select appropriate materials, and create unique and innovative woodworking projects.
Teamwork Collaboration and effective communication skills to work well with clients, designers, and fellow craftsmen.

Job Outlook and Work Environment for Woodworkers

The job outlook for woodworkers is projected to grow 3 percent over the next ten years, which is slower than the average for all occupations. While the growth rate may be moderate, woodworking still offers opportunities for those passionate about the craft.

Woodworkers primarily work in manufacturing plants, where they contribute to the creation of wooden products. However, it’s important to note that the work environment can be challenging. Woodworking shops can be noisy due to machinery, and workers may also be exposed to wood dust.

Woodworkers should prioritize safety by wearing protective equipment, such as goggles and masks, to minimize potential hazards. Proper ventilation systems and dust collection devices should also be in place to maintain a healthy work environment.

Despite the challenges, the woodworking industry continues to grow, providing job stability for skilled woodworkers. With a focus on safety and a dedication to craftsmanship, individuals can thrive in this industry and contribute to the ongoing growth of the woodworking sector.

Work Environment for Woodworkers:

  • Noisy due to machinery
  • Exposure to wood dust
  • Importance of safety equipment
  • Need for proper ventilation systems
  • Potential for health risks without necessary precautions


Woodworking is a viable and rewarding career option. The industry offers various job opportunities, stable salary prospects, and the chance to display creativity and craftsmanship. With the right skills and training, individuals can pursue a successful career in woodworking and make a valuable contribution to this timeless craft.

As we have explored in this article, there are different types of woodworking jobs, including wood machinists, carpenters, and furniture makers. Each role plays a crucial part in the woodworking industry, from processing timber to creating beautiful and functional wooden products.

Woodworkers can earn a handsome salary, with the average earnings depending on the specific role and experience. Additionally, getting into woodworking does not necessarily require formal academic qualifications. Practical knowledge and skills can be gained through college courses, online training, and apprenticeships.

Essential skills for success in woodworking include physical ability, attention to detail, knowledge of woodworking tools, creativity, and teamwork. By honing these skills, aspiring woodworkers can thrive in an industry that offers growth and job stability.


Is woodworking a good career?

Yes, woodworking can be a good career option. It offers stability, job satisfaction, and the opportunity to showcase creativity and craftsmanship.

What are the types of woodworking jobs?

There are three main types of woodworking jobs: wood machinist, carpenter, and furniture maker.

What is the salary range in the woodworking industry?

The salary range varies based on job role and experience. Wood machinists can earn up to £30,000 per year, carpenters can earn from £16,000 to £40,000 per year, and furniture makers can earn from £14,000 to £30,000 per year.

How can I get into woodworking?

Practical knowledge of woodworking can be gained through college courses or online training. Apprenticeships and hands-on experience can further enhance skills.

What skills are essential for woodworking?

Essential skills for woodworking include physical ability, attention to detail, knowledge of woodworking tools, creativity, and the ability to work well in a team.

What is the job outlook for woodworkers?

The job outlook for woodworkers is projected to grow 3 percent over the next ten years, which is slower than the average for all occupations.

What is the work environment like for woodworkers?

Woodworkers primarily work in manufacturing plants where they may encounter machinery noise and wood dust. Safety measures, such as wearing protective equipment, are necessary to minimize potential hazards.

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