What is Woodworkers, All Other Occupational Code?
What Woodworkers Do
Woodworkers manufacture a variety of products, such as cabinets and furniture, using wood, veneers, and laminates.
Most woodworkers are employed in manufacturing industries. Although their working conditions vary, woodworkers may encounter machinery noise and wood dust.
Woodworkers typically do the following:
Read detailed architectural drawings, schematics, shop drawings, and blueprints
Prepare and set up machines and tooling for woodwork manufacturing
Lift wood pieces onto machines, either by hand or with hoists
Operate woodworking machines, including saws and milling and sanding machines
Listen for unusual sounds and watch for excessive vibration in machinery
Ensure that products meet industry standards and project specifications, adjusting as necessary
Select the proper cutting, milling, boring, and sanding tools for completing a job
Use handtools to trim pieces or assemble products
Maintain machines, such as by cleaning and oiling them or replacing worn blades
Woodworkers make products from lumber and synthetic wood materials. Many of these products, including most furniture, kitchen cabinets, and musical instruments, are mass produced. Other products are custom made from architectural designs and drawings.
Modern woodworking is highly technical. Skilled operators use automated machinery, such as computerized numerical control (CNC) machines, to ensure accuracy in all phases of their work. Woodworkers do many of their tasks on an assembly line, but some customized work must be done by hand.
Woodworkers set up, operate, and tend all types of woodworking machines, such as saws, milling machines, drill presses, sanders, and wood-fastening machines. Operators use equipment to cut and shape wooden parts and to verify dimensions, using a template, caliper, and rule. Woodworkers add fasteners and adhesives and connect the parts to form an assembled unit. They also install hardware, such as pulls and drawer slides, and fit specialty products for glass, metal trims, electrical components, and stone. Finally, workers sand, stain, and, if necessary, coat the wood product with a sealer or topcoats, such as a lacquer or varnish.
The following are examples of types of woodworkers:
Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters cut, shape, and assemble parts for wood products. They often design and create sets of customized cabinets, sometimes seeing a project all the way through to installation.
Furniture finishers shape, finish, and refinish damaged and worn furniture. They may work with antiques and must judge how to preserve and repair them. They also do the staining, sealing, and top coating at the end of the production process.
Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders use band saws, circular saws, hack saws, or other equipment to cut wood. They also use drill presses, lathes, sanders, and other types of woodworking equipment to smooth and shape wood.
How to Become a Woodworker
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to become a woodworker. Although some entry-level jobs may be learned in 1 month or less, becoming proficient typically requires several months to more than a year of on-the-job training. The ability to use computer-controlled machinery also is important.
The median annual wage for woodworkers was $36,710 in May 2021.
Overall employment of woodworkers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations.
Despite limited employment growth, about 27,200 openings for woodworkers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
State & Area Data
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Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of woodworkers with similar occupations.