The wood products we use every day— furniture, kitchen cabinets, musical instruments, and more— are produced by highly skilled woodworkers. Woodworkers make wood products from lumber and synthetic wood materials. The modern woodworking trade is highly technical; while some continue to work with traditional methods in small workshops, most woodworkers use automated machinery, such as computerized numerical control —or CNC—machines, working in high-production assembly line facilities. Machine woodworkers set up the equipment, cut and shape wooden parts, and verify dimensions. They apply fasteners and adhesives and assemble the parts into finished units. To complete a piece, they install hardware, and fit products for glass, metal trims, electrical components, and stone. Finally, they sand, and apply finishes. Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters make wood pieces, and design custom cabinets to customers’ specifications, then build and install them. Furniture finishers do the finishing work of staining, sealing, and top coating wooden products. They also refinish furniture, and may work with antiques to preserve and repair them. Workers may handle heavy materials and be exposed to noise and dust. Injuries occur at a higher rate than in many other jobs. Protective gear, including safety glasses, respirators, and hearing protection devices, are worn for many jobs. Most woodworkers work full time during regular business hours. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for woodworkers. Full proficiency may take several years of on-the-job training.
What they do:
Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.
On the job, you would:
Verify dimensions or check the quality or fit of pieces to ensure adherence to specifications.
Produce or assemble components of articles, such as store fixtures, office equipment, cabinets, or high-grade furniture.
Measure and mark dimensions of parts on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Facilities management software
Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
Operating system software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.