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:
Shape, finish, and refinish damaged, worn, or used furniture or new high-grade furniture to specified color or finish.
On the job, you would:
Brush, spray, or hand-rub finishing ingredients, such as paint, oil, stain, or wax, onto and into wood grain and apply lacquer or other sealers.
Fill and smooth cracks or depressions, remove marks and imperfections, and repair broken parts, using plastic or wood putty, glue, nails, or screws.
Smooth, shape, and touch up surfaces to prepare them for finishing, using sandpaper, pumice stones, steel wool, chisels, sanders, or grinders.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
Ideas and Logic
group things in different ways
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
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
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
DuPont Spies Hecker Wizard
Internet browser software
Web browser software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.