Do you have a passion for woodworking? Furniture and cabinet makers sure do. Creating something from a simple piece of lumber takes real talent, an imagination and a love for working with the natural material of wood that Mother Nature so graciously provides. Many pursue their furniture or cabinetmaking interests as a hobby. It may begin with tinkering in your garage workshop, but if you are truly passionate, why not transform your hobby into a career? Making a living while doing what you love… what is better than that?
But, do you feel that you need some extra training? Your online furniture and cabinetmaking coursework will provide you with the necessary skills to work for a variety of vendors or establish your own woodworking business. The BLS, as of May 2017, provides two salary averages for careers pertaining to wood crafters. They are “Cabinet Makers and Bench Carpenters” and “Woodworkers.” In both categories, salaries can range from between $30,850 to $36,740 annually. The highest 90% were paid upwards of $52,580 per year. How do you make the big bucks, you ask? Without a doubt, through hard work, extensive training, valuable experience and by creating beautiful designs and, of course, you must take pride in doing exceptional, quality work.
Where can you use your talents? Most furniture and cabinetmakers eventually open their own woodworking workshops. And, why not? If you have a talent, share it with the world and be your own boss! However, are you ready for small business ownership? It’s a big step. Perhaps gaining some real-world experience is what you need first. Typically, crafters in this field need at least three years of experience before pursuing their own woodworking business. Although, if you think you are ready, without a doubt, go for it!
If you are looking for more experience first, where should you look? Furniture and cabinetmaking opportunities in your community may be limited. Ideally, working under an experienced cabinet maker would help you learn applicable skills under a mentor who can advise you and help you succeed. Or, perhaps you have a furniture or cabinetmaking manufacturing plant nearby that would take you on as an employee to help you gain valuable experience. Is there a furniture repair and restoration shop or upholstery shop that can use a hand? If you need to, consider a part-time job as a salesperson in a furniture or antique store to supplement your income, especially if you have good people skills. Any experience is a good experience!
As a furniture maker, you will be responsible for creating one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork through your passion for working with the natural resource of wood. You may enjoy creating time-period pieces or those with a more modern look. Custom home furnishings often reflect the personality of the buyer. As a cabinet maker, you will be responsible for creating and designing kitchens, bathroom cabinetry, as well as, other cabinetry for the home such as custom closet organization and utility room cabinets. Woodworkers also may choose to build or specialize in fireplace mantles, stairway banisters, and custom shelving and entertainment centers. In this capacity, you may be hired to design for new homes, remodels, historical period homes or for business offices, hotels or restaurants.
If you would like to learn more about this field, please see our choice for the best Online School for Furniture and Cabinetmaking Program.