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Furniture Maker: Diploma Program Overview

Although diploma programs in furniture making are not generally offered, certificate programs in the field usually take about a year to complete. A certificate program can teach students about the skills, techniques, equipment, and theories essential to furniture making.

Essential Information

Students in furniture-making certificate programs usually work on various woodworking projects, like cabinets, drawers, and doors. They learn to safely use essential furniture-making tools as well, such as planers, jointers, bandsaws, drill presses, table saws, and lathes.

  • Prerequisites: Some programs require proof of strong aptitude in math
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Other Requirements: Extensive hands-on training

Furniture Making-Certificate Programs

In programs that teach students how to make furniture, students learn how to safely use tools to construct attractive and long-lasting pieces. In terms of prerequisites, some programs may require that applicants have a minimum aptitude for math. Students also might have to pass math entrance exams that show they have an acceptable level of knowledge in the subject.

The skills-based curriculum generally includes courses in math, blueprint reading, computer-aided design, and hands-on woodworking. Additionally, students can gain an understanding of the properties and behaviors of wood, as well as design principles that take those qualities into consideration. Topics studied might include:

  • Machine woodworking
  • Furniture design
  • Prototype construction
  • Finishing techniques
  • Wood bending and carving
  • Cabinetmaking

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that woodworkers held about 202,700 jobs (www.bls.gov). The agency reported that all woodworkers could expect to see employment growth of 8% between 2012 and 2022. The median annual wage for cabinet makers and bench carpenters was $31,580 as of May 2014, per the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, a furniture maker's continuing education often takes place informally on the job. Individuals also might consider earning an associate's degree in woodworking or furniture making, which usually takes about two years to complete. The associate's degree curriculum might include all of the woodworking courses required by a certificate program, plus general education requirements. Individuals also might complete a program in mill working or cabinetmaking.

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