Furniture Maker: Diploma Program Overview

Although diploma programs in furniture making are not generally offered, certificate programs in the field are usually available. Certificate courses teach students about the skills, techniques, equipment, and theories essential to furniture making.

Essential Information

Students in furniture-making certificate programs usually have extensive hands-on training 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.

In terms of prerequisites, some programs may require that applicants have a strong aptitude for math. Students also might have to pass math entrance exams that show they have an acceptable level of knowledge in the subject.

Furniture Making Certificate Programs

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 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that woodworkers held about 237,200 jobs (www.bls.gov). The agency also stated that all woodworkers could expect to see a 1% employment decline between 2014 and 2024. The median annual wage for cabinetmakers and bench carpenters was $32,270 as of May 2015, 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 degree in woodworking or furniture making, which usually takes about two years to complete. The associate 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.

Furniture making certificate programs equip students with practical training on how to construct functional, durable, and attractive furniture pieces using modern machines and technology. After getting a certificate, graduates may gain employment in the furniture and woodwork industry or continue their studies through an associate program.

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