Career Definition for a Furniture Finisher
Furniture finishers use solvents and tools to customize and repair furniture and other wood products. They are usually involved during the final stage of the building or production process, where they apply stains, top coats and wood sealants to custom-designed or used furniture. Knowledge of wood preservation and repair is required, especially when working with antiques.
|Education||Certificates, degrees and vocational programs available|
|Job Skills||Creativity, coordination, strong attention to detail|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$31,300|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||0%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
In addition to on-the-job-training, technical education for furniture finishers can include certificate, degree or vocational programs in millwork or woodworking technology. Through formal or job-related training, furniture finishers learn how to use hand tools, power tools and woodworking machinery. They may also receive instruction in drawing, design and joinery.
A successful furniture finisher is creative, can work independently, has excellent eye-hand coordination and possesses strong attention to detail. Furniture finishers who perform custom-designed pieces should also have the interpersonal and listening skills necessary for working with clients.
Career and Salary Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 0% job growth, for furniture finishers between 2016 and 2026. Growth due to an increased interest in domestic wood furniture and products will be tempered by increased automation, which reduces the need for woodworkers. Custom and specialty woodworkers, as well as those with math skills and an understanding of design, may enjoy the best prospects. In May 2017, the BLS reported a median annual wage for furniture finishers of $31,300 (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options within this field include:
Carpenters perform a variety of related tasks, including building, installing or repairing frameworks and other wooden structures. These can include doorways, floors, stairways and window frames. An apprenticeship, typically three or four years in length, is the usual requirement for working as a commercial or residential carpenter. From 2016 to 2026, carpenters will enjoy an 8% increase in job opportunities nationwide, as reported by the BLS. As of May 2017, carpenters earned median yearly wages of $45,170 (www.bls.gov).
Craft and Fine Artists
Craft artists, such as furniture makers, design and build custom or handcrafted furniture and wood products. While not necessary to begin working in the field, some schools offer certificate and degree programs, non-credit classes and workshops in the fine arts. Nationwide, employment opportunities for craft and fine artists, in general, are expected to grow at an average rate of 6% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. As of May 2017, the BLS also reported median annual wages of $49,160 for craft artists (www.bls.gov).