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How to Prepare for a Career in Furniture Making

Do you like working with your hands?  Do you enjoy building things?  Then a career in furniture making might just be perfect for you.   We've put together following guide to help you prepare for a career as a furniture maker and have the best shot at doing something you love.  

High school students with the career goal of furniture maker may enroll in courses like: English, physical education, business, algebra, and shop or technology. Students with access to trade or vocational programs in a construction related field may participate in courses like: woodworking techniques, drafting basics, tool safety, and computer skills to expand basic educational background and perhaps increase acceptance into future training programs. Additionally working as a carpenter's assistant or within the construction industry increases hands on experiences necessary for future educational and career goals.

Apprenticeship programs require a 20 month to 5 year long training period. Students learn by mastering basic skills to progress to more difficult tasks focused on learning woodworking skills, tool safety and usage, and production techniques. Graduates of apprenticeship programs may advance to a higher college degree or certify for licensing.
Career diploma programs offered by trade or vocational schools or online colleges allow students to participate in courses like: basics of woodworking, preparation and finishing, joinery, using proper fastenings and findings, use of carpentry tools, cabinet making, refinishing, refacing, setting up a workshop, and furniture design. One year career diploma programs allow students to advance to college level degrees or gain entry level cabinet making employment upon completion of certification requirements determined by state or facility regulations.

An associates degree in furniture making requires students to participate in classroom and hands on training environments. Students take courses like: basics of woodworking, preparation and finishing, joinery, using proper fastenings and findings, use of carpentry tools, cabinet making, refinishing, refacing, furniture design, contemporary furniture design, drawing digital designs, business, and marketing to expand skills in furniture making. A clinical experience usually culminates a two year degree program allowing graduates to advance to higher degrees, certification exams, or employment.

Licensing and certification is available through the Furniture Industry Training Organization. Candidates who demonstrate proficiencies acquired through classroom instruction and clinical experiences qualify for the National Certificate in Furniture Making. The certificate often allows an increased client base and continuing education opportunities to enhance skills and maintain licensure.

A bachelor degree program teaches students the planning, management, and theories of furniture making to advance educational and career goals. Students participate in courses like: woodworking, material selection, tool safety and usage, preparation and finishing furniture, joinery, use of proper fastenings and findings, woodworking, use of carpentry tools, refinishing, refacing, designing, setting up a workshop, furniture design, the history of furniture making, business mathematics, marketing, contemporty furniture design, client management, public relations, corporate identity and branding, time management, product pricing, corporate identity and branding, website design and construction, computer aided drafting (CAD) and client drawing. Students specialize training in antiques restoration, adhesives, staining, and bonding in addition to clinical experiences to graduate as experts in the field of furniture making upon meeting certification or licensing requirements determined by state or facility regulations.

Advancing to graduate or doctoral level degree programs in a construction related field, like engineering, construction management, industrial design, business, or interior design allows students to work in management level positions or as professors depending upon field of study.

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