Graduates of our Cabinet & Furniture Making program work in a wide variety of careers, from running independent custom shops, to conserving pieces in historic collections, to working for larger manufacturers, contractors, or designers. Our alumni write articles and books on furniture making, they present at shows and conferences, and they help educate the next generation as faculty of woodworking programs and schools. Notably, the Society of Period American Furniture Makers has presented the prestigious Cartouche Award to four of our graduates, and to the School as well.
Some of our graduates have worked as:
- Furniture conservators at national museums
- Furniture and prototype makers for high-end furniture manufacturers
- Owners of furniture design and building shops
- Managers of residential renovations for top designers and architects
- Construction managers for 9000 sqft apartment building
- Lead carpenters, site superintendents, and senior project managers
- Antique furniture restorers and furniture builders
- Restoration carpenters
- Woodworking teachers
- Managers of cabinet shops for custom home builders
- Installers for high-end kitchens for custom designers
- Architectural woodworkers
- Boat builders and yacht interior joiners
- Board drafters for period residential furniture
- Cabinet Department Supervisors
- Prototype Makers
- Design Associates for high-end interior designers
- Managers of Product Engineering
Below we’ve gathered general information on wages, salaries, and industry growth for cabinet and furniture makers. Keep in mind that job classifications from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) do not exactly match the skills you’ve learned at the School.
The closest DOL job classification is “Woodworking,” which includes mass production/unskilled workers and subcategories like model makers and patternmakers; woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders; furniture finishers; and cabinetmakers and bench carpenters.
The information below is from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Woodworkers held about 237,200 jobs in 2014.
- 98,100 were cabinetmakers and bench carpenters
- 17,100 were furniture finishers
- 122,100 were machine setters, operators, and tenders.
Employment of woodworkers is expected to change by less than 1% during the 2014-24 decade. In general, opportunities will be better for highly skilled woodworkers than for those with specialties susceptible to automation and competition from imported wood products.
For more detailed information, see the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics about Woodworkers.
SALARY AND WAGE DATA
There are many factors that determine specific salaries, including education, training, years and type of experience, and others. Payscale estimates that in 2016, woodworkers with 5 or more years of experience made an average salary of $43,570. The median salary for woodworkers (of all experience levels) working employers was $49,298. The median salary for contract woodworkers was $29,000. For more detailed information, visit the Payscale website.