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Crafts Job Profile: Wood Worker

What does a wood worker do?

Wood workers are involved in designing and making objects, using a range of woods for different purposes. They might specialise in working on small or large scale— designing and making furniture, creating decorative objects, restoring wood interiors, or even building boats.

 There are a number of specific skills which a wood worker has to use, these can include:

Key Skills:

  • creativity and design skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of maths
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • mechanical skills to adjust and calibrate machinery
  • technical skills necessary to understand and interpret drawings and manuals

Other specific skills that a wood worker might use include:

  • Designing items, e.g. chairs
  • Preparing materials for construction, e.g. wood
  • Using traditional wood working tools
  • Using power tools
  • Making joints to join pieces of wood
  • Finishing the item with appropriate finishes, varnishes, stains or waxes
  • Attaching closures or decorative items.

How do I become a woodworker?

University

You could study for a degree in Furniture and Product Design at University. Ensure you check the course specification covers the areas that you are interested in before you apply. Providers include:

Bath Spa University
University of Wolverhampton
London Metropolitan University

College

You could do a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Making
  • Level 2 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery
  • Level 3 Diploma in Wood Machining

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

Apprenticeships

You could do an intermediate apprenticeship in furniture manufacturing, or carpentry and joinery.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Onward links

British Woodworking Federation
The Building Crafts College
Institute of Carpenters
The Carpenters’ Company
Guild of Master Craftsmen

Featured Maker

Mac Collins is an emerging British designer and maker. Graduating from Northumbria University in the summer of 2018, Mac is now committed to creating experimental, hand crafted furniture and objects. Mac focuses on manipulating, yet still celebrating, the inherent beauty of the materials he works with. 

Alongside this material driven approach, Mac brings personal and cultural narratives into his work. As a designer of dual heritage, celebrating both his European and Caribbean lineage, Mac uses his design practice to explore his own identity. Tracing his lineage, Mac creates pieces in response to issues such as African Diaspora and the slave trade. 

He aims to build on European and  Scandinavian standards of furniture making by bringing in aesthetic and contextual inspiration from his Caribbean and African heritage.

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