Woodworking as a Career: Everything you Need to Know

Woodworking as a Career: Everything you Need to Know

If you are a passionate woodworker, there are several ways to begin your path in making it as a full-time career. Some start as a hobby, while others begin as apprentices. If you have thought whether woodworking is a good career or not, here’s everything that you have to know about it. For sure, if you want to become a full-time woodworker, you should know all the basics involving it. Start from the ground, and slowly build your way towards success.

If you want to become a successful woodworker, you should be ready to learn new skills and improve. It involves the continuous development of theoretical and applied woodworking conditions. Practice makes perfect, so keep on doing wooden objects until you master how to do it without reading or watching any tutorials.

Aside from skills, a versatile woodworker must also be adaptable to changes and creative in keeping up with the latest trends. Don’t worry; you don’t have to learn every all at the same time. As you learn more about woodworking, here are other things that you have to understand if you want to be your professional career.

What is Woodworker?

A woodworker produces a range of items such as cabinets and furniture made of wood and synthetic wood materials. Despite plastics, metals, and other materials abundant, wood products remain an important part of our daily lives. Most of these products, including most furniture, kitchen cabinets, and musical instruments, are mass-produced. Some items are especially suitable for small shops, using specialized equipment.

What Are The Things That Woodworkers Do?

We all what does a woodworker do – build several pieces of stuff made from wood. However, woodworking is more than that. Besides creativity, woodworkers also have to set up and operate different types of woodworking machine-like lathes, routers, sanders, and drill presses. Here are other activities that most woodworkers do. 

  • Read extensive sketches and drawings
  • Prepare and set up appliances
  • Lift bits of wood onto devices, by hand or with hoists
  • Cutting and wood-making machines
  • Hear unusual sounds or discover excessive vibration
  • Ensure products meet specifications and make adjustments where necessary
  • Using hand tools for cutting parts or assembling items
  • Remove and replace stubborn saw blades

Woodworkers are working, from sawmill to finished product, and their activities differ. They set up, operate, and tend all kinds of woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. The operators set up the equipment, cut and shape wooden pieces, and use a template, caliper, and rule to check measurements.

Woodworkers apply fasteners and adhesives after making the wood parts and connect the pieces to form a complete unit. They then cover the wood product with a sealer, such as a lacquer or a varnish, with paint, stain, and if appropriate.

Is Woodworking A Good Career?

Whether you’re doing woodworking as a hobby or as a career, you’re likely to have some opinions or impressions about how easy or difficult it might be to live in the craft. It’s because there are so many ways to make money in woodworking that don’t necessarily include selling wood products and other additional revenue, such as writing blogs and providing information. Hence, woodworking is a good, in fact excellent, career to earn money and hone skills.

How to Become a Woodworker?

If you are serious about becoming a woodworker, there are simple ways to become one. However, make sure that you can handle loud noises from power tools. Moreover, make sure that you can create a feasible plan that is doable and safe to do.

1.The Basics of Woodworking

Woodworkers are artists who use wood, laminates or veneers to create a wide variety of items, such as furniture, cabinets, cutting boards, and tables and chairs. Often they incorporate other products, such as ceramic tiles, glass, metals, and other hard or soft products, into the finished product. Despite the popularity of plastics, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), and other materials, for most people, wood is still the product of choice when it comes to price, value, and utility standards.

Many wood items today are mass-produced, such as musical instruments and furniture. Still, skilled woodworkers create custom-made items using their hands and tools based on sketches and architectural designs. The woodworkers prepare and operate saws, drill presses, routers, sanders, lathes, shapers, milling machines, and planers.

Woodworkers calculate and check lengths, cut, and wooden mold pieces using a template. Woodworkers paint or coat sealers and topcoats on the wood goods, such as varnish and lacquer. However, we also mount hardware, compatible electrical parts, and specific items, such as metal trimmings and glass.

2.Important Qualifications, Skills, and Training

Some competencies are necessary to know and master to be successful in woodworking. Some of these skills were once taught in high schools around the country, but today most woodshop courses have been suspended, and people have to learn from experts, or through trial and error, by college classes, apprenticeships, internships.

Woodworkers need to have good hand-eye coordination to make precise cuts; math and computer skills, especially when working to properly manufacture objects and furniture; mechanical skills to adjust and calibrate machinery; physical endurance and strength. They must also be detail-oriented and possess the requisite technical skills to understand and interpret drawings and manuals. Further, the following is essential information for acquiring and maintaining the following.

  • Understanding the different tools for milling, sanding, boring, and so on and safely operating them
  • Thorough knowledge of the requirements of each project
  • Capable of handling woodworking machines in a safe manner like milling machines and saws
  • Prepare and configure computers
  • Strong understanding of designs, schematics, shop sketches, architectural drawings, and sketches
  • Expertise in different hand tools, drill bits, drill press, hand drills, band saws
  • Knowledge of various woods; hardness, color, warping, knots, cracks, grain patterns, etc.
  • The skill of the different cuts; curved, straight, and cutting a mortise or tenon and dovetail joints
  • Comprehension of the various materials used for finishing; varnishes, stains, lacquers, and gloss.

3.Types of Woodworkers & Typical Work Environments

When new techniques are introduced, the woodworking sector is growing, but there are essentially four main categories of woodworkers. In the beginning, you have to choose what kind of woodworker that you want to achieve. What is it that you want to put your focus on? You can’t be a jack-of-all-trades when starting because it would be confusing. In the end, you would master nothing. So, pick certain classifications and build a career from it. Once you perfect its ins and outs, then you can try other branches of woodworking.

  • Furniture finishers can work with antiques or other wood pieces, and they can shape, polish, paint, seal, and add top coatings to preserve, repair, and polish wood furniture.
  • Wardrobe makers usually produce parts for wardrobes or other wood products. They cut, form, and mount parts and sometimes even design custom-made pieces. Also, they can install cabinetry.
  • Wood machine operators specialize in operating woodworking equipment.
  • Woodworking tenders also control woodworking equipment that includes drill presses, routers, planers, and sanders.

7 Skills You Should Learn About Woodworking

Woodworking may become overwhelming at first, but here are some skills that you can start learning. Even if you didn’t finish high school shop class, it is never too late to understand these skills. So, here’s a list of the basic skills that every woodworker should keep within their hearts. None of those skills require costly, dangerous equipment or exotic instruments. They are the basic skills that every woodworker should learn.

1.Understanding Woodworking and Its Behavior

Before inserting any device into your lumber, you’ll need to understand its proper orientation and the direction it takes to design the piece. As trees grow, growth ring layers continue to build on each other, creating beautiful grain displaying in our boards. This grain will make it more difficult to prepare if we forget the best way to operate. Working wood grain is like petting a cat — if you go from tail to head, you’ll find the hair standing straight up and may get hissing disapproval.

If your pet “with the grain” from head to tail, you’ll find the hairs lay nice and smooth, and it’s going to be purring. It’s also important to understand how wood expands and contracts throughout the year as humidity fluctuates. All wooden building takes account of this natural resource, and misunderstanding of this can be catastrophic.

2.Sharpening Of Saws, Planes, and Chisels

Too many people have reinforced the misconception that woodworking by hand is hard work because they were using a dull tool. It’s an axiom among woodworkers that you have to “let the tool do the job” for things to go smoothly. If your saw takes a decent deal of push to cut or find that you need a running start to make shavings with your hand plane, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

It’s a simple and important ability to sharpen your tools, and it’s something that needs to happen daily. Working with dull tools is not only wasteful, but it is also risky. When you feel you need to move your body weight chisel to complete the cut when it pops free, you will lose control, and your tool will stab in whatever is in its way. Learn how to sharpen your devices, and you’ll find that woodworking is fun, safe, and efficient.

3.Know How To Use a Hand Plane

The basic method is very self-explanatory, with a lot of woodworking equipment. Yet these aren’t all that intuitive. Proper use of hand planes requires a bit of preparation and practice to improve the feeling of changing the cut from coarse to fine. Therefore, the edge may be askew, or the cap iron may be in the wrong place. 

Although these issues take a bit of work to find out, using a hand plane properly is an attainable ability. you can catch an old plane and jump on YouTube to look for “tuning an old hand plane” or “how to use a hand plane.” There’ll be more than enough hours of footage to account for what you missed in the shop class.

4.Preparation Of The Wood With Hand Tools

Maybe you already have a table saw and a 13-inch thick planer, but most beginners are not capable or know how to use it. Be careful not to slip into the feeling pit of purchasing costly machines to create items. Use hand tools while dealing with wood and enjoy every minute of it. If you know how artisans worked their lumber before computers ruled the furniture industry, you can find hand-held woodworking to be effective and sustainable.

Many tried-and-true methods are available to speed up the process that frees us from feeling like we have to do machine-perfect handwork. The main trick is to use the right tool for the job: coarse work tools and fine work tools. 

5.Learn How To Cut a Mortise and Tenon Joint

It is the most basic join in all constructed of wood. Whenever we have to connect a horizontal member like a chair rail to a vertical member like a leg, such parts must interlock at the right angle. We can create a strong 90 degrees joint by inserting a tenon into a respective mortise (hole). While it can look easy to make, it takes careful technique and practice to achieve a good, tight fit.

There are many ways to make a mortise, but I use a stout chisel designed for this task and simply determine the tenon’s width based on that chisel’s dimension. Cutting the tenon is normally a matter of 4 straight cuts to the saw. The woodworking world opens up to you as you know how to properly lay this joint out and cut it to a perfect fit. You know all of the joinery needed to create most tables and chairs at that point.

6.Cut Dovetail Joints

Dovetail Joints is a durable type of woodworking joinery which provides tensile strength or pulling-out resistance. It includes a series of cut pins to extend from one board end. The sequence interlocks at the end of another board with a set of tails cut in. The dovetail joints are suitable in attaching the sides of a drawer. One of the most common uses of die joints is shelves. You use it to connect the shelves to a carcass in a bookcase. This process involves combining two pieces of wood into one board with a groove cut. A die is a slot cut into the lumber surface that you cut in line with the wood, and its ends are open.

7.Patience And Attitude

It’s a difficult job being a woodworker. Question yourself, is this the job you want to be working on for years? Including money and wages, make sure you’re getting what it takes to become a carpenter. Remember that it requires various construction kinds, including suitable staircases, laying wooden floors, and holding a concrete container.

If you don’t mind working for longer hours, stretching your muscles for hard labor, and putting in place original plans, it’s perfect for you. You must always be vigilant to get accurate measurements to avoid wasted resources and time.

How To Turn Passion For Woodworking Into A Career?

Most people who like to hobby woodwork may not believe they have the time or ability to turn their passion into a career. Quite frequently, a high school diploma is a prerequisite to being a woodworker. There are usually about three years devoted to learning how to do the job skillfully. Most workouts are done on-the-job. With the rise in technology, the ability to use machinery which is operated by the computer is becoming increasingly necessary.

Many employers are searching for candidates who have exceptional experience in both computer and math applications. Through taking further classes at vocational schools, or even community colleges, some woodworkers gain new skills. There are also colleges offering degrees in wood processing, furniture design, and manufacturing. Such courses train students for engineering, marketing, construction, and supervisory jobs.

Certifications are not required, but they are useful to demonstrate advanced skills and professionalism in the field. Certifications may also add credibility to advance candidates within the arena. The Woodwork Institute of Architecture, or AWI, offers advanced training for mid-management positions. North American Woodwork Career Alliance offers a national certificate program that offers five different certificates. Such certificates add yet another layer of integrity to the professional woodworker’s quality of work.

Though there are many aspects to start living with woodworking, knowing what it takes is the most important element. Do you have the skills that a timber worker wants every day? Or maybe you already have those certifications in your back pocket? Consider your skills and dreams-once you realize that woodworking is your area, nothing can stop you from becoming a professional woodworking worker!

Another smart way to make a woodworking career is by putting your designs online. It means posting your projects as ideas for DIY projects through a blog format, selling your belongings, or simply sharing your hobby love and earning some money. The easiest way to do that is to create a blog, not a website. A blog enables you to create a website like a website, but without the overhead of a web designer, web developer, and no maintenance is needed. Remember, it’s super cheap.

How Much Money Does a Woodworker Make?

First-time woodworkers with 1 to 4 years of experience will earn, on average, $14.39 an hour. In contrast, a mid-career woodworker with 5 to 9 years of experience can make $17.00 an hour. Lastly, a professional woodworker with ten years of experience and more can receive $19.53 per hour. Nevertheless, take note that these are all estimates based on the salaries of some woodworkers. It remains dependent on the project and preliminary talks.

What Products Should You Sell?

You can sell different wooden products that are highly profitable for as long as you’re providing quality and functionality. Below is a list of usually well-selling items inside a craft show setting. It will help you see what people are interested in, and enable you to move in good selling items. So, as early as now, start planning and drawing your plans.


While we live in the modern era, there are still people who love books. There are still people buying bookshelves made from wood. You could make this for individuals, but bookshelves are also required in classrooms, daycare centers, libraries, pre-school centers, and offices. A wide range of styles can be considered when customizing the bookshelves.

Any of the kinds of bookshelves that you might create are wooden shelves with special designs, shelves with specific features, shelves with cartoon character designs, or artist design bookshelves. Have some work done and explore choices. Look around in your area for businesses and public places to see what they may already have or need.

Cutting Boards

Believe it or not, people are looking for exclusive boards to cut. Apart from the usual rectangular shaped boards, people are searching for cutting boards shaped like flowers, plants, animals, toys, and other interesting types. Most people just use wooden cutting boards as a decoration. There are a wide variety of options for you to consider in this area.

Device Stands

Another piece of wood that you might find the building is a tool stand. Wood is strong and durable and elegant, so making stands on the tool could add some work to your way. Shops will have show stands to show merchandise. Cell phones, laptops, and other devices will render stands. Keyholders, jewelry holders, and watch holders are other uses that people have for these stand forms.

Promotional Gifts

Most companies sell their customer’s gifts. Offering wooden markers, coasters, key chains, penholders, lighters, calendars, mini-games, and clocks can take advantage of this. There’s room for customized gifts like these. The research into your target market is vital. Find out what kinds of promotional gifts companies and small companies involved in purchasing for gifts. Think of ways to highlight the goods through design and promotion.

Picture Frames

Another piece of wood that you might find the building is a tool stand. Wood is strong and durable and elegant, so making stands on the tool could add some work to your way. Shops will have show stands to show merchandise. Cell phones, laptops, and other devices will render stands. Keyholders, jewelry holders, and watch holders are other uses that people have for these stand forms.

Puzzles and Toys

Over the years, wood puzzles and toys have remained popular. Jenga, chess, and tic-tac-toe games are classics that are going to sell forever. And as long as children are in the world, wooden animals, dollhouses, puppets, doll furniture, cities, cars, beads, lines, alphabet toys, and counting toys will be in demand.

The Furniture Maker

A professional furniture maker and the licensed contractor says he’s been more effective in making furniture than any other woodworking field. While he’s enjoyed this success, he admits he’s still teaching classes and writing articles to supplement his woodworking magazines’ income.

Financial success matters nothing if you don’t enjoy what you do. This talented furniture maker says that he still likes to spend time in his woodshop, despite all the ups and downs of life. Loving your profession is a must because it can be tedious and burdensome to become a businessman, salesman, marketer, etc. if you don’t like what you are doing. Learning to be content where you are is key to achieving real success. When you don’t have a satisfied mindset, increasing in your company is challenging, and more often, impossible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woodworking is not an easy task, especially for those who don’t have a passion for doing such jobs. However, it still requires fundamental skills and knowledge in operating tools. If you love doing woodworking, then go for it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but all you have to do is to be creative. Finally, let us answer some common questions from other aspiring woodworkers.

What is the workplace of a Woodworker looks like?

Working conditions of woodworkers vary greatly, depending on specific work projects and responsibilities. Workers often have to handle heavy, bulky materials, and there is a lot of noise and dust in them. More importantly, don’t forget to wear earplugs, gloves, and goggles for self-protection. During regular business hours, most work full time.

Can you make a living doing woodworking?

You can make a living in doing woodworking for as long as you have the patience to sell your items. You can earn a salary, especially on selling wooden items like toys and pieces of furniture. You can also receive income from supplemental woodworking like making blogs, videos, and sharing other pieces of information that will help beginner woodworkers. 

What skills do you need to be a woodworker?

Woodworkers need strong hand-eye coordination to make precise cuts, some math, and computer skills, particularly when working to produce objects and furniture properly. Moreover, it is essential to have technical abilities to change and calibrate machinery. Finally, every woodworker must have physical stamina and strength to finish several kinds of woodworking projects.

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