From handcrafted pieces to large scale production, a successful career in furniture making needs dedication to quality craftsmanship

Careers information

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What does it involve?

Furniture and cabinet makers work in all sorts of furniture manufacturing; making furniture from manufactured board and/or solid wood, making furniture from fabrics and leathers (upholstery manufacturing), or finishing (polishing) furniture with paint, stains, lacquers etc. Other roles include steel furniture making or furniture restoration as additional opportunities.

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Typical day

Typically, an 8-hour day or shift work. A typical day on the job might involve – designing furniture, selecting timber and other materials for fabrication, cutting materials to size, sanding, polishing or painting, attaching fittings and preparing cost estimates.

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How much could I earn?

  • Newly Qualified

    $40k- $60k

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  • NCEA Level 2 is ideal
  • Cabinet Maker
  • Upholstery Maker
  • Furniture Finisher
  • Team Leader
  • Supervisor
  • Production Manager
  • Teacher/Tutor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsTraineeship or ApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning