is woodworking a good career

Is Woodworking a Good Career for You in 2024?

You might be wondering, “Is woodworking a good career for you?” Well, woodworking has been around since ancient times. It will continue to thrive as long as civilization exists. Have you ever thought about the beautiful wooden furniture in your house? The doors, windows, and floor paneling? All of these are the result of woodwork, crafted by skilled woodworkers.

In this article, we’ll guide you through all the aspects of a woodworking career. We’ll answer the question, “Is woodworking a good career for you in 2023?”

Most Popular Woodworking Career Options in 2024

Woodworking offers a wide range of job opportunities. Each with its unique focus and specialization. Here are some types of woodworking jobs:

#1. Carpenter

Carpenters work on construction projects. They build and repair structures such as houses, buildings, and bridges. They focus on structural woodworking, like:

  • Framing
  • Roofing
  • Installing Doors and Windows

#2. Furniture Maker

Furniture makers design and craft custom or mass-produced furniture items. Such as,

  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Cabinets
  • Dressers

They often work with fine wood and focus on aesthetics and functionality.

#3. Cabinet Maker

Cabinet makers specialize in creating cabinets for kitchens, bathrooms, and other storage needs. They pay attention to precision and functionality while working with various wood materials.

#4. Wood Turner

Wood turners use a lathe to shape wood into round or cylindrical objects. Such as table legs, bowls, and spindles. This type of woodworking requires precision and artistic skills.

#5. Joiner

Joiners create precise joints and fittings for wooden structures and furniture. They ensure that the pieces fit together seamlessly.

#6. Wood Carver

Woodcarvers sculpt and engrave wood to create the following:

  • Intricate Designs
  • Sculptures
  • Decorative Elements

This type of woodworking requires artistic and carving skills.

#7. Woodworking Instructor 

Woodworking instructors teach others the craft of woodworking. This can be in educational institutions, workshops, or online platforms. They share their knowledge and expertise with aspiring woodworkers.

#8. Boat Builder

Boat builders construct wooden boats and ships. They employ specialized techniques to ensure water resistance and durability. This niche requires unique skills and knowledge of marine-grade wood.

#9. Restoration Woodworker

Restoration woodworkers specialize in repairing and restoring the following:

  • Antique Furniture
  • Historical Wooden Structures
  • Artifacts

They focus on preserving the historical integrity of wooden pieces.

#10. Woodworking Machinist

They operate and maintain woodworking machinery in factories and manufacturing facilities. They play a crucial role in producing wooden components for various industries.

#11. Woodworking Designer

Woodworking designers use computer-aided design (CAD) software. They create detailed plans and blueprints for woodworking projects. They work closely with woodworkers to bring designs to life.

#12. Woodworking Business Owner

Some experienced woodworkers choose to establish their woodworking businesses. They offer custom creations or specialized services. Such as wood restoration or design.

#13. Sawyer or Wood Mill Operator 

Sawyers operate sawmills. They are responsible for cutting logs into lumber and wood products. They ensure the efficient use of raw wood materials.

Depending on your interests and skills, you can choose a woodworking career path.

Highest Paying Woodworking Jobs in 2024

You might be wondering, “How much does a woodworker make in a year?” In woodworking jobs in the United States, you can earn a good income. There are different types of woodworking jobs. We’ve gathered 25 of them here based on results from ZipRecruiter:

Job TitleSalary Range (annual)
#1. Mill Manager$65,500-$147,500
#2. Paper Machine Superintendent$100,500-$135,000
#3. Sawmill Supervisor$73,500-$93,000
#4. Finishing Manager$63,500-$87,500
#5. Corrugator Supervisor$67,500-$86,500
#6. Model Builder$39,500-$81,500
#7. Engineered Wood Designer$40,500-$75,500
#8. Model Technician$50,000-$70,000
#9. Belt Tender$69,000-$69,500 
#10. Paper Mill Manager$56,000-$59,000
#11. Prototype Technician$42,000-$57,500
#12. Bench Carpenter$40,000-$56,000
#13. Paper Sales Representative$35,000-$54,000 
#14. Woodworker$36,000-$52,000
#15. Lathe Operator$39,500-$52,000
#16. Manual Lathe Operator$38,000-$51,000
#17. Wood Finisher$34,000-$48,000 
#18. CNC Router Operator$36,000-$46,500
#19. Pellet Mill Operator$39,500-$46,000
#20. Corrugator$42,000-$45,500
#21. Wood Pattern Maker$34,000-$42,000
#22. Saw Operator$34,000-$40,500
#23. Band Saw Operator$32,000-$40,000 
#24. Hand Sander$34,000-$34,000 
#25. Panel Saw Operator$30,500-$33,000

Salaries can vary based on factors like location, market trends, and the size of the market. Generally, you can expect higher earnings in metropolitan areas compared to rural regions.

What Skills Are Required to Be a Woodworker

Well, there are essential skills and competencies that you should acquire. These skills will not only help you secure a job but also excel in the field. 

Here are the key skills and competencies:

You should have Carpentry Skills: 

If you’re entering carpentry, you need a strong foundation in carpentry skills. This includes the following:

  • Measuring
  • Cutting
  • Shaping wood

Also, understanding various types of wood and their properties.

You should be familiar with Woodworking Techniques: 

Familiarity with woodworking techniques is crucial. Such as joinery, wood turning, and carving. You should be able to create strong and visually appealing joints and connections.

You must have the Safety Knowledge: 

Safety is paramount in woodworking. You must know the following things:

  • How to operate tools and machinery safely
  • How to use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • How to identify potential hazards in your workspace

You must have the Expertise to Use Tools efficiently: 

Mastery of woodworking tools, both hand tools and power tools, is essential. You should be comfortable with tools. Like saws, chisels, routers, and sanders.

Problem-solving skills are Critical: 

Woodworking often involves solving complex problems. Such as fitting pieces together or solving issues during construction or restoration projects.

You must be Creative: 

For furniture makers and artisans, creativity is key. You should be able to design and craft unique, aesthetically pleasing pieces.

Mathematical Skills are also Necessary: 

Basic math skills are important for the following tasks:

  • Measuring
  • Calculating dimensions
  • Determining angles accurately

You need Patience and Perseverance: 

Woodworking projects can be time-consuming. You may require patience and perseverance. Particularly when working on complex or large pieces.

You must have enough Physical Stamina: 

Woodworking can be physically demanding. So, you must have the physical stamina:

  • To stand for extended periods
  • Lift heavy materials
  • Perform repetitive tasks 

Acquiring these skills and competencies can help you excel in this field. You should also consider refining these skills through the following:

  • Formal education
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-job training 

How to Become a Successful Woodworker?

Becoming a woodworker is not too hard. All you need is a passion for learning and growing. You can start working in woodworking jobs by following these steps:

Get Qualified: 

You don’t need academic qualifications. However, you do need practical knowledge of woodworking. 

You can learn this by taking courses on things like:

  • Carpentry
  • Woodturning
  • Furniture restoration
  • Interior decorating with woodwork

You can take these courses at a college or online. Getting a diploma in a related field can also help you.


Once you’ve completed your woodworking courses, look for an apprenticeship. This means working as a trainee alongside experienced woodworking professionals. 

It’s a great way to gain real-world experience. It will kickstart your woodworking career. You can find apprenticeships in:

  • Woodshops
  • Sawmills
  • Timber Factories
  • Furniture Companies

Apply for a Job: 

After gaining experience as an apprentice, you can apply for jobs. If you become a furniture maker, you could even start your own furniture-making business. 

However, it’s a good idea to work for established companies for a few years first. This helps build your reputation and connections with potential clients.


So, what do you think now? Is woodworking a good career for you? We’ve provided the most popular woodworking career options for you. Now, you also know about, “What skills are required to be a woodworker?” It’s up to you now. Benefit from the information provided in this article and make an informed decision. Always remember to align your interests and goals with your career choice.

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