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What does a Woodworker do?

Learn all about Woodworker duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Woodworker.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A woodworker is someone who works with wood to create objects or structures. This can involve anything from cutting and shaping lumber to assembling furniture. Woodworkers may use a variety of tools, including saws, lathes, and routers, to create their products. Many woodworkers are self-employed and work out of their own shops. Others may work in factories or other industrial settings.

Woodworker job duties include:

  • Study blueprints, sketches, or design specifications to plan the sequence of work and determine the procedures to be followed.
  • Select timbers or lumber to be used, according to species, quality, and dimensions.
  • Prepare lumber for use by sawing, planing, shaping, or otherwise working it with hand or power tools.
  • Assemble cut and shaped materials and fasten them together with nails, dowel pins, or glue.
  • Finish surfaces of woodwork pieces by sanding them smooth.
  • Apply veneers and decorative laminates to surfaces of woodwork pieces.
  • Carve and sculpt wood pieces to create ornamental or functional objects.
  • Lay out full-size patterns on stock material and trace patterns onto the wood.
  • Saw curved patterns in lumber using a bandsaw or jigsaw.

Woodworker Job Requirements

Woodworkers typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some woodworkers may have postsecondary education in carpentry or a related field. Many woodworkers learn their trade through an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships typically last 2-4 years and include on-the-job training and classroom instruction. After completing an apprenticeship, woodworkers may choose to become certified by the National Institute of Carpentry Education and Training (NICEET). Certification is not required, but it may help woodworkers find jobs or advance in their careers. Woodworkers typically have several years of experience before they are able to work independently.

Woodworker Skills

  • Carpentry
  • Woodworking
  • Joinery
  • Furniture making
  • Cabinetry
  • Woodturning
  • Woodcarving
  • Marquetry
  • Inlay
  • Veneering
  • Laminating

Related: Top Woodworker Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Woodworker

There are many different ways to become a woodworker. One can take classes at a local community college or technical school, or even online courses. There are also many books and videos available that can teach the basics of woodworking. However, the best way to learn how to become a woodworker is by doing it.

Start by finding some scrap wood and some basic tools. A saw, hammer, and nails are all you really need to get started. Then, start practicing making simple projects like shelves or birdhouses. As you get more comfortable with the tools and the techniques, you can start tackling more complex projects.

In order to become a successful woodworker, it is important to have patience and practice regularly. It takes time to develop the skills needed to create beautiful and intricate pieces of furniture or artwork. But with dedication and practice, anyone can become a master woodworker.

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