Furniture

Furniture

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

Careers information

What do they do?

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.

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.

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

• Sciences or Workshop Technologies

• Creative Arts (Visual / Textiles / Graphics / Performance / Music)

 

Attributes

• Good at precision work

• Good literacy and numeracy

• Good initiative / ‘can do’ attitude

• Good at problem solving / creative

Helpful experience

• Making or fixing things

• Working with machinery

• Working with computers

• Creative work (writing, drawing, styling)

Preferred work environments

• Inside (workshop or plant)

• Different places from time to time

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior 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 schools Traineeship or Apprenticeship Higher learning Higher learning

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$40k - $60k

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations like the Furniture Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.
  • We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.
  • When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the furniture industry and the skills learners and businesses need

National qualifications

Competenz offers apprenticeships in furniture finishing or furniture making that currently incorporates the Level 3 and Level 4 National Certificates in Furniture.

The purpose of this apprenticeship programme is to provide the furniture industry with individuals who have attained sufficient competencies and capabilities to work in the industry and help advance in the furniture industry.

As a graduated apprentice, you will be capable of operating at an advanced level with no supervision.

Other training options include completing just a single level National Certificate or a limited credit training program to suit your needs.

This qualification is designed for people entering the industry either as an apprentice or a new employee. 

The purpose of the National Certificate in Furniture (Level 2) with strands in Introductory Furniture Finishing Skills, Introductory Furniture Making Skills, and Introductory Upholstery Skills is to ensure that all employees in the furniture industry are familiar with the furniture operations they are working in and can perform duties responsibly, safely and efficiently.

The core compulsory contains two standards: one relating to workplace health and safety; and a second, to planning a career pathway in the furniture manufacturing industry. The core elective offers a range of standards relating to generic workplace skills and knowledge, including first aid, health and safety. Each of the three strands is aligned with introductory skills in an individual operations domain within furniture manufacturing; and each contains relevant electives.

This qualification can lead on to the National Certificate in Furniture (Level 3) with strands in Finishing, Machine Operator, Free Standing Furniture, Frame Making, Upholstery, Upholstery Cutting, and Upholstery Sewing.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

This qualification is designed to develop the knowledge and operational competence of people working in furniture manufacturing operations. On completion candidates will be able to carry out their duties safely, efficiently and to a high standard.

The core compulsory contains standards that relate to troubleshooting in a furniture operation, and competitive manufacturing. The core elective offers a range of standards relating to key operational skills that may be required in the furniture manufacturing industry. In addition candidates select a strand which allows them to develop industry specific skills that are most suited to their role and workplace.

This qualification follows on from National Certificate in Furniture (Level 2) with strands in Introductory Furniture Finishing Skills, Introductory Furniture Making Skills, and Introductory Upholstery Skills [Ref: 1502]. People who complete this qualification may wish to continue onto the National Certificate in Furniture (Level 4) with strands in Furniture Design and Markets, Craft Finisher, Machine Setter, Furniture Maker, Advanced Upholstery, and Computer Numerical Controlled Machinery (CNC)

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

This qualification covers skills and knowledge that contribute to running an efficient and profitable furniture manufacturing operation as well as advanced technical skills in furniture making.  On completion candidates will understand how to cost jobs and manage stock levels.  They will also have a range of advanced expertise in the technical area they specialise in.  However, candidates who choose to complete the Furniture Design and Markets strand will be introduced to non-technical knowledge and skills that contribute to the success of a furniture manufacturing operation.

The core section of this qualification covers job costing and purchasing of materials and hardware.  The strands allow candidates to specialise their skills in an area of the furniture industry that is most suited to their role and workplace.

This qualification follows on from the National Certificate in Furniture (Level 3) with strands in Finishing, Machine Operator, Free Standing Furniture, Frame Making, Upholstery, Upholstery Cutting, and Upholstery Sewing. 

People who complete this qualification may wish to continue onto the National Certificate in Competitive Manufacturing (Level 4) or the National Diploma in Design with strands in Graphic Design, Product Design, and Spatial Design.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.