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The Wood Industry Has a Place for You

Whether you are beginning to think about what you want to do after high school, starting a new chapter in life, or simply looking for stable income, your skills are needed in the wood industry.

Woodworker image

Woodworker ›

Woodworker image

Woodworker - $33K

What they do

Operate tools and machines specific to the wood making industry to manufacture a variety of wood parts and products, including finishing and millwork.

Requirements

HS diploma, extensive on-the-job training.

Skills

Understand detailed architectural drawings, schematics, shop drawings, and blueprints; ability to set up and use computer-controlled machinery and tooling; ensure products meet industry standards/ specifications; select and adjust the proper cutting, milling, boring, and sanding tools, and handle hardware installation/finishing as needed.

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available.

Education

Technical/trade schools, community colleges and universities.

Salary

The median annual wage is $32,690.

How to get started
Machinery Maintenance / Technician image

Machinery Maintenance / Technician ›

Machinery Maintenance / Technician image

Machinery Maintenance / Technician - $53K

What they do

Install, maintain and repair industrial machinery, including replacing worn or damaged parts and disassembling and packaging old machinery to clear space.

Requirements

HS diploma, on-the-job training.

Skills

Use a variety of hand tools (e.g. hammers and levels); equipment for welding, brazing, and cutting; measuring tools (e.g. micrometers); use of cranes, trucks, forklifts, hoists and other equipment to move parts.

Certificates

Apprenticeships up to four years.

Education

Associate’s degree via technical schools and community colleges.

Salary

The median annual wage is $52,860.

How to get started
CAD Designer image

CAD Designer ›

CAD Designer image

CAD Designer - $57K

What they do

Use computer aided design (CAD) software to design projects or convert the drawings/specifications of engineers and architects into technical drawings.

Requirements

Associates degree; four-year degree required to be an architect or engineer.

Skills

Design products using specific engineering and manufacturing techniques; add detail to architectural plans using knowledge of building techniques; specify dimensions, materials, and processes for new products.

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available.

Education

Associate’s degree via technical schools, community colleges and universities.

Salary

The median annual wage is $56,830.

How to get started
Cabinetmakers / Bench Carpenters image

Cabinetmakers / Bench Carpenters ›

Cabinetmakers / Bench Carpenters image

Cabinetmakers / Bench Carpenters - $37K

What they do

As a type of woodworker, they use a variety of tools and machines to cut, shape and assemble parts and wood products, such as furniture and cabinets.

Requirements

HS diploma, 1 to 3 years of on-the-job training, ability to use computer-controlled machinery.

Skills

See Woodworker role for core skills. May also design and customize cabinets to specifications of a particular space, and also assist with installation.

Certificates

Certification is available.

Education

Technical schools, community colleges and universities.

Salary

The median annual wage is $36,580.

How to get started
Woodworking Machinist / Machine Operator image

Woodworking Machinist / Machine Operator ›

Woodworking Machinist / Machine Operator image

Woodworking Machinist / Machine Operator - $37K

What they do

Operate CNC and other industrial machines, as well as an array of tools to manufacture a variety of wood parts and products.

Requirements

HS diploma, extensive on-the-job training, ability to use computer-controlled machinery.

Skills

Woodworking machinists operate woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, routers, sanders, planers; wood sawing machinists specialize in specific pieces of woodworking machinery (both may be required to operate CNC machines).

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available.

Education

Technical schools, community colleges and universities.

Salary

The median annual wage is $36,850.

How to get started
Flooring Installer image

Flooring Installer ›

Flooring Installer image

Flooring Installer - $42K

What they do

Remove existing flooring and/or measure, cut, lay and finish materials that improve the aesthetic of residetial and commercial buildings.

Requirements

No formal educational credential, extensive on-the-job training.

Skills

Hand tool/power tool knowledge; customer-service skills; detailed oriented to maintain exacting standards; understanding of math used to measure/calculate material requirements; physical stamina/strength (must be able to stand/kneels for extended periods and lift/move heavy flooring pieces); general/finish carpentry; eye for detail; new construction/remodel.

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available from various organizations.

Education

On-the-job training; 2- to 4-year apprenticeship programs are common.

Salary

The median annual wage is $42,050.

How to get started
Flooring Sander / Finisher image

Flooring Sander / Finisher ›

Flooring Sander / Finisher image

Flooring Sander / Finisher - $40K

What they do

Scrape and sand wooden floors using sanding machines and floor scraping tools to smooth surfaces and apply sealants or other protective coatings.

Requirements

No formal educational credential, extensive on-the-job training.

Skills

Machine/tool knowledge; customer service, including needs assessments, quality standards, and evaluating customer satisfaction; residential and commercial construction knowledge (materials, methods, tools); physical stamina/strength (must be able to stand/kneels for extended periods and lift/move heavy flooring pieces). Operation of sanding equipment; refinishing; eye for detail; application of stains, colorants, and finishes; historic restoration; selling trends.

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available from various organizations.

Education

On-the-job training; 2- to 4-year apprenticeship programs are common.

Salary

The median annual wage is $39,610.

How to get started
Finisher / Finishing Specialist image

Finisher / Finishing Specialist ›

Finisher / Finishing Specialist image

Finisher / Finishing Specialist - $34K

What they do

Prepares and finishes surfaces on various types of case goods (e.g. cabinetry) to desired effects using hand or machine finishing processes and tools.

Requirements

HS diploma, extensive on-the-job training.

Skills

Ability to identify different hues and select appropriate products to finish wood surfaces; attention to detail to examine wood and fix small defects, ensure that all the sanding dust has been removed, etc.; communication and problem-solving, ability to carry out mathematical calculations; physical stamina/strength.

Certificates

Progressive steps of certification are available.

Education

There are a few formal college level training programs; otherwise, on- the-job training.

Salary

The median annual wage is $34,350.

How to get started