How to Become a Furniture Designer: The Ultimate Guide & Step-by-Step Instructions

Furniture designing has been part of humans for centuries back.

It is a lucrative business, as furniture makers were creating furniture of different sizes and shapes for nobility, aristocracy, and kings in the olden society.

Furniture designing is as important as it was in the olden days.

Today, they design different forms of furniture such as sofas, beds, and so on for the masses, offices, and homes.

Many people take to furniture designing because of the fun.

It is an exciting profession and it makes use of function and fashion.

The career is highly rewarding.

This means that you can make plenty of money out of the profession.

Secondly, the job is highly creative.

It is good for those enterprising individuals who want to show case their creativity, design, and imagination.

Thirdly, the job is highly satisfying.

You will be happy doing the work, and you work for different classes of people.

There are many benefits of being a furniture designer.

It is not surprising that many people including younger ones are choosing that profession.

Before you become a professional, you must first acquire the skill, attend a training school, and get the certification.

The process of becoming a quality furniture designer is not as difficult as you think.

If you are ready to get started, we are here to help you.

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Job Description: What Does a Furniture Designer Do

The major duty of furniture designers is simply to create objects for their clients.

They design for different furniture categories for clients.

The objects they create are for decorations.

Furniture designers use different tools to create objects using their hands, computer, as well as software.

They can construct different kinds of objects starting from the basic and most simple stool to the most complex furniture constructions.

They can construct different kinds of objects using simple and most sophisticated tools.

They carry out such functions like:

  • Fitting
  • Fixing materials
  • Painting
  • Polishing and staining pieces

They can begin a creation process from the beginning to the end

They can work as independent contractors, and they can engage in commercial designing as well.

Furniture designers work for furniture manufacturers as well as big and small companies.

Duties

Furniture designers perform many functions starting from researching and studying of different furniture designs:

  • Work out ideas with manufacturers or clients as the case may be
  • Furniture designers can work out costs for clients looking for their services
  • Choose materials to be used for design work such as wood, textiles, plastic, as well as metal
  • Create furniture designs
  • Attend design training
  • Use various tools and raw materials for the construction process
  • Design furniture

Furniture Designer Salary: How Much Does It Pay

Salary of furniture designers varies.

The mean annual wage for furniture designers is roughly $44,710.

Pay rates as said before varies and it depends on where the person is working.

Moreover, the size of the organization the individual work for determines the rate.

Furthermore, the job can be in high demand and because of the demand, it can vary the salary.

Salary paid by big manufacturing firm cannot be compared to what is paid to an individual working for a small firm.

Moreover, experience in job determines the salary.

As a beginner, you can expect to earn anything from $38,000 to $42,000 on average.

As you improve in experience, the salary can increase, some of the top furniture designers can get up to $90,000 – $110,000 annual salary (in most cases the top salaries are $48,000 – $58,000).

If you spend many years in the industry, you can be earning a very respectable salary.

The truth is that you have opportunity to earn more as you advance in that profession.

Average National Salary: $44,710

$38K
10%
$41K
25%
$44K
50%
$47K
75%
$52K
90%
*Salary information last updated 2018

Average Annual Salary by State

State Avg. Annual Salary
Alabama $42,342
Alaska $50,685
Arizona $44,216
Arkansas $41,271
California $50,105
Colorado $45,108
Connecticut $48,097
Delaware $47,517
Florida $42,922
Georgia $43,948
Hawaii $46,536
Idaho $42,342
Illinois $47,294
Indiana $43,591
Iowa $43,100
Kansas $42,966
Kentucky $42,297
Louisiana $44,305
Maine $45,063
Maryland $45,777
Massachusetts $50,774
Michigan $45,956
Minnesota $47,607
Mississippi $39,709
Missouri $43,903
Montana $42,476
Nebraska $42,208
Nevada $46,491
New Hampshire $47,116
New Jersey $50,953
New Mexico $41,673
New York $53,585
North Carolina $43,275
North Dakota $41,628
Ohio $43,993
Oklahoma $42,386
Oregon $46,848
Pennsylvania $48,008
Rhode Island $47,250
South Carolina $42,119
South Dakota $38,594
Tennessee $41,360
Texas $45,153
Utah $42,297
Vermont $44,037
Virginia $44,751
Washington $48,811
West Virginia $40,691
Wisconsin $44,394
Wyoming $40,602

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Furniture Designer

Step 1Decide You Want It... And Be Creative!

To become a furniture designer, you must have the passion and the zeal to become one.

Secondly, you must be creative because without creativity, you cannot be successful in this field.

Step 2Acquire The Right Education

Joining these programs will show you those basic things you should know as a beginner.

Most importantly, it will introduce you well to the industry.

There are different ways of undertaking the job internship training.

It can be done at the school. It is better if you get it through a furniture design company.

Though at this stage you cannot say to be a qualified or a professional furniture designer, but it can introduce you to those basic things and ideas that can motivate you to pursue your career to a great end.

Take only those courses which employers will be happy with.

This means that you have to take those courses that can help you develop the skill seriously.

For instance, some of the courses you can choose include spatial design and 3D study.

Taking courses in drawing will help the learner.

While taking the courses, try to include computer assisted drafting.

This skill is most important if the designer is to be relevant in today’s designing market.

If your aim is to work for yourself, it is recommended that you undertake a training course in carpentering and upholstery.

Furthermore, your training courses should include furniture, history of furniture and furniture technology and trends.


Education Needed to Become a Furniture Designer

Just like the training, you require a degree education to become a professional.

Education will assist you with the knowledge.

Educational training should cover all aspects of the business such as the following:

  • Ergonomic
  • Basic business practices
  • Aesthetics
  • Marketing
  • Computer assisted rafting
  • Engineering and mechanics techniques

These are a wide range of skills and because of that, it is better acquired at a degree level.

It is better that the candidate pursues a bachelor degree program.

There are different degree programs that are related to it such as a degree in fine art, industrial designs, engineering design, graphics, as well as a degree in architecture and so on.

The educational career varies and it depends on the university.

The most important thing is that the student engages in a degree program that covers all aspects of furniture design.

Universities or colleges offering such degree programs list courses that help the student have all the necessary skills and knowledge.

Because of that, it is common to see the degree program courses cover some important areas like:

  • Furniture manufacture and production method.
  • CADD, which stands for computer aided design and drafting.
  • Furniture processing and materials.
  • History of furniture.
  • Furniture trends.
  • Manual sketching.
  • Interior decoration.

Various educational paths are available for intending furniture designers to achieve their aims.

If your aim is to work for big furniture organizations, it is a nice idea to begin with a degree program.

This is the only way you can become employable by these big companies.

Years of study are the same with other programs in design such as interior design, architecture and product design.

These programs are related, and it is possible that you can take common courses.

Degree program is recommended because it prepares you very well and you can acquire the technical background needed in different aspects of woodworking, metalworking, decoration, interior designing as well as studio and so on.

Video About The Career


Licensing & Certification

You have seen the various ways of acquiring that skill.

Before you become professional furniture, you must acquire the necessary skill through learning, training and so on.

After your graduation, you have to go for licensing and certification.

You need these before you can practice.

There are training institutions that give the certification and one of them is the Pratt institute.

Before you can be certified, you must complete 158 hours of study.

These are required for five core courses that are needed for furniture designers.

Certificate programs can always be done within the summer term.

In some cases, students could spread the studies to cover different periods like spring, fall, as well as summer semesters and so on.

Various certification courses are arranged and they include the following:

  • Furniture Design Foundation
  • Furniture Design Drawing and Composition
  • Materials Driven Furniture design studio
  • Professional practice in areas like furniture design
  • Solid works and so on

There are many courses you can take for your certification programs and that depends on the institute that offers such courses.

Furniture manufacturing and designing business is rapidly growing across the country.

Practitioners must acquire all the necessary skills that can assist them thrive in that business.

Certification courses will train the students on acquiring all the necessary skills needed for the markets.

It can cover such areas like costing sheets, time lines, project briefs, and others.

To acquire all the skill and to become certified and licensed, you must have acquired all the skills.

Ensure that you have the training in institutions that are allowed to certify students for such programs.

Before you are allowed to start a business, it is necessary that you have your business premises registered.

With the license, qualification, and certification, it is not difficult for you to get the business premises.

You can even have your business insured and that is when you have acquired all the skills and certified as a professional furniture designer.

Certification Example:

Furniture Design Certificate

Average Training Program Duration: 2-4 Years

The average time varies as there are many types of programs and different routes to take to eventually become a furniture designer.

Popular Degree Programs


Job Outlook & Growth for Furniture Design

Job prospects for furniture designers are higher.

A study done for the period 2016 to 2026 indicated the job growth rate for the period is 4 percent.

This is slow when compared to the national average.

These designers will be in demand because of consumers’ desire for innovative furniture.

It is expected that the demand for this kind of work will be on the increase especially for higher technical designers and fabricators.

If you can be creative and design sophisticated furniture, then you will be a hot cake, many consumers including furniture-manufacturing companies will demand your services.

With the right tools and training, and if you are able to meet all your customer expectations, you are going to thrive in that profession.

You will always be busy as jobs will be readily available.

The prospect for employment is great and depending on your creativity, the sky will be the limit to the level of success you can attain in that profession.

This is because consumers would be looking for your services.

Secondly, furniture-manufacturing companies will always be seeking for your services.

Employment Growth Projection: 4%

39,700
2016
41,400
2026

That's a higher than average projected growth of 1,700 jobs.

Furniture Designer: Interest Over Time


Should You Become a Furniture Designer?
(Data-Driven Review)

Overall Satisfaction

Overall Satisfaction: High

Overall satisfaction in the job is there.

This is because you have a great service to deliver to clients from all over the country.

With the right tools and the right training, you will be happy doing the work. Moreover, the pay is high and it is satisfying.

Furniture designing is not a dead end profession. It is an old profession and the demand for professionals is always on the increase.

The job is enterprising and highly creative. You will be happy with the work.

Average Salary

Average Salary: High

Salary of furniture designers was discussed above, the salary varies and that depends on the years of experience.

Average monthly salary for a beginner can be about $38,000 and it can be more than that.

The payment will increase as you advance in your profession.

Moreover, the salary depends on the type of company you work for as well as the demand for the service.

If there is high demand, it will affect the salary of workers and this will be on the increase, the reverse could be the case when the service is not in high demand.

Job Growth Outlook

Job Growth Outlook: Medium

It is certain that the sky remains the limit for qualified furniture designers.

The growth prospect is always there because their services are always in demand.

Many people demand innovative furniture for their homes and offices.

Once you are creative and innovative, job outlook is always very bright.

As long as there are human beings, as long as we continue to build homes and offices, furniture designers will be needed; these homes and offices require furnishing and furniture designers have great work to do, this job will not dry any time soon.

Education Duration

Education Duration: 2-4 Years

The educational career varies, it is better to start with the basics.

Many start as an apprentice to learn the basic skills, after acquiring the basic training, you can proceed to colleges and universities for degree program.

The number of years or months you spend during the educational training varies. It can range from two years and above.

Within the next four years, you will become a certified and licensed furniture designer.

The training does not take that long but it is important to cover all the necessary courses.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

In terms of skills needed, you are required to be creative.

Apart from that, the professional should be able to communicate and be able to sketch.

Furthermore, he should know about the development of patterns as well as isometric drawings.

Furniture designing involved different things like making furniture and space plans.

Most importantly, the professional should be able to carry out a complex design and solve difficult and complex furniture design problems.

He should be skillful in electrical and plot drawings as well as data dimension.

When it comes to product assembling and disassembling, the professional should be an expert in this area.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who employs furniture designers?

Furniture designers can be self-employed. In which case the person can register and business premises and provides services to clients.

Secondly, big designing companies can employ the professionals in offices.

Q. What is the average furniture designer salary?

The average salary varies and it is almost at par with the national average.

Take home pay ranges from ten dollars an hour and above for beginners.

Q. What is the difference between a furniture designer and industrial designer?

There are huge differences between furniture and industrial designers.

Furniture designers have to deal with everything that does with furniture.

Industrial designers are employed in industries and they can design machines and other things.

Q. How long does it take to become a furniture designer?

The training duration varies.

If you want to pursue a degree program, the training period ranges from two years and above.

The most important thing is that you must go through all the course requirements.


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