Furniture Finishers: Salary Overview
Furniture finishers shape and finish new furniture to the desired colors and finish and restore old and worn furniture.
They may work for a manufacturing company, for a furniture shop, or independently.
Their job description typically includes meeting with clients to discuss their preferences and color requirements, disassembling the furniture, inspecting the wood to see if it is rotten, and removing broken parts, applying finishing lubricants to the furniture, and completing job reports.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage reported by furniture finishers in May of 2019 was $32,250 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this while half earned more.
Experience level, education, and additional certifications are some of the important factors that determine how much furniture finishers make, but the wages also vary depending on region and industry of employment.
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The report published by BLS shows that the lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,310 a year while the top 10 percent made more than $49,080.
The 25th percentile for this profession was $27,130 which means that 75 percent of furniture finishers earned more than this amount.
Furniture Finisher Salary by Industry
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employers for furniture finishers were manufacturers of furniture and related products.
In this sector, the average annual wage reported by workers in this profession was $33,210.
Furniture finishers employed in the field of personal and household good repairs and maintenance reported an average annual wage of $35,630 while those who worked for furniture stores reportedly earned $36,330 a year on average.
Manufacturers of other wood products remunerated furniture finishers, on average, with $35,750.
Furniture finishers who worked for warehousing and storage facilities reported an average annual wage of $38,990.
The highest-paying employers for furniture finishers were, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, building finishing contractors.
In this sector, the average annual wage reported by furniture finishers was $45,130.
Higher-than-average salaries were also reported by furniture finishers who worked for miscellaneous store retailers.
In this sector, the mean annual wage for this occupation was $42,050 according to BLS.
Furniture finisher salaries varied widely depending on the region and the state of employment.
The report shows that the top-paying state for this occupation was Maryland.
Furniture finishers in this region reported an average annual wage of $41,990.
With an average annual salary of $41,440, Rhode Island is a close second.
Other top-paying states are Minnesota, New York, and Connecticut.
Furniture finishers in Alabama and Mississippi, on the other hand, reported average annual wages of $28,330 and $30,490 a year, respectively.
The above numbers apply only to salaried furniture finishers.
After earning a few years of experience you can start your own furniture finishing or restoration business.
In this case, your earnings will also depend upon your business skills, your client base, and the region where the business is located.
Salaries for furniture finishers also vary depending on a variety of other factors.
By finishing a trade school and by acquiring new skills you can improve your earning prospects.
A certificate in Woodworking Technology can also help you earn a higher-than-average salary.
Learning how to restore vintage furniture and having advanced design skills can be a plus.
Gaining a few years of experience can qualify you for promotion and increase your earnings.
In conclusion, a career in furniture finishing may not be the best-remunerated occupation but, as with any profession, if you’re a skilled worker who has advanced technical, business, and communication skills you can make a pretty decent living by restoring or finishing furniture.
* Based on information from the May 2019 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Furniture Finishers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.