Furniture designer

Furniture designers create designs for mass-produced furniture, furniture made in small batches and one-off pieces.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a furniture designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • furniture and product design
  • 3D design crafts
  • interior design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could start by doing a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Furniture Design and Making.

This would teach you some of the skills you'll need and could help you to get a job as a design assistant with a furniture making company.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this career through an advanced apprenticeship in furniture design.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

More information

Career tips

You'll need to keep a portfolio of work to showcase your design skills to potential employers or customers.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Chartered Society of Designers to get access to professional development training, technical advice and information about setting up your own business.

Further information

You can get more advice about working in furniture design from Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • carrying out research to develop ideas
  • working to a 'brief' agreed with a client
  • producing new designs, or improving existing ones 
  • taking into account cost, practicality and availability of materials
  • preparing sketches of initial ideas, by hand or using computer software
  • testing ideas using models, prototypes and computer aided design (CAD)
  • preparing more detailed final designs

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, from home or in a workshop.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a more senior position, or into a specialised area, like ergonomics. 

You could also set up your own design consultancy.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Upholsterer

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Warrington WA1 1RQ

Apprentice Upholsterer

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Warrington WA1 1RQ

Courses In England

Foundation Degree in 3D Design (3D design, modelmaking, product design, furniture design D & T, CAD)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

BA (Hons) Furniture Design and Make

  • Provider: City of Oxford College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Oxford

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No