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Furniture restorer

Alternative titles for this job include

Furniture restorers repair and conserve modern and antique pieces of furniture.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Furniture restorer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist short courses
  • applying directly


You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • art and design
  • furniture design
  • furniture restoration
  • product design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Making
  • Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Finishing Methods
  • T Level in Craft and Design

Some colleges and adult education centres run more informal courses in craft and restoration. Courses include topics like repair methods, staining, veneers and French polishing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


Apprenticeships that will give you some of the knowledge and skills needed to do this job include:

  • intermediate furniture manufacturer
  • advanced upholstery
  • advanced bespoke furniture maker

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Direct Application

If you have advanced skills from working in upholstery, furniture manufacture or carpentry you may be able to apply direct for jobs.

Other Routes

You can do short courses in woodworking skills and restoration techniques through the British Antique Furniture Restorers' Association.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about training and careers in furniture restoration and conservation through:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • work out the best way to conserve or restore a piece of furniture
  • advise customers about restoration options
  • estimate prices and give quotes
  • gather the materials needed for a job
  • use techniques like woodturning, veneering and marquetry
  • mix and apply colours and stains
  • gild, polish and upholster items
  • keep photographic and written records of the process

Working environment

You could work in a factory or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be dusty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could set up your own furniture restoration business, carrying out work for organisations and the public, or work as a consultant for museums, auction houses, historical or heritage sites, or antique dealers.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Upholstery Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £12,979.20 a year Annually
  • Location: Estate Plymouth

Apprentice Fitted Furniture Installer

  • Wage: £12,646.40 to £22,605.44 a year Annually
  • Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK

Courses In England

Diploma Level 2 Furniture Making

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Northampton

Furniture Making City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma

  • Start date: 11 September 2024
  • Location: Oxford

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