Wood machinist

Wood machinists cut and prepare timber.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become a Wood machinist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You can take a college course that would teach you some of the skills needed. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Basic Construction Skills
  • Level 1 Diploma In Carpentry and Joinery
  • Level 2 Diploma in Wood Machining

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this career through an intermediate apprenticeship for furniture manufacturers or an advanced apprenticeship in wood machining.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Work

You could start as a labourer in construction, or an assistant with a wood products or furniture manufacturing company. You could then specialise in machining work after doing on-the-job training.

Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a wood machinist. You'll need experience of working with timber.

More information

Further information

You can get more details about how to become a wood machinist from Go Construct.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work on your own
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • planning jobs following detailed technical drawings
  • selecting the right type of wood for a particular product
  • working out the amount of timber needed
  • cutting and shaping timber, using tools like saws, planes and routers
  • cleaning workshop tools and servicing equipment
  • using computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment
  • using computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) methods

Working environment

You could work in a workshop or at a sawmill.

Your working environment may be dusty, physically demanding and noisy.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a supervisor role, or move into related work like bench joinery, shopfitting or kitchen and bathroom installation.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Wood Machinist/Cabinet Maker

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Oldham OL9 6QH

Apprenticeship in Manufacturing Operations Level 2

  • Wage : £136.90 Weekly
  • Location: Hyde SK14 1RD

Courses In England

FULL COST WOOD MACHINING NVQ ONLY

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

L3 NVQ in Wood Machining

  • Provider: BUILDING CRAFTS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: NEWHAM

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