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Furniture designer

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £38,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Furniture designer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • carry out research to develop ideas
  • work to a plan or 'brief' agreed with the client
  • produce new designs or improve existing ones
  • work out costs, practicality and availability of materials
  • prepare sketches for ideas, by hand or using computer software
  • test ideas using models, prototypes and computer aided design (CAD)
  • work with manufacturers on the production process

Working environment

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

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

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 diploma in art and design
  • 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
For more information

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

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), 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
For more information

You may be able to get into trainee or assistant designer roles through an advanced apprenticeship like:

  • new furniture product developer
  • fitted furniture design technician
  • bespoke furniture maker

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

Go to design fairs and exhibitions to keep up to date with current trends in furniture design.

Follow organisations and designers that interest you on social media and through online design and craft forums.

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 crafts and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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

You could also set up your own design consultancy.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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