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Woodworkers Job Outlook

Employment of woodworkers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will stem from growing demand for domestic wood products. In addition, increases in population, personal income, and business spending and the continuing need for repair and renovation of residential and commercial properties will likely require more woodworkers.

Employment growth should be good for woodworkers who specialize in items used in renovation, such as moldings, cabinets, stairs, and windows. Firms that focus on custom woodwork should be able to compete against imports without the need to outsource jobs to other countries.

Increasing use of automated systems is expected to require more workers to operate and maintain the newer equipment in manufacturing establishments.  

Job Prospects

Those with advanced skills, including advanced math and the ability to read blueprints, should have the best job opportunities in manufacturing industries. Woodworkers who know how to create and carry out custom designs on a computer will likely be in strong demand. Some job openings will result from the need to replace those who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.

However, employment in all woodworking specialties is highly sensitive to economic cycles. During economic downturns, workers are subject to layoffs or reductions in hours.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition