Furniture designers make their own designs, which may be further manufactured into bulk production or in limited numbers or just a single piece. Furniture designers may need to work on many areas before the final process of furniture designing. They have to explore and create ideas and observe the outline of the item whether it will be safe, useful and at the same time beautiful. The costs to be incurred have to be taken into account. The material to be used should be easily available. All these factors need to be affordable for the customer. The CAD computer generated software will be a great help in visualizing the outline of the product created by furniture designers. They have to work in coordination with other professionals such as design engineers, production and marketing engineers. In case of self-employed furniture designers, they need to carry out various activities of manufacturing, administration and marketing of items.
Furniture designers have to do their BTEC HND (Higher National Diploma) or degree courses. The selection of courses needs to be such that you get both practical skills and creative design. Either a furniture degree or an applicable degree to such courses will be beneficial, for instance furniture technology, product design, 3-D design or a spatial design.
Carpentry/Cabinet Making is a program through which students can have a changeover from high school to the post-secondary education general carpenter or cabinetmaker apprenticeship.
Diploma of Arts (furniture design) is a career-oriented course for those, who want to take up their career into designing and production of contemporary furniture. After completing this course, the students can do other related course on furniture designing and or study product, object or industrial design.
There are various other courses such as Furniture Design and Realization by FDA foundation, B.Sc in Furniture Design and Manufacture, B.Sc in Furniture Production and Technology, B.Sc (Honors) in Design and Technology Education, certificate courses in subjects such as Furniture Craft and Design, and Furniture Manufacturing and Design.
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Portfolio of the designs of furniture designers if taken along with for an interview will help the employer take a decision promptly. The portfolio will immediately reflect the creativity of the furniture designers thus proving their capabilities. The design industry at present is very competitive and thus previous working experience will be a plus point. Participating in exhibitions, shows and competitions will also help the furniture designers to display their work in front of the world.
In case of self-employment, furniture designers have to learn other skills such as carpentry and upholstery. If furniture designers need any help with the studio availability or resources, the local regional crafts officer of the arts board can be consulted.
Furniture designers can become design consultants or in-house designers for reputed organization or freelance furniture designers. Some furniture designers have also gone into design management. Some furniture designers have also started their career in teaching. Similarly, carpenters and cabinetmakers are employed by the carpentry contractors, maintenance department of plants and factories, construction companies or may be self-employed. They have other career scopes such as Furniture designers or finishers, Architectural Technician, Wooden Boat Builder, Renovator, Framer, Site Supervisor, Contractor or Building Inspector.