Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers set up and operate woodworking machines and wood turning lathes to shape wood stock, finish and polish furniture, and make picture frames and frame paintings, photographs and other artwork.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • studying drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications
  • determining tooling and machine requirements and sequence of operations
  • setting up woodworking machines and wood stock for correct cutting, planning, turning, shaping and sanding
  • operating machines to cut, plane, turn, shape and sand work pieces
  • removing old finishes by stripping with steel wool and glasspaper, and by applying solvents and paint strippers, and removing softened finishes by scraping
  • applying varnish, shellac, lacquer, stains and paint to surfaces and polishing and waxing finished surfaces
  • fitting and fastening frame pieces
  • mounting backing materials and subjects for framing

Job Titles

  • Furniture Finisher
  • Picture Framer
  • Wood Machinist
  • Wood Turner
  • Other Wood Machinists and Wood Trades Workers
  • Furniture Finisher

    Applies finishes, such as stain, lacquer, paint, oil and varnish, to furniture, and polishes and waxes finished furniture surfaces.

    Specialisations: French Polisher

  • Picture Framer

    Cuts out and assembles mouldings to make picture frames, and frames paintings, photographs, needlework and other artwork.

  • Wood Machinist

    Cuts, planes, turns, shapes and sands wood stock to specifications.

    Specialisations: Automatic Profile Sander Operator, Copy Lathe Operator, Edge Bander Operator, Jigmaker (Wood), Panel Saw Operator, Woodworking Machine Setter

  • Wood Turner

    Operates wood turning lathes to turn and shape wood stock.

  • Other Wood Machinists and Wood Trades Workers

    Includes Cane Furniture Maker, Cooper, Wood Model Maker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $946 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    5600
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    75.7%
  • Female Share

    24.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    79.7%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 5600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Other Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $946 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 46 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20058100
20065700
20076500
20086100
20097900
20106500
20116600
20124700
20135600
20146400
20155600
20206000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsWood Machinists and Other Wood Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9461230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryWood Machinists and Other Wood Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time79.768.4
Part-time20.331.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.340

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing53.2
Retail Trade37
Other Services5.1
Construction4.3
Other Industries0.4

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateWood Machinists and Other Wood Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW28.331.8
VIC16.825.5
QLD34.719.8
SA6.46.8
WA6.311.2
TAS6.72
NT01.1
ACT0.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketWood Machinists and Other Wood Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.4-5.45.4
20-247.5-9.99.9
25-3415.9-23.423.4
35-4413.5-21.721.7
45-5434.6-21.121.1
55-5918.2-8.78.7
60-640-5.95.9
65 and Over5.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryWood Machinists and Other Wood Trades WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males75.7Males53.6
Females24.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    41% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Public Safety and Security

    41% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  3. English Language

    39% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Education and Training

    37% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  5. Chemistry

    37% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    83% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    79% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  3. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    79% Important

    Checking objects, actions, or events, keeping an eye out for problems.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    77% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  5. Controlling Machines and Processes

    74% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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