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

  • $946 Weekly Pay
  • 4,800 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 86.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 41.1 hours Average full-time
  • 50 years Average age
  • 22.0% female Gender Share

The number of Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 4,800 in 2017 to 4,700 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales or South Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Other Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (86.6%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41.1 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (62.6%).
  • Gender: 22% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20076000
20086300
20099100
20105100
20116600
20126000
20135600
20146200
20155200
20164900
20174800
20224700

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing67.4
Retail Trade15.5
Other Services10.3
Construction4.7
Other Industries2.1

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 2017, 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
NSW43.431.6
VIC25.526.2
QLD10.219.7
SA13.06.7
WA1.910.8
TAS4.72.0
NT0.01.1
ACT1.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-194.3-5.25.2
20-245.5-9.99.9
25-3411.2-23.623.6
35-4416.5-21.721.7
45-5434.9-20.820.8
55-5910.1-8.88.8
60-649.0-6.06.0
65 and Over8.6-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Forest and Wood Products Industry and Furnishing Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7021.00 - Furniture Finishers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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).

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7021.00 - Furniture Finishers.

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