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Occupation Details

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Furniture Designer / Maker

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€20k > 31
Kitchen Designer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 31
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Produces concepts and designs for interesting, aesthetic, and functional furniture and related products.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Garvan de Bruir
Furniture Maker
Garvan de Bruir runs a leatherworks studio in Kildare where he deisgns and handcrafts artisan leather luggage and accessories.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Furniture Designers - from: YouTube Video

The Work header image

Furniture designers / makers create designs for mass-produced and handcrafted furniture products. The most common products they design are those that are found in homes and offices, such as chairs, tables and bookcases.  
The first stage is to put together a design brief. The designer discusses with the client what type of furniture they need, its function, what type of person the product is to appeal to and the budget available. In large companies, in-house designers usually receive the design brief from senior management or marketing departments.  
Before any designs can be produced, furniture designers need to investigate the designs that are already available. They gather information about how well these designs are selling, and customers' reactions to the existing products. This stage often involves collecting and analysing market research.  
When they have completed their research, furniture designers make rough sketches. Once senior management and/or clients have approved these, designers produce more detailed drawings that show the sizes of the product and any written instructions. The designer may have to prepare mock-ups of products to show other people what the product looks like and how well it stands up to wear and tear.  
Self-employed designer-craft workers carry out all these tasks themselves. They usually rely on commissions from individuals who want original one-off pieces of furniture made to their specific requirements. To produce the finished item, the designer-craft worker often uses traditional craft methods. They use a range of equipment, such as hand tools, lathes, and machine saws, using techniques such as veneering, wood turning, carving, wood finishing, and upholstery.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Prepare sketches of ideas, detailed drawings, illustrations, artwork, or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided design equipment.


Confer with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products.


Modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends.


Direct and coordinate the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches.


Evaluate feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.


Present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval, and discuss need for modification.


Investigate product characteristics such as the product's safety and handling qualities, its market appeal, how efficiently it can be produced, and ways of distributing, using and maintaining it.


Develop manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.


Research production specifications, costs, production materials and manufacturing methods, and provide cost estimates and itemized production requirements.


Participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment: Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a furniture designer, you will need to be:  

  • Artistic and inventive
  • Flexible enough to adapt your designs to suit company house styles and clients' requirements
  • Able to work creatively and logically through the design process, seeking original and practical solutions to design problems  
  • Aware of the production possibilities and limitations of materials that are used to manufacture furniture products, for example wood, metal and plastic.

Practical craft skills are especially important for self-employed designer-craft workers as are business skills.

Communication and presentation skills are especially important when dealing with clients and when managing projects.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Furniture Designer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Furniture designer - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Design & Craft Council of Ireland
Address: Castle Yard, Kilkenny
Tel: (056) 77 61804
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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