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The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Salary Range
€20k - €31k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

In Summary - Furniture Designer / Maker

Career Sectors

Furniture Designer / Makers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Design
Art, Craft & Design
The Crafts Industry
Art, Craft & Design

Videos & Interviews

Garvan de Bruir, Furniture Maker

Garvan de Bruir runs a leatherworks studio in Kildare where he deisgns and handcrafts artisan leather luggage and accessories.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Furniture Designer / Maker

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.

 

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • 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.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • 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.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Interests - Furniture Designer / Maker

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Creative

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Enterprising

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Qualities

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.

Entry Requirements - Furniture Designer / Maker

Pay & Salary - Furniture Designer / Maker

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €20k - €31k

Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

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.

Labour Market Updates - Furniture Designer / Maker

Useful Contacts - Furniture Designer / Maker

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