Furniture designers produce designs for mass-produced furniture, furniture made in small batches or unique pieces.
1. Entry requirements
You'll find it useful to have an HND, foundation degree or degree in a relevant subject like:
- 3D design
- spatial design
- furniture technology
- furniture and product design
- furniture design and make
If you’re planning to work for yourself, you could develop your skills by taking a college course in upholstery or carpentry.
You’ll need a portfolio to showcase your design work to potential employers or customers.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
The Crafts Council is a useful resource for designers and makers.
2. Skills required
- creativity and practical ability
- drawing skills
- knowledge of computer design software
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- carrying out research to develop ideas
- working to a 'brief' agreed with a client
- producing new designs, or improving existing ones
- taking into account cost, practicality and availability of materials
- preparing sketches of initial ideas, by hand or using computer software
- testing ideas using models, prototypes and computer aided design (CAD)
- preparing more detailed final designs
Experienced: £25,000 or more
Highly Experienced: £45,000 (senior designer)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou may need to be flexible about your working hours, especially when you have deadlines to meet. If you’re self-employed you may work longer hours to meet customers' needs.
You’ll spend a lot of your time in a studio, but may travel to visit clients and suppliers, and to attend meetings and trade shows.
If you're employed by a company, you may be part of a design team. As a self-employed designer, you’ll have your own workshop or studio, or share premises with other designers.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could progress to a more senior position, or into a specialised area, like ergonomics.
You could also set up your own design consultancy.
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Last updated: 07 December 2016