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Wood machinists are responsible for translating drawings into components by using machinery to process the timber accurately and efficiently.
Average salaries are in the region of £5,000.00 to £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer
Wood machinists are key members of the joinery team. Wood machinists need to understand wood as a material, and how to get the best from it.
They are responsible for translating drawings into components by setting up a range of machines and processing the timber accurately and efficiently. Wood machining skills are valued and are in high demand in Britain.
Wood machinists work with a range of machinery including:
Increasingly, machinists use CAD/CAM design & manufacturing software and wood machinists receive training and operate CNC wood cutting/shaping machinery. The working day:
Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Mythbusters.
I work for Houghtons. The work we do involves making high quality furniture including bedroom furniture for hotels, reception counters for hospitals and bar counters for pubs. We’ve also just started working for Centre Parcs as well.
I started off as a labourer for Houghtons and then they offered me an apprenticeship in Wood Machinery.
I really enjoy the variety of my work, no day is the same. For example, at the moment I’m cutting lots of panels and sheet materials for bedroom furniture for a hotel in Scotland. Tomorrow, I’ll be edging panels which involves finishing the edges off on furniture to make it look good using a piece of machinery called an Edge Bander. A few weeks ago I was working with solid timber and the Cross Cut and Rib Saw machines to make a bar counter for a pub. I also like to see the finished product after I’ve been working on it, it’s really rewarding.
I work in a workshop using all different types of machinery to cut, shape and finish furniture for our clients/customers this includes working with:
Safety is really important. When working with machinery you need to make sure the guards (safety barriers) are set properly so you’re working safe. I also wear gloves, goggles, steel toe capped boots and ear defenders as well to be safe. In the past I used to go on site e.g. hotel, hospital, bar and fit the furniture but now I’m working more in the workshop.
Now and again it can get repetitive if I’m working on the same machine for a long period of time.
At school I stayed on in 6th Form and did IT and Business Studies. I then went to college to do sports teaching and coaching but I couldn’t find a job in this field and a labouring job came up with Houghtons who are local company on my doorstep in Baildon in West Yorkshire. My mate used to work for Houghtons and he recommended them.
I’m really proud of winning the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ 2013 award at Leeds College of Building. I got a trophy and a £60 cheque. I think I won this award because I did well in my exams and practical work. I achieved my Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship with CITB in Wood Machinery (attending Leeds College of Building) and I’m also really proud of that. When first started I didn’t really know what wood machinery was about but I’ve learnt lots and got there in the end.
I would like to progress into the office using CAD/CAM (software used to do drawings) to do the drawings for the furniture we make.
I’d recommend it. The construction industry is now on the rise so I would say, "Go for it!"
You will require 5 GCSEs at A*-C level including Maths and English, you may also choose to study A levels in the same subjects where you would require A*-C grades or you may opt for a Diploma in Manufacturing & Product Design.
Demonstrating your creativity and interest in wood, either through things you’ve made or school holiday working alongside a carpenter or joiner, will also interest employers.
Full apprenticeship frameworks are available in wood machining at Levels 2 & 3. Diplomas in Wood Machining at levels 2 & 3 are also available.
College courses and NVQs in bench joinery and wood machining are likely to be of interest to employers in the joinery sector, as the skills gained are more relevant to the work.
Other qualifications available include a Level 2 Award in Timber & Panel Products and their uses.
Continuing your career, On-site Assessment and Training (OSAT) can add to your qualifications in the following areas:
Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis.
Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful:
The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.
According to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI), the UK construction industry will need a total of 262,920 wood trades and interior fit-out (which includes wood machinists) to meet demand every year between 2017 - 2021. The majority of this demand will be in Wales and the West Midlands.