According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, furniture makers average $20,076 per year, or $20,08 a week. This compares to the $13.56 an hour average for all workers, or $19.02 an hour – and the total is even higher for some fields.
“There are some very very talented designers, architects, architects, fabricators. This is an industry in which there’s an enormous number of people doing very, very good work. There’s a lot of value in making things for humans. In fact it’s the only profession where you can make something and make it better for people than the people that you actually want to make those things for,” says Robert Gonsalves of the Furniture Institute of America.
Gonsalves says there are a wide variety of types of businesses that make furniture, including designers, makers, and developers. There are also a lot of very successful furniture makers but not the big names like Apple and Google, who may only make a few thousand units each year. To reach an outsized output, builders must be willing to cut corners and have a small team working through the winter months to make certain products.
“There’s a huge variety of industries. There’s an enormous amount of specialization. People want to work in industries that don’t have much demand but are doing very well,” says Gonsalves.
There have also been concerns of low wages and the loss of jobs and wages during the recession, which did in part lead to a surge in the housing market. Gonsalves says it is difficult to find workers willing to fill this position which involves high-quality furniture making, and that’s not surprising since there are so many people.
“We’re in a period right now where the entire economy is going through a very, very challenging period and in the long run you can’t allow a lot of workers to be displaced. Because you will lose production,” says Gonsalves.
Furniture makers are also in demand among retailers, especially those from the high-end to high-end and in many cases, both. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for the construction, manufacturing, manufacturing fabrication, and maintenance trades is $47.81 which is 10.5% below the average for all workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median wage for the crafts industry is $46.90. The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
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