Guest Post by: Antoine Rizzotti
I’m a mechanical engineer and DIY enthusiast and in my spare time I share online my opinion on what I consider the best choice when it comes to power tools such as circular saws, screwdrivers, oscillating tools, air compressors, bench vices and almost anything that you would find in a woodworking shop. While I will never claim to be an expert, I like to tinker around the house repairing and building a better home and I find this experience to be very satisfying. Few things compare to the joy of creating something with your hands and although this is a downward trend for our modern schools and tech savvy children, I think this sort of activities are still relevant in today’s world.
When you think about woodworking classes and schools, you inevitably imagine the situation that was a decade or two ago. Such classes used to shut down one after another, while their equipment was auctioned off. Back then, the age of technology was still relatively futuristic, so more and more people focused on more exciting careers. But then, if you bother to research this field, you will be surprised to find out that woodworking schools have students lining up to get in. Where is the catch then? Most importantly, once they graduate, employers and factories are lined up to hire them.
Surprising Facts in Woodworking
It might seem unusual, but students attending woodworking schools are more likely to find a job than people studying economics, IT or nursing. Unemployment rates in civilized countries range between 7% and 10%. There are not too many job opportunities for new graduates, unless they actually excel in their fields. On the other hand, by 2013, only the United States of America had over 20,000 unfilled jobs. Sure, you can find people willing to work as carpenters everywhere, but this industry demands qualifications and actual knowledge. Otherwise, it is worthless to even try to get a job.
Woodworking Still Popular
Woodworking is often associated with an antique profession. It is old, indeed. But it does not mean that it is not needed. Plenty of woodworkers create, shape and assemble cabinets, benches or furniture. Other than that, this industry also includes wood sawing machine operators, trainers, enders and so on. As a young graduate, you do not necessarily have to go out there and start making furniture. Instead, you can just as well learn to operate heavy machinery and rely on automated processes. This industry has evolved, but it does not mean that it has died. This is only a misconception.
Woodworking Jobs and Requirements
In the United States of America, there are over 202,000 jobs in the woodworking industry. Close to 85% of all these workers were employed in the manufacturing industry. Some of the most common fields include cabinet makers, woodworking machine operators, sawing machine setters and furniture finishers. While small local shops can barely employ a few carpenters, things change to 180 degrees when it comes to large companies and factories. Some of them employ thousands of workers. As for the working conditions, they vary widely from one job duty to another. Sometimes, workers might need to handle large and heavy items.
Most woodworkers are employed on a full-time basis, but they also work during average hours. In 2012, the medium hourly wage for a woodworker was over $13 in the United States of America. Some professionals can earn more than $21 per hour, while the lowest paid ones can still exceed $9 per hour. Cabinet makers and bench carpenters are the best paid professionals in this field.
In the end, it is no surprise why woodworking classes are still relevant in the 21st century. In fact, this industry makes a good choice for the future as well.