How Much Do Woodworkers Make an Hour

Woodworking is a time-honored craft that requires skill, precision, and an eye for detail. But beyond the artistry of creating beautiful wooden objects lies a practical concern: how much do woodworkers make an hour?

In this article, we will delve into the world of woodworking salaries to uncover the factors that influence earnings, from experience and skillset to location. Whether you are considering a career in woodworking or simply curious about the earning potential within this industry, join us as we uncover the ins and outs of woodworker salaries.

Before we dive into the specifics of woodworker salaries, it’s important to demystify the woodworking industry itself. Woodworking encompasses a vast range of activities, from furniture-making and cabinetry to carving and sculpture. It is a multi-faceted field that offers various avenues for specialization and expertise. This diversity leads to differences in salary potential depending on one’s chosen path within woodworking.

When it comes to determining woodworker salaries, several factors come into play. Experience is often a major influencer, as more seasoned professionals tend to command higher rates. Additionally, a woodworker’s skillset can greatly impact their earning potential. Those with exceptional craftsmanship and expertise may be able to charge premium rates compared to their peers who possess average skills.

Demystifying the Woodworking Industry

Woodworking is a skill that has been practiced for centuries, with artisans crafting beautiful and functional pieces out of wood. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in woodworking as a hobby as well as a profession. In this section, we will demystify the woodworking industry by providing a brief overview of its various aspects.

Firstly, it is important to understand that woodworking encompasses a wide range of activities and specialties. From cabinet making to furniture crafting to carpentry, there are numerous paths one can take within the industry. Each specialty requires different skills and expertise, which ultimately influences the earning potential of woodworkers.

In terms of employment, woodworkers can find work in various settings. Some may choose to work for larger companies or manufacturers that produce mass-produced items such as cabinets or doors. Others may opt for a more independent route and start their own business or work as freelance craftsmen. Woodworking can also be found in industries such as construction and renovation, where skilled woodworkers are needed to create custom pieces or install wooden fixtures.

To succeed in the woodworking industry, individuals need both technical skills and creativity. A strong foundation in woodworking techniques such as joinery, carving, and finishing is essential. Additionally, having an eye for design and an ability to conceptualize ideas into tangible creations is highly valued in the industry. These skills can be acquired through apprenticeships, vocational schools, or even self-study.

Overall, the woodworking industry offers diverse opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field. Whether it’s creating bespoke furniture pieces or working on large-scale construction projects, woodworkers have the chance to turn their passion for working with wood into a fulfilling occupation. In the next sections of this article, we will explore how factors such as experience, skillset, location, and specialization come into play when determining how much woodworkers make per hour.

Factors That Influence Woodworker Salaries

Woodworking salaries can vary significantly based on a variety of factors. In this section, we will delve into some of the key factors that influence woodworker salaries, including experience, skillset, and location.


Experience is one of the most important factors that determine woodworker salaries. Just like in any other profession, as woodworkers gain more experience in their craft, they become more skilled and efficient at their work. This increased expertise often translates to higher wages. Woodworkers with several years of experience are often able to command higher hourly rates or secure higher-paying positions due to their proven track record and demonstrated proficiency.

Additionally, experienced woodworkers may have developed a network of clients or employers who rely on their established reputation and the quality of their work. This can lead to opportunities for higher-paying projects or long-term contracts, further boosting their earning potential.


A woodworker’s skillset plays a vital role in determining their salary. Woodworking encompasses a wide range of skills and techniques, including joinery, carving, cabinet-making, furniture design, and more. Woodworkers who possess advanced skills in specialized areas may earn higher wages due to the level of expertise required for these projects.

For example, a woodworker with expertise in intricate woodworking techniques such as marquetry or hand-carving may be able to command higher rates compared to someone who possesses only basic woodworking skills. Employers or clients recognize the value that highly skilled woodworkers bring to the table and are often willing to pay a premium for their craftsmanship.


The geographical location where a woodworker works also influences their salary. Cost-of-living differences across different regions can impact how much employers are willing to pay for woodworking services. Generally speaking, areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher wages in order to attract and retain skilled workers.

Furthermore, local demand for woodworking services can significantly affect salaries. In areas where there is high demand for custom carpentry or specialized woodworking projects, woodworkers may have more opportunities to secure higher-paying jobs. However, in regions where the demand is lower or competition is fierce, woodworkers may need to be more flexible with their rates in order to remain competitive in the market.

In summary, woodworker salaries are influenced by various factors such as experience, skillset, and location. Experienced woodworkers with a specialized skillset often earn higher wages due to their expertise and reputation, while the cost of living and local demand for woodworking services also impact salary levels. Understanding these factors can help both aspiring and established woodworkers navigate the industry and make informed decisions regarding their hourly rates and potential income growth opportunities.

A Closer Look at Entry-Level Woodworker Salaries

Entry-level woodworkers, also known as apprentices or trainees, typically start their careers with a lower salary compared to more experienced professionals. However, this doesn’t mean that their earnings are meager. In fact, entry-level woodworkers can still earn a decent hourly wage while they gain experience and develop their skills.

The starting salary for entry-level woodworkers can vary depending on several factors such as location, company size, and industry demand. On average, entry-level woodworkers can expect to earn between $12 to $15 per hour. It is important to note that this is just a general range and individual salaries may differ based on specific circumstances.

One of the key factors influencing entry-level salaries is the geographical location. Woodworkers in high-cost-of-living areas or metropolitan cities tend to have higher starting wages due to increased demand for skilled labor and higher living expenses. Conversely, those in rural areas or regions with less demand for woodworking may receive lower wages initially.

To provide some context, here are a few examples of entry-level woodworker salaries across different locations:

  • In New York City, an apprentice carpenter might earn around $18 per hour.
  • In a smaller town in Ohio, an entry-level woodworker could start off earning $13 per hour.
  • On the West Coast of the United States, an apprentice joiner might make around $16 per hour.

It’s important to keep in mind that these figures are just estimates and actual salaries can vary significantly based on factors like the types of projects involved (e.g., furniture making versus construction), the employer’s reputation and clientele, as well as individual negotiation skills when seeking employment. Overall, while entry-level salaries may not be exceptionally high at first for woodworkers starting from scratch in their careers, there is potential for growth as skills develop and experience accumulates.

Climbing the Ladder

Experience and specialization play a crucial role in determining woodworking salaries. As woodworkers gain more experience and develop a specialized skillset, they often see an increase in their earning potential. This section will explore how climbing the ladder in the woodworking industry can impact salaries.

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One of the primary factors that influence woodworking salaries is experience. Entry-level woodworkers typically start with lower hourly rates as they are still learning and building their skills. However, as they gain experience working on various projects, their expertise grows, leading to higher pay rates. With each project completed successfully, woodworkers can command higher wages due to their proven track record and accumulated knowledge.

Specialization is another key factor that impacts woodworking salaries. Woodworkers who choose to specialize in a specific area of woodworking, such as furniture making or cabinetry, often have the opportunity to earn higher wages compared to those who have a general skillset. By becoming an expert in a niche market, woodworkers can cater to specific client demands and provide a high level of craftsmanship that justifies premium pricing.

To illustrate the impact of experience and specialization on woodworking salaries, let’s take a look at some examples:

  1. Journeyman carpenter: After several years of working as apprentices and honing their skills, journeyman carpenters typically earn higher salaries than entry-level workers. Their increased knowledge and ability to work independently make them valuable assets for construction companies or contractors.
  2. Master furniture maker: A woodworker with years of experience specializing in fine furniture making can command significantly higher hourly rates compared to a general furniture maker. The meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail, and unique designs produced by a master furniture maker justify charging premium prices for bespoke pieces.

In summary, climbing the ladder in the woodworking industry has a direct impact on salaries. As woodworkers gain experience and specialize in specific areas, they have the opportunity to earn higher hourly rates due to their growing expertise and enhanced craftsmanship. Whether it’s becoming a journeyman carpenter or a master furniture maker, investing in experience and developing a specialized skillset can lead to increased earning potential in the woodworking field.

Understanding the Role of Skillset

Skillset plays a significant role in determining the wages of woodworkers. In the woodworking industry, there are varying levels of skill and expertise, with some woodworkers possessing exceptional craftsmanship that sets them apart from the average worker. This section will delve into how skillset influences salaries in the field of woodworking.

Expertise: The Key to Higher Wages

Woodworking is an intricate craft that requires knowledge, precision, and creativity. Experienced woodworkers who have honed their skills over many years can command higher wages due to their expertise and ability to produce high-quality work. These skilled artisans are often sought after by clients who appreciate fine craftsmanship and are willing to pay a premium for unique, custom-made pieces.

Woodworkers with expertise in niche areas such as cabinetry, furniture restoration, or musical instrument making also have the potential to earn more than those with general woodworking skills. Specialized knowledge and techniques allow these craftsmen to create highly valued products that cater to a specific market demand.

Craftsmanship vs. Average Wages

While some woodworkers focus on creating functional pieces with minimal decoration, others prioritize craftsmanship and place great emphasis on intricate detailing and design. These artisans create bespoke furniture or decorative items that require meticulous attention to detail and advanced woodworking skills.

However, it’s important to note that although craftsmanship is highly admired, it may not directly correlate with higher average wages across the industry as a whole. In mass-production settings or larger-scale projects where efficiency is crucial, employers might prioritize workers who can produce pieces quickly rather than emphasizing ornate details. Consequently, woodworking positions in these contexts may offer lower wages compared to those where craftsmanship takes center stage.

Overall, skillset has a significant impact on woodworker salaries. While those with exceptional expertise and craftsmanship can command higher wages for their specialized work, average wages may vary depending on the specific woodworking niche or industry sector in which a woodworker is employed. It is imperative for aspiring woodworkers to continuously refine their skills and explore different avenues within the craft to maximize their earning potential.

Regional Disparities

Woodworking salaries can vary significantly depending on the region in which a woodworker is based. Factors such as cost of living, demand for woodworking services, and access to high-paying clients all contribute to these regional disparities. In this section, we will explore how woodworking salaries differ across different states within the United States and also compare salaries internationally.

In the United States, woodworking salaries can vary greatly from state to state. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, states such as California, New York, and Massachusetts have higher average hourly wages for woodworkers compared to states like Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky. For example, the average hourly wage for woodworkers in California was $25.99, while in Arkansas it was $15.22.

Internationally, woodworking salaries also show significant variation. The Global Salary Survey conducted by Woodworking Network provides insights into woodworking professionals’ earnings worldwide. The survey reveals that countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Australia offer higher wages for woodworkers compared to countries like India or Brazil. For instance, German woodworkers reported an average hourly rate of €22 ($25), while Indian woodworkers reported an average rate of ₹400 ($5).

These regional disparities in woodworking salaries highlight the importance of considering geographical context when determining potential earnings in this field. Factors such as living expenses and market demand play a crucial role in determining how much woodworkers can earn in different regions.


RegionAverage Hourly Wage (USD)
California (United States)$25.99
Arkansas (United States)$15.22
New York (United States)$18.79

It is important to note that these figures represent average wages and individual woodworkers may earn higher or lower depending on their experience, skillset, and the type of woodworking they specialize in. Nonetheless, by examining regional disparities in salaries, woodworkers can gain insights into where they might find higher earning potentials and better opportunities within the industry.

Beyond the Bench

Woodworking is not limited to creating beautiful furniture and decor pieces. There are various alternative income streams that woodworkers can explore to supplement their earnings. These alternative income streams not only provide an additional source of revenue but also allow woodworkers to showcase their skills and creativity in unique ways.

One common alternative income stream for woodworkers is teaching woodworking classes or workshops. Many woodworking enthusiasts are eager to learn the craft, and there is a high demand for hands-on instruction. Experienced woodworkers can offer classes at community centers, adult education programs, or even in their own workshops. By sharing their knowledge and expertise, woodworkers can earn a decent hourly rate while also helping others develop their woodworking skills.

Another way for woodworkers to generate additional income is by selling woodworking plans and patterns online. With the rise of e-commerce platforms, it has become easier than ever for artisans to showcase and sell their products digitally. Woodworkers can create detailed plans and patterns for various projects, such as chairs, tables, and cabinets, and sell them as downloadable files. This allows them to earn passive income by leveraging their design skills and expertise.

Additionally, some woodworkers choose to offer custom woodworking services on commission basis. They collaborate with clients to design and build one-of-a-kind pieces tailored to their specific needs and preferences. This personalized approach allows woodworkers to charge higher prices for their work while providing a unique product that cannot be found in mass-produced furniture stores.

Alternative Income StreamDescription
Teaching Woodworking ClassesOffering hands-on instruction to aspiring woodworkers
Selling Woodworking Plans OnlineCreating and selling digital plans and patterns for woodworking projects
Custom Woodworking ServicesDesigning and building personalized pieces on commission basis

For woodworkers who are looking to diversify their income streams, exploring these alternative options can be a great way to expand their business and reach new audiences. By tapping into their skills, knowledge, and creativity, woodworkers can not only increase their earning potential but also find fulfillment in sharing their passion with others.

The Future of Woodworking Salaries

Woodworking is an industry that has been steadily evolving over the years, and with emerging technologies and trends, the future of woodworking salaries is promising. In this section, we will explore some of the key advancements that are shaping the woodworking industry and how they are likely to impact woodworker salaries moving forward.

Automation and Robotics: Streamlining Production

One major trend that is expected to have a significant impact on woodworking salaries is the increasing use of automation and robotics. With advancements in technology, machines are becoming more capable of performing complex woodworking tasks with precision and efficiency. This means that certain manual labor jobs may be replaced by automated systems.

While this may raise concerns about job security for some woodworkers, it also presents new opportunities. As machines take over repetitive tasks, woodworkers can shift their focus towards more specialized and creative work that requires human expertise. By embracing these emerging technologies, woodworkers can enhance their productivity and potentially command higher salaries for their unique skills.

Sustainable Practices: A Growing Demand

Another trend that is shaping the future of woodworking salaries is the growing demand for sustainable practices. Consumers are increasingly conscious about environmental issues and are seeking out products that are sourced from responsibly managed forests or made from reclaimed materials.

Woodworkers who adopt sustainable practices are not only contributing to a greener planet but also positioning themselves for success in this evolving market. By incorporating eco-friendly techniques into their craft, such as using non-toxic finishes or reducing waste through recycling, woodworkers can attract environmentally-conscious customers and potentially command higher prices for their sustainable creations.

Online Presence: Expanding Market Opportunities

With the rise of e-commerce and social media platforms, having a strong online presence has become crucial for businesses in every industry, including woodworking. Woodworkers who effectively market their skills and products online have the potential to reach a much larger audience, beyond their local market.

By showcasing their portfolio and expertise online, woodworkers can attract new clients, secure commissions, and expand their business opportunities. This increased exposure can lead to higher demand for their services, ultimately influencing woodworking salaries positively as they are able to command higher rates for their work.

Personal Insights and Testimonials

One of the best ways to gain insights into the world of woodworking salaries is by hearing directly from woodworkers themselves. By speaking with individuals who have firsthand experience in the industry, we can get a better understanding of the range of hourly rates, factors that influence them, and personal experiences that shape their careers.

In conversations with woodworkers, it becomes clear that there is a wide variation in hourly rates depending on factors such as experience, skillset, location, and specialization. A beginner or entry-level woodworker may start with an hourly rate of around $10 to $15 per hour. As they gain more experience and develop their skills, this rate can increase significantly. Skilled woodworkers often charge anywhere between $25 to $50 per hour or more for their services.

Interestingly, several woodworkers mentioned that they don’t solely rely on hourly rates as a measure of income. Many also incorporate project-based pricing models where they estimate the total time and materials required for a specific project and provide clients with a quote accordingly. This allows them to charge higher rates for complex projects while compensating for the time spent in planning and design.

It’s important to note that different regions can have significant impacts on woodworking salaries. Woodworkers located in areas where there is a high demand for custom furniture or high-end cabinetry may be able to command higher rates compared to those in areas where there is less demand or competition. Additionally, some countries have lower average wages overall, which can affect woodworking salaries as well.

Overall, these personal insights and testimonials highlight the diverse nature of woodworking salaries. It’s not just about years of experience or skill level; factors such as location, specialization, project complexity, and entrepreneurship also play crucial roles in determining earnings in this industry.

FactorsAverage Hourly Rate
Entry-level woodworkers$10 – $15 per hour
Skilled woodworkers$25 – $50+ per hour


In conclusion, exploring the world of woodworking salaries reveals a diverse landscape with various factors influencing how much woodworkers make an hour. As we have seen, experience, skillset, and location all play crucial roles in determining salary levels within the industry. While entry-level woodworkers may start from scratch with relatively low wages, climbing the ladder and gaining experience can lead to higher earnings.

Skillset is another significant factor that impacts woodworking salaries. Woodworkers who possess expertise and craftsmanship often earn more than those with average skills. This highlights the importance of continuous learning and honing one’s craft to enhance earning potential within the industry.

Regional disparities also exist within woodworking salaries, as different states and countries offer varying remuneration levels. It is essential for woodworkers to be aware of these differences when considering job opportunities or relocation prospects. Being open to exploring new locations may present growth opportunities and higher earning potential.

Beyond the bench, woodworkers can also explore alternative income streams to supplement their earnings. This could include teaching woodworking classes, selling handcrafted products online or at local markets, or even engaging in contract work for larger projects. By diversifying their income sources, woodworkers can increase their financial stability and create additional growth opportunities.

Looking ahead, emerging technologies and trends in the woodworking industry are likely to shape future salary structures. With advancements such as automation and digital fabrication becoming more prevalent, woodworkers may need to evolve their skillsets to adapt to changing demands. Those who embrace these technological advancements and stay at the forefront of innovation may find themselves well-positioned for future growth.

Overall, navigating woodworker salaries requires a careful consideration of various factors such as experience, skillset, location, and alternative income streams. By understanding these insights and staying adaptable in a rapidly evolving industry, woodworkers can seize potential growth opportunities while maximizing their earning potential in this rewarding field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do woodworkers make good money?

Woodworkers can potentially make good money, but it largely depends on various factors such as their skill level, experience, reputation, and the demand for their work. For example, highly skilled custom furniture makers who are sought after for their craftsmanship and attention to detail may command higher prices for their products.

Additionally, woodworkers who specialize in high-end or intricate pieces might also find themselves earning a lucrative income. On the other hand, woodworkers who focus on more mass-produced or generic items may earn a more modest income.

How much can you make as woodworker?

The amount of money one can make as a woodworker varies greatly and is difficult to pinpoint precisely. It depends on numerous factors including the type of woodworking they specialize in, the size and success of their business if they have one, and whether they are employed by someone else or freelance.

Woodworking jobs can range from entry-level positions with lower salaries to highly specialized roles that can command substantial incomes. Furthermore, geographical location also plays a role in determining earning potential since wages may differ regionally due to varying cost of living and levels of demand for woodworking services.

What is the highest paid woodworker?

Determining the highest-paid woodworker is challenging as it relies on several factors such as earnings from commissioned projects, profit margins on products sold, and additional income streams derived from teaching workshops or running a successful woodworking business. Generally speaking, woodworkers who achieve widespread recognition for their extraordinary talent often have the potential to become some of the highest paid individuals in this field.

These individuals might include master craftspeople renowned for their artistic approach to woodworking or those specializing in intricate and unique designs that cater to affluent clientele willing to pay premium prices for their work. However, it’s important to note that specific income figures can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and market conditions at any given time.

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