Woodworking machinists cut and prepare timber for use in the construction trade or making furniture.

What does a woodworking machinist do?

Woodworking machinists cut and prepare timber for builders’ merchants, DIY stores as well as furniture-making and construction industries. They make a range of timber products, such as floorboards, staircases, kitchen units and cabinets. The role might involve:

  • planning jobs
  • following detailed technical drawings
  • selecting the right type of wood for a particular product
  • working out the amount of timber needed for various projects
  • cutting and shaping timber

What do I need to do to become a woodworking machinist ?

You’ll need to be able to make accurate measurements, follow technical instructions closely, and use your practical skills. You will also need good maths skills for working out quantities, and the ability to work safely. Previous experience in carpentry or joinery may be beneficial.

Employers tend to look for workers who have experience of working with timber, for example in construction. If you have not worked in construction before, you could try to get a job as a site labourer or timber-yard worker to get this experience. Once working, your employer may be willing to offer you further training in wood machining.

You may be able to get into this career through an apprenticeship in construction or furniture manufacturing. 

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Mechanical knowledge
  • Numeracy
  • Teamwork

Vocational route

  • Level 1 certificate in basic construction skills
  • Level 1 diploma in carpentry and joinery
  • Level 1 extended certificate in construction

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Typical employers include timber yards, sawmills, construction firms and furniture manufacturing companies. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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