Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers
Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers set up and operate woodworking machines and wood turning lathes to shape wood stock, finish and polish furniture, and make picture frames and frame paintings, photographs and other artwork.
studying drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications
determining tooling and machine requirements and sequence of operations
setting up woodworking machines and wood stock for correct cutting, planning, turning, shaping and sanding
operating machines to cut, plane, turn, shape and sand work pieces
removing old finishes by stripping with steel wool and glasspaper, and by applying solvents and paint strippers, and removing softened finishes by scraping
applying varnish, shellac, lacquer, stains and paint to surfaces and polishing and waxing finished surfaces
fitting and fastening frame pieces
mounting backing materials and subjects for framing
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to decline
- is likely to reach 3,200 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 74% of people employed as Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 8 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median hourly earnings are $28, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers work in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 60% of Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers is 47 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 18% of the workforce. This is 30 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||8.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Wood Machinist or Wood Trades Worker. Although some workers have a certificate III in a furnishing or timber field.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Forest and Wood Products Industry and Furnishing Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||15.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
41%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
39%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Teaching people how to do something.
37%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
37%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
37%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Looking for ways to help people.
Reading work related information.
36%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Talking to others.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
24%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
24%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
22%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
19%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
14%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
13%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
12%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
11%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
5%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
2%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
2%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
See details that are far away.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
85%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
70%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
65%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
61%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
60%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
55%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
52%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
52%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
50%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
49%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
48%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
47%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
46%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
45%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
43%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
43%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
41%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
40%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
38%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
36%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
98%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
95%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
94%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
93%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
90%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work to strict deadlines.
Talk with people face-to-face.
83%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
83%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
81%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
78%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
78%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
74%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
73%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
72%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
72%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7021.00 - Furniture Finishers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.