Wood machinist

woodworking machinist woodworker
Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would cut and prepare timber for use in building and furniture making or to sell in DIY shops.

You could make many different timber products that would end up in people’s houses and businesses, for example:

  • Floorboards and skirting boards
  • Staircases
  • Door and window frames
  • Kitchen units and cabinets
  • Fencing and pallets

You would:

  • Follow detailed technical drawings
  • Select the right type of wood for each job
  • Work out the amount of timber needed
  • Cut and shape timber using tools like saws, planes and routers
  • Clean workshop tools and look after equipment

As well as hand tools, you may be trained to use computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment. You could also learn to use computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) methods.

You’d need to be very aware of safety, be confident around machines and understand different types of wood.

Working conditions

Hours

You could expect to work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime and shiftwork is common.

Environment

You would spend most of your time working in a sawmill or workshop. You would use protective equipment to reduce the effects of noise and dust. The work can be physically demanding.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Working on your own
  • Accuracy
  • Working with your hands
  • Making things
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

You may also enter through a Modern Apprenticeship and work towards a work-based qualifications in wood machining at SVQ levels 2 and 3.

You may have to pass an aptitude test before entry to the apprenticeship.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Design and manufacture
  • Practical technologies such as practical woodwork 

You will also need

If you are working or training on a construction site you must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test.

Helpful to have

 Qualifications and experience that demonstrate practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).