Furniture Designer Job Description - CV Plaza

Furniture Designer Job Description

Overview

A Furniture Designer makes furniture, home accessories and related products. They generally oversee the whole design process; from establishing user requirements to the production and presentation of the final product.

The products could be intended for both homes and businesses, produced either in small batches or as part of a large-scale production intended for the national and international markets.

Some Furniture Designers may only be responsible for a specific part of the production process, i.e. designing the product, and other professionals would be responsible for the other parts of the production process, i.e. manufacturing, testing, marketing and distribution.

Designers often work in a large team focusing on numerous areas such as fabric choices and colours as well as working with professionals who specialise in areas such as product functionality and market research.

Day-to-day activities and responsibilities

  • Coming up with innovative new design ideas and concepts
  • Designing of bespoke furniture – chairs, tables, desks, sofas, beds and cupboards – for the residential, commercial and healthcare markets
  • Producing sketches, samples, prototypes and the final furniture product
  • Analysing current furniture and looking at ways in which it can be improved
  • Researching and selecting the most suitable materials for the products
  • Producing detailed and accurate designs by hand or on the computer
  • Working closely with other departments, professionals and stakeholders
  • Highlighting any issues which may arise during production, such as budgets and distribution
  • Researching current interior trends to create unique, high-end products
  • Attending workshops, events and conferences on manufacturing methods and new developments within the design industry
  • Keeping up to date with all the latest developments and trends in the industry
  • Working alongside the marketing team to promote upcoming designs

Workplace and working hours

Most professionals working in this role are based for the majority of time in workshops or studios.

Certain travel will be required as part of the job; meeting clients at various locations, holding meetings with suppliers to discuss costing, and attending trade shows to ensure that they are up to date on developments within the industry.

Working hours for this position are often irregular. Designers work at least the normal working hours (9-5, Monday to Friday), but are often expected to be flexible with overtime; late night and weekend work may be required to meet strict deadlines. This is particularly true for those who are self-employed as they would also be putting in the extra hours for business administration, marketing and budgeting.

Salary

The starting salary for this position is around £16,000, increasing to £25,000 and above with relevant work experience and a good portfolio. Well-known and independent designers can earn much higher.

Many Furniture Designers are freelance; working independently and selling their designs to large manufacturing companies. As a result, their income may fluctuate sharply throughout the year depending on demand and work availability.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Entry requirements

It is not a formal entry requirement to have a degree to enter this role. However, with growing demand many employers increasingly look for individuals who have obtained design-related degrees, particularly favouring degrees in the following areas:

  • Furniture design
  • Product and furniture design
  • Furniture design and making

Design and craft training courses also support a strong application.

The majority of employers will also ask to see a portfolio highlighting any work that the applicant has undertaken in their studies or career to date.

Job likes and benefits

  1. Dynamic working environment: This position is not a typical desk job; you will always be meeting new clients with varied requirements, working with a variety of materials and objects, and regularly liaising with many other design and production professionals. A dynamic working environment stimulates one’s creativity and increases productivity.
  2. Flexibility: This role can offer a significant amount of flexibility especially when it comes to working hours, with many designers working from home or a studio where they are able to control what hours they work.

Job challenges and disadvantages

  1. Competitive: The arts, craft and design industry, in general, is a competitive industry in which the number of vacancies is limited. This role can be rewarding, but for each successful applicant, there will be many others who didn’t make it.
  2. Large caseload: Many professionals working within this role are often working on more than one project simultaneously, and must be prepared for a large caseload which could result in long working hours.

Job progression and career prospects

Many Furniture Designers with the correct experience within the role become self-employed, giving them the opportunity to be their own boss and control their own hours and income.

Others may become Senior Designers or Product Managers, overseeing more junior members of the team. Moving from working in small studios to larger organizations is another way in which professionals can advance their careers, opening up new opportunities for themselves.

According to government statistics, jobs in this and closely-related roles are projected to grow by 5.3% over the period to 2024 (Source: LMI for All).

More information

Charted Society of Designers
http://www.csd.org.uk/

furniture-designer

OVERVIEW

  • SALARY RANGE
    £16.000 – £35.000
  • ENTRY
    Relevant Work Experience
  • WORKING HOURS
    37+ hours per week

Competencies

  • Interpersonal Skills
    Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate and interact with others
  • Customer Service
    Ability to relate to customer’s needs and offering appropriate advice and solutions
  • Analytical Skills
    Making sense of complex issues and proposing meaningful solutions
  • Design Skills
    Producing excellent designs that meet user requirements
  • Creativity
    Finding “better ways” of completing required tasks and coming up with novel designs
  • Precision
    The ability to take  exact and accurate measurements and working with them accordingly

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