Design & Architecture

Furniture Designer

A furniture designer creates designs for the manufacture of mass-produced or bespoke items of domestic, commercial and industrial furniture.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Furniture Designer do?

A furniture designer creates designs for the manufacture of mass-produced or bespoke items of domestic, commercial and industrial furniture.


Work activities

As a furniture designer, you might:

  • carry out research to help develop ideas
  • work to a brief agreed with a client
  • produce new designs, or improve existing ones if working for a manufacturer
  • take into account size, shape, ergonomics and production methods when producing design ideas
  • take into account cost, type and availability of materials and safety implications
  • prepare sketches of initial ideas, by hand or using CAD software
  • supervise construction of models or samples of products and test them for function, quality and consumer appeal
  • prepare engineering drawings and detailed final designs
  • liaise with craftspeople if you are designing one-off pieces.

If you are self-employed, you may also market your work and carry out tasks involved in running a business, such as budgeting and administration.


Key skills and interests

To become a furniture designer, you would need:

  • creativity and practical ability
  • problem solving skills
  • an understanding of the properties of a range of materials used in furniture making
  • good communication skills
  • drawing and CAD software skills
  • the ability to work within budgets.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a furniture designer working for a furniture manufacturer, you would generally work standard business hours. If you are self-employed you may work flexible or longer hours to meet customers' needs.


If you are employed by a company, you may be part of a design team. As a self-employed designer, you might have your own workshop or studio, or share premises to reduce costs.

You may need to travel to visit clients and suppliers, and to attend meetings and trade shows.


How to become an Furniture Designer?

Entry Level Education

To become a furniture designer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in an area such as product and furniture design or interior design and decoration. You can also become a furniture designer by completing a degree in design or industrial design at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics and industrial design / technology would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

After gaining some industry experience, graduates may qualify for full membership of the Design Institute of Australia. Student, graduate or associate membership may also be available prior to meeting the requirements for full membership.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of furniture designers is projected to decline slightly.

Continuing consumer demand for new products and new product styles will be offset by the growth of mass-produced, inexpensive furniture.


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