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Woodworking Machine Operators

What they do?

Woodworking machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Set up, program and operate one or more computer numerically controlled (CNC) or manual woodworking machines such as saws, moulders, lathes, routers, planers, edgers, pressing machines, shapers, drills and sanders to fabricate or repair wooden parts for furniture, fixtures and other wood products

B. Operate gluing machines to glue pieces of wood together or press and affix wood veneer to wood surfaces

C. Operate preset special-purpose woodworking machines to fabricate wood products such as coat hangers, mop handles, clothes pins and other products

D. Read and interpret specifications or follow verbal instructions

E. May clean and lubricate equipment, and replace parts as necessary.

Where they find work?

1. Furniture and related product manufacturing - 45.0%
2. Wood product manufacturing - 35.0%
3. Construction - 4.0%

What education do I need?

1. Some secondary school education is usually required.

2. On-the-job training is usually provided.

3. Experience as a labourer in the same company may be required.

4. Most recent entrants have a trade/vocational certificate.

High School Subject that will help:

1. English
2. Drafting
3. Machine Shop
4. Industrial Arts

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Woodworking Machine Operators is $12.72/HR, which is below average for occupations in the processing, manufacturing and utilities sector and are below average for all intermediate occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Woodworking Machine Operators wages

Expected Wage by Age

Woodworking Machine Operators Wage By Age


8% of Woodworking Machine Operators are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for intermediate occupations.


Woodworking Machine Operators Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Woodworking Machine Operators Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Woodworking Machine Operators is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($12.72) are below the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (8%) is above the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be below average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely match the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations Woodworking Machine Operators are found in Quebec and Manitoba while the lowest concentrations are in Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (32%) is close to the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Team environment

2. Communication skills

3. Detail/precision work

Part Time Workers

Woodworking Machine Operators Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

4% of Woodworking Machine Operators are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 19,500 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 68% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Woodworking Machine Operators Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average influenced by a similar-to-average age of workers (40).

Self Employed

Woodworking Machine Operators Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 2% of Woodworking Machine Operators are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Woodworking Machine Operators Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

23% of the individuals employed as Woodworking Machine Operators are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.