Furniture restorers, also known as furniture finishers, are specialized woodworkers who repair and beautify furniture. Furniture restorers are commonly employed to maintain antique furniture or family heirlooms. As there are no national licensing or education requirements for furniture restorers. Most gain on-the-job training after graduating from high school.
Average Salary for Furniture Restorers
As of 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average salary for furniture restorers at $29,120 per year or $14.00 per hour. The bottom decile earned slightly more than minimum wage at $18,580 per year while the top decile earned $42,280 per year.
State Differences in Furniture Restorer Salaries
The average salaries for furniture restorers varied across the country. In 2009, the top five states in terms of average salary were: Minnesota ($38,880); Maryland ($36,910); Massachusetts ($36,910); Illinois ($35,120); and Washington ($34,470). The bottom five states were: Texas ($24,650); Alabama ($24,540); Kansas ($24,340); West Virginia ($24,300); and Arkansas ($22,450).
Salaries for Top Furniture Restorers
While the average salary for furniture restorers is relatively low across the country, the top decile of furniture restorers earn salaries significantly higher than average. In 2009, the top decile of furniture restorers in the top-ten municipalities earned as follows: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA ($70,370); Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL ($63,400); Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI ($62,540); Oklahoma City, OK ($61,340); Reading, PA ($59,490); Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA ($58,480); Taunton-Norton-Raynham, MA ($53,690); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($52,700); Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD ($51,790); Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($51,240).
Training and Employment of Furniture Restorers
There is no national or state regulation of furniture restorers. In addition, because the industry is fragmented into numerous, small shops, even the largest national trade organization lacks a standardized process of regulation or oversight. Absent national education requirements, most furniture restorers enter the industry with a high school diploma and learn skills on-the-job. The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers runs an informal education and training information center where prospective furniture restorers can find potential employers. Skilled furniture restorers look for candidates who have experience, generally through high school shop or woodworking classes and who are willing to work for minimum wage.