Does Woodworking Make Money?

Finding a hobby that you love is something that should never be taken for granted.

You have found a passion for woodworking but might wonder if you can make something more of this hobby.

When it comes to woodworking, are you capable of making any money? 

The median pay for woodworking is around $30,000 annually with an hourly wage from $14 – $15. There are many ways to either increase this amount through the varying woodworking ventures, or it could be well under this amount due to the nature of your business or hobby. 

Woodworking is a craft that has a great amount of versatility to it.

Woodworkers have endless possibilities when it comes to the things they create, the time they spend with their craft, and whether or not they choose to profit from each.

Continue reading to see how much woodworkers make and the three components that largely affect a woodworker’s profit. 

How Much Do Woodworkers Make? 

Woodworking is a trade that has the ability to become just about anything someone dreams of.

There are dozens of different areas to go into, hundreds of different products that one could create, a huge variety of different materials to work with, and the ability to either keep woodworking as a hobby or make it something that is profitable.

In the end, each of these factors is individually decided on which is why this craft is so appealing to so many. 

On average, the median income for a woodworker falls around $30,000 annually or $15/hour. It is important to note though that this is the average median income. This means that woodworker’s profits vary significantly depending on expenses, time, product, skill level, and types of wood used. 

This is the beauty of woodworking – if you want to keep your craft small, you can.

If you want to make a booming business, you are beyond capable.

For example, a woodworker creating hand-designed large furniture pieces with exotic wood is inevitably going to charge more and, consequently, make more money than a woodworker using less-skilled or less-desired products.

There are many different formal woodworking opportunities that can afford you a higher hourly wage and having a degree can help to accelerate your initial pay.

However, this is not a requirement of the trade and many without degrees run successful businesses. 

The amount you make is largely dictated through variables that are controlled by you, but it is more than possible to turn this craft into something that affords you a profit.

If you want to build your skills as a woodworker part-time and make less money initially, then transition into a full-time role, this is totally possible, too.

3 Components that Affect a Woodworker’s Profit 

As mentioned above, the monetary value of a woodworker’s business is highly variable from person to person.

This is why it is so important to pay attention to the median income and know that this varies from one woodworker to another.

Truly, the range can be so diverse.

Still, there are 3 main components that affect a woodworker’s profit:

1. Initial Expenses 

Regardless of how big or small your business is, you are going to have to invest in the shop in which you work.

For any woodworker, this means prepping a space to work, getting the tools that you need in order to create the product or products you and your customer base is interested in, and keeping those tools in good condition.

At first, this may seem like a relatively easy first step, how much do you really need, right? 

As the saying goes though, things add up very quickly and when it comes to tools, they are no exception.

Depending on what you plan to craft, how much you plan to produce, and the space you have available to work, the initial expenses for each and every person is going to differ.

Beyond what you buy, those expenses are also going to be affected tremendously by the quality of each item that you purchase. 

Every craftsman is going to need a different assortment of tools but regardless of your overall needs, they are going to cost you upfront.

How much you pay out is going to affect your business until your expenses are made up through income gained with your business.

This “catch-up” game will not last forever, but it is something that initially is going to squash your profit in efforts to make up for the start-up of your small or large business. 

A word of caution should follow this though, investing in low-quality tools is a very fast way to continually drain your bank account.

This does not mean you need to buy the absolute best of the best for every tool, but investing in quality also means that you are investing in the longevity of your shop.

Low-quality tools can mean low-quality work which can turn into a failed business venture.

Spend the money now and save in the long run. 

2. Time Dedicated

Time is one of those things that many people want, but few have (unless you are one of those lucky retirees!).

However, even with the grappling of trying to find more hours in the day to dedicate to this and that, time is one of the most essential components to being able to render profit from your woodworking abilities.

This not only means that you need time to create your product, but you also need time to work out the ongoing logistics of a profitable business. 

As mentioned first, you must have time to create. Now, how much time you need, that is up to you to decide.

If you are creating fine furniture that takes weeks at a time to put together, you are going to need enough hours in every day to dedicate to that product and ensure that you are able to turn it over to the customer with a reasonable turnover rate.

If you are working with something smaller and less complicated, you will need less dedicated time. 

You see where this is going, right? If you are working a full-time job, have a family at home, are involved in kids’ extracurriculars, and like to volunteer on the weekend, it is likely that any spare time you have is relatively sparse.

For you, this means that profit is going to be much more difficult to come by because you simply don’t have the ability to dedicate yourself enough to get projects out. 

As well as needing time to create, you also will have to allow yourself time to run your business.

Whether your woodworking is a side job or your primary means of income, you will have to sort through correspondence, work out budgets for supplies, handle deliveries, and tend to the practical needs of your business.

This part of making woodworking profitable is one that many groan at but is essential to the success of your craft. 

3. Product and Profit Margin 

Every woodworker has the freedom to create whatever it is they please. This is the beauty of woodworking – there is something for everyone.

However, just because you can create anything does not mean that you can profit from everything in the woodworking world. 

This is where the importance of your product comes in.

You want to offer a product that people want or that people are already asking for.

This doesn’t mean you have to only ever create basic items. 

There is plenty of room for creativity, but you want to ensure that your product is something that is desirable so that it has a more likely chance of selling.

For you, when that product sells, it means you have created something that another person wants and thus, supply and demand are created.

Once you have supply and demand, you have a profit. That is, if you set your profit margins correctly. 

The profit margins of your products are just as essential as the product themselves.

Profit margin is the gap between how much it cost for you to make the item and how much you are selling it for.

If you price the item too low, your margins will be too small and you will either end up making a tiny profit, coming out even, or even losing money if you find yourself producing more than you are selling.

However, if you price things too high, this could mean that your price is not competitive with other similar products and people will resort to buying the lower priced item before they purchase yours.

You have to find the sweet spot for your products when it comes to profit margins – high enough to make you a profit, but low enough that your prices are competitive and people have to problem purchasing your item. 

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