Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers

Career Outlook

Employment of industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, woodworkers and millwrights is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need to keep increasingly sophisticated machinery functioning and efficient will continue to create demand for these workers. The industry needs workers and is actively hiring.  There’s a variety of career options – from CAD Drafters and Designers to Sales, Marketing and Engineering.

Careers Represented

The wood products manufacturing industry needs professionals of all types!

We are looking for people in:

Machinery and supply sales, Marketing, Accounting and finance Purchasing agents, CAD drafters, Designers, Estimators, Engineers, Project Managers, Millworker, Assembly, Craftspersons, Veneer press operators, Finishers and color-mixing specialists, CNC Programmers, CNC Technicians, CNC Operators, Machinists for woodworking machinery, Welders for woodworking machinery


Educational Opportunities – this website offers a searchable database of schools throughout North America that offer woodworking education

Woodworking students and professionals can earn an industry approved and recognized credential for their skills! Learn more Here


AWFS Education – Learn about AWFS’ efforts in education, and the “Meet the New Face of Manufacturing”!

Fresh Wood student woodworking competition – FREE to enter, finalists are invited to the AWFS®Fair, where projects are on display and winners are announced

Design it Digital student CAD competition – FREE to enter, design a solution based on a scenario using CAD software, win cash and tool prizes!

Brief Overview

The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS® ) is a trade association with an international, corporate membership that includes manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, lumber, plastics, wood products and other supplies to furnishings and wood products manufacturers.

From its headquarters in Southern California, AWFS® works closely with other industry associations on issues of mutual concern. Our primary goals are: 1) Strengthening the value of the AWFS®Fair for both exhibitors and attendees; 2) Strengthening and developing industry education and 3) Building a cohesive, industry-wide coalition to create an effective voice on Public Policy issues affecting the industry. AWFS is the owner and direct producer of the biennial AWFS®Fair, a top 100 international trade show held in July of in odd-numbered years in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since AWFS reinvests the proceedings from the biennial show back into the woodworking industry, Fair supporters and participants are helping to strengthen the industry’s future.

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    Typical Education

    Most millwrights go through an apprenticeship program that may last up to 4 years.  Educational requirements vary for sales representatives and depend on the type of products sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally sufficient for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor’s degree.  Most sales managers have a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a sales representative.

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