You would usually need a relevant degree, BTEC or HND in a furniture-related subject such as:
Courses with a mix of practical skills and creative design may be particularly useful.
Other relevant degree subjects include:
A portfolio of work is required for entry on to degree courses. This would also be used when applying for jobs.
A postgraduate qualification is not required for entry.
Entry without a degree may be possible through an apprenticeship or by starting work straight from school, as a trainee.
Entry is competitive so any related work experience is valuable. Some degree courses include a work placement. It is worth researching companies and making speculative applications to those that match your design style.
Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:
Furniture design is a competitive profession. On rare occasions a graduate may be offered work as a result of their furniture degree show, but it is usually necessary to be proactive in job searching. Network, sell yourself and your skills and seize any opportunities that arise. Start by thinking of the contacts you have made during your degree, particularly through work experience placements. It is also important to showcase your work in a professional-looking portfolio or website containing photographs, drawings and other design work.
Many employers consider potential to be just as important as experience, so it is essential that you demonstrate a working interest in the design field. Make sure that you regularly visit design exhibitions, read design journals and keep up to date with new software and technology in the sector. It is also important to produce your own experimental work and enter competitions and shows to get your work noticed.
Design directories such as the Directory of Design Consultants will help you identify design companies to target for speculative applications. Professional journals and the arts press, e.g. Design Week and Crafts Magazine , can also be a good source of advertisements, as well as information on prominent designers and what is happening in the industry.
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