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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Furniture and Fixture Assemblers and Inspectors(9532)

This unit group includes workers who assemble parts to form subassemblies or complete articles of furniture and fixtures. Inspectors in this unit group inspect furniture and fixture subassemblies and finished products to ensure product quality. They are employed by furniture manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • May read notes from customers, outlining their requests. (1)
  • Read assembly instructions and instructions for the safe use of machine and hand tools. (2)
  • May read trade magazines to stay current on new products and processes. (2)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) about chemicals used for cleaning or finishing furniture. (3)
  • May read reference books about furniture making. (3)
  • May refer to manuals from manufacturers which describe how to assemble modularized furniture. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read signs, such as signs on boxes which indicate the contents of the boxes, whether they are fragile and which side should be facing upward. (1)
  • Read lists, such as manufacturers' list prices for items, lists of supplies and customer information lists. (1)
  • Read labels, such as labels on paint cans. (2)
  • Read forms, such as shipping manifests, invoices or stock requests. (2)
  • Refer to specifications sheets for various types of furniture. (2)
  • Refer to tables which show the characteristics of different grades of lumber. (2)
  • Recognize angles when cutting pieces of wood at specific angles. (2)
  • Complete forms, such as order forms, work contract forms and deficiency reports. (2)
  • May read assembly diagrams when putting pieces of furniture together. (3)
  • May take measurements from scale drawings in order to cut materials and ensure precise fitting of parts. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write work orders and changes to work orders. (1)
  • Write notes to co-workers to provide details of furniture design and construction and to record problems encountered. (1)
  • Write labels to attach to furniture pieces, outlining the destination and customer requests. (1)
  • May write letters, such as letters to manufacturers to comment on the quality of materials received and letters to clients to confirm the terms of contracts. (2)
  • May fill in contract specification forms. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May accept payments from customers and make change. (1)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May schedule priorities and the time allocations for specific tasks within projects. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure hardware parts to ensure that they meet installation specifications. (1)
  • Calculate the number of board feet in a pile of lumber. (2)
  • Measure curved and irregular materials. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare the speed of completing desk drawers over a period of time to track the rate of improvement. (1)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the number of pieces that can be cut from one piece of wood. (1)
  • Estimate the length of time required to complete jobs. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May interact with suppliers to order lumber and to verify shipments. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to update them on work projects and share information about how to operate tools. (2)
  • May communicate with customers about their orders and changes which they have requested. (2)
  • May discuss promotional issues with sales representatives. (2)
  • Receive instructions from supervisors and seek their approval for changes in design or deadlines. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May work on a piece of furniture that doesn't strip easily. They try a variety of products and techniques or call suppliers to look for a suitable stripping product. (2)
  • May find that they cannot complete all jobs in the time promised to customers. They request overtime or ask that other workers be assigned to help. (2)
  • May encounter errors in furniture assembly pieces, such as misaligned drawer faces. They either repair the item on site or send it back to the manufacturer. (2)
  • May find that not enough lumber is available to complete a job. They may alter designs or substitute other materials. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide whether to glue or discard cracked pieces of wood. (1)
  • Decide which tools are most appropriate for assembling specific products. (1)
  • Decide on the most efficient way to lay out pieces on wood sheets in order to reduce waste. (2)
  • Decide what kinds of wood to use for particular jobs. (2)
  • Decide on the sequence of work, based on customer needs and the availability of all parts needed to complete an order. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Furniture and fixture assemblers and inspectors plan their work in response to the volume of orders. Many tasks are routine; however, there is variety in the work since they may be working on several different product lines at the same time. Priorities may need to be adjusted from time to time to respond to urgent orders. Since their work is dependent on having all the correct materials on hand, job task planning and organizing focusses on planning resource needs carefully. They co-ordinate their tasks with co-workers to maximize efficiency. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Memorize assembly procedures for various products.
  • Remember from past experience the characteristics of various types of wood, such as porosity and moisture content, that make them suitable or unsuitable for certain types of furniture.
  • Remember the screw sizes needed for assembling various items.
Finding Information
  • Refer to sketches and specifications of furniture to clarify assembly instructions. (1)
  • Read manuals to find information on specific assembly problems. (2)
  • Consult manufacturers to get information on how to assemble new or unfamiliar products. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may send e-mail messages to suppliers. (1)
  • Use other computer applications, such as computer-operated machinery. They may use computerized table saws, jig saws or presses. (1)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Furniture and fixture assemblers and inspectors mainly work independently. They may work with a partner to perform certain tasks, such as assembling complicated pieces of furniture. Some projects require assembly teams in which each worker provides a particular set of tasks.

Continuous Learning

Furniture and fixture assemblers and inspectors continue to learn. Much learning, such as how to assemble new models, takes place on the job. They may take training courses in carpentry and upholstering to extend the range of their skills. They update their knowledge of furniture assembling through reading manuals distributed by manufacturers.

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