How to become a Craftsperson

Craftspersons design, make and repair objects that have both functional and artistic qualities, working with wood, metal, glass, leather, ceramics, textiles and other materials.

Personal requirements of a Craftsperson

  • Artistic design skills
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Promotional skills

Education & Training for a Craftsperson

You can work as a craftsperson without formal qualifications. Some craftspersons are self-taught and many work under the guidance of an established craftsperson when learning their craft. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in a craft-related area, such as visual arts or design. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a craftsperson by completing a craft-related degree at university, such as fine arts, visual arts, creative arts or design. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. In most cases applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a folio of work. A high level of talent is required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Craftsperson

A craftsperson may perform the following tasks:

  • design the style and shape of objects
  • use and manipulate materials to make objects according to the design
  • finish objects to enhance their artistic and/or practical qualities
  • repair damaged or defective craft objects.

Employment Opportunities for a Craftsperson

Most craftspersons are involved in small business operations and often rely on exhibition sales and commissioned pieces for income. Exhibitions and major commissioned pieces provide opportunities to become well known and, therefore, increase business prospects. Work is sold wholesale to shops, galleries and department stores or directly from the studio. Few craftspersons are employed full time in their craft. Often other career opportunities develop in craft education, administration, curating, museum and gallery conservation or community artwork.


Fibre Textile Worker

A fibre textile worker may work with weaving, felting, embroidery, stitchery, quilting, dyeing, printing and garment design to create articles of clothing, finishings and decorative items. They may also do lacemaking, tapestry, collage, basketry, knitting, crochet, rugmaking, knotting, bookbinding and fabric painting.

Glass Craftsperson

A glass craftsperson may work with hot glass (glassblowing and casting), warm glass (fusing and slumping) or cold glass (stained glass and leadlighting) to produce glassware and decorative items.

Leather Craftsperson

A leather craftsperson designs, makes and decorates saddlery, gloves, shoes, bags and soft furnishings.

Metal/Jewellery Worker

A metal/jewellery worker works with copper, brass, nickel, pewter, gold, silver and other metals to create jewellery and utensils such as enamelware and cutlery. They may weld, patinate, cast, beat, construct and manipulate materials to suit the design.


A potter/ceramicist moulds clay into functional items such as mugs, bowls and tableware or conceptual (idea-based) works by wheel throwing, moulding or hand building. They then mix glazing materials and apply the glaze to decorate pieces, using various techniques. They put the finished or decorated pieces in kilns for firing and may add other decoration after firing for artistic effect.

Wood Craftsperson

A wood craftsperson may carve, shape (by using a lathe), laminate, inlay, construct, sandpaper and sculpt wood to produce items such as sculptures, decorative wall panels, furniture, picture frames, jewellery boxes and eating utensils. They also restore and copy antique ornaments and furniture.

Future growth:

strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 3.7%

NSW 33.7%

NT 1.8%

QLD 7.3%

SA 9.1%

TAS 3.4%

VIC 27%

WA 14.1%

Hours worked:




Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 47.7%

Proportion of female workers 52.4%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 18.3%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 15%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 18.3%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 26.7%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 21.7%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 14.8%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 87.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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