Trades & Services
Cabinetmakers cut, shape, and assemble articles using solid timber or timber-based products and a range of laminates and other materials.
What does a Cabinetmaker do?
Cabinetmakers cut, shape, and assemble articles using solid timber, flat-panel or timber-based products and a wide range of laminates and other materials. They set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers.
As a cabinetmaker, your work would normally include:
- creating design drawings for furniture and other products
- deciding on the quantity and type of materials needed and the construction methods
- buying the materials from suppliers
- cutting, shaping and planing the wood or other materials, using hand, power and computer-controlled tools
- fixing the parts together
- adding other fixed or movable parts such as brackets, hinges, handles and locks
- finishing the assembled pieces of furniture, for example with veneers, lacquers or french polish.
If you deal directly with customers, you would also discuss designs and agree prices with them.
Key skills and interests
To become a cabinetmaker, you would need:
- practical skills for using hand and machine tools
- the ability to understand, draft or adapt designs and technical drawings
- the ability to work out quantities, measurements and costs
- patience, accuracy and attention to detail
- good customer service skills
- business skills if self-employed.
Working hours and conditions
As a cabinetmaker, your working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company or self-employed.
If you are working in a factory, for example, you would usually work a standard week, which could involve shiftwork. You may sometimes need to work longer hours and at weekends to meet deadlines.
If you are self-employed, you would arrange your own working hours.
Cabinetmakers need to be able to operate machinery. You may also need to use strong glues and lacquers.
Employment of cabinetmakers or woodworkers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Those who have advanced skills, including the ability to use computer-controlled machinery, should have the best job opportunities in manufacturing industries.