Trades & Services

Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers cut, shape, and assemble articles using solid timber or timber-based products and a range of laminates and other materials.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

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.

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Work activities

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.

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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.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

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.

Conditions

Cabinetmakers need to be able to operate machinery. You may also need to use strong glues and lacquers.

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How to become an Cabinetmaker?

Entry Level Education

To become a cabinetmaker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in cabinet making. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

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.

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