How to Become a Cabinetmaker

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Cabinets are an essential part of residential and commercial construction. Cabinetmakers are trained workers that design and create a variety of different types of cabinets for many purposes and spaces.

What does a cabinetmaker do?

Cabinetmakers create cabinets depending on the needs and specifications of their customers. They work with many different types of wood and other materials and create a variety of different styles. They first meet with their customers to discuss the needs and requirements. They then measure the selected space and create sketches of the project. They discuss the budget and then choose the needed materials. Cabinetmakers also often install cabinets and make sure they are constructed correctly and serve their purpose. The measurements must be accurate and the appearance must be appealing to the customer. Some cabinetmakers also create and repair existing cabinets and wood furniture. Many cabinetmakers specialize in specific areas such as constructing cabinets for hotels and creating wood interiors for aircraft. Many also keep detailed portfolios of their work and feedback from customers to show to potential clients.

What kind of training does a cabinetmaker need?

Cabinetmakers must have at least a high school diploma. Many cabinetmakers complete formal training at community colleges and vocational and technical schools. Most employers prefer candidates that have completed a formal apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs combine classroom instruction and on the job training. Apprentices gain the necessary skills and experience in choosing materials, using the required tools, and the required construction methods. Apprenticeship programs typically take 5 to 7 years to complete. Some aspiring cabinetmakers become carpenter assistants while completing their training to gain practical experience. Many cabinetmakers start their careers working in small shops and then move on to large companies or open their own businesses. Many cabinetmakers gain certification to remain competitive in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a cabinetmaker?

Employment of cabinetmakers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 9% through 2018. The growing population and increase in construction will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for cabinetmakers that are highly skilled and qualified. Cabinetmakers with expertise in creating customized designs will have the best job opportunities.

How much do cabinetmakers make?

As of 2014, the middle 50% of cabinetmakers earn annual salaries between $25,962 and $39,300. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $46,275.

A career as a cabinetmaker is a great choice for people with a strong interest in creating a variety of types of cabinets for many different purposes. Cabinetmakers must have a solid understanding of cabinet construction techniques and the ability to work with a variety of materials. Mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, detail orientation, and physical stamina are desirable characteristics for anyone considering whether and how to become a cabinetmaker. Cabinetmakers must have good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently. They must always follow the proper safety precautions to minimize injury.

Becoming a Cabinetmaker Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Cabinetmaker? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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