What does a Cabinetmaker Do?

A Cabinetmaker (438A) constructs and repairs wooden cabinets, furniture, fixtures and related products.

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values 

  • reading and interpreting blueprints, preparing sketches and cost estimates
  • selecting wood, marking outlines or dimensions of parts on the wood
  • operating woodworking machines and evaluating their performance; using hand tools to cut, shape and form parts and components
  • trimming joints and fitting parts and subassemblies together to form a complete unit using glue and clamps and other fastening equipment such as nails and screws
  • sanding wooden surfaces and applying veneers and laminates, applying finishing materials such as stain or polish, and then rubbing, buffing and polishing the finish
  • making sure the work area is organized so that the work is carried out effectively and in the proper sequence to achieve the desired results

To view the Essential Skills necessary for someone to work in this field, click on the following link and for NOC code 7272:


Preparation and Training

To become an Cabinetmaker you should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 12 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 8,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Journeyperson certificate.

What’s Your Future as an Cabinetmaker?

Most workers in this occupation work full-time, often in factories or custom shops. A sizeable percentage are self-employed. You might become self-employed, or find work with the following:

  • household furniture makers
  • interior and finishing construction firms
  • door and other millwork companies
  • household furniture stores
  • office furniture makers
  • furniture and fixture companies
  • residential building developers
  • building construction firms

For additional information about this career, check out the construction sector website at: www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Some of the machinery that Cabinetmakers operate is becoming computerized. A willingness and ability to learn new skills is an asset.

Wage Rate

  • As an apprentice you would start at a wage rate less than that of a journeyperson
  • This rate gradually increases as you gain competency 
  • Fully qualified Cabinetmakers are usually paid an hourly wage and can earn anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 per hour or more, often with benefits. Those who choose self-employment may be able to make as much or more depending on their skill and business sense


Ask Yourself: Is working as a Cabinetmaker for You?

Do you enjoy working with your hands and with tools and machines?

Yes      No

Are you pretty good with numbers and reading blueprints and plans?

Yes      No

Can you visualize how parts fit together as you make something?

Yes      No

Do you like making something from start to finish?

Yes      No

Do you have an eye for detail and enjoy satisfying a customer?

Yes      No

Are you able to stand for long periods, and kneel or bend?

Yes      No

Can you work independently to meet deadlines, or with supervision?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, Cabinetmaker may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills:

  • Carpenter
  • Plumber
  • Machine operator
  • Machinist
  • Welder


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