Is Cabinetmaking Training Right For You? A Day in the Life of a Professional Cabinetmaker

February 12, 2019

If you love working with your hands and you have an eye for detail, a career as a cabinetmaker could be a great fit for you. Cabinetmakers use precision and technical skills to create stunning woodwork. As a result of the ongoing construction boom in Southern Ontario, and the fact that many furniture manufacturers are located in the region, there is a steady and consistent demand for cabinetmakers, making it a viable career option.

If you’re considering a career in cabinetmaking, read on to learn some of the steps you’ll need to take to get there, and what your daily responsibilities will look like on the job.

A Cabinetmaker’s Role and the Path to Certification

Despite their title, cabinetmakers do more than just make cabinets. A cabinetmaker refers to a woodworking professional who makes and repairs furniture, millwork, and other wooden items. Once you become a cabinetmaker, you’ll prepare, cut, surface, and shape lumber. Additionally, you may work on a variety of projects, including new home constructions, residential renovations, and commercial properties. Experienced cabinetmakers can also pursue specializations, such as antique furniture restoration and boat oar making.

Becoming a certified cabinetmaker entails both an apprenticeship and classroom training. In Ontario, certified cabinetmakers generally need to complete 7,280 hours of apprenticeship work. As an apprentice, you will work under the direction of a journeyperson cabinetmaker. You will also have to complete 720 hours of in-class training at a cabinetmaking school during your apprenticeship. Once you complete your apprenticeship and classroom training, you’ll receive your Certificate of Apprenticeship.

Cabinetmaking School Can Prepare You for Daily Woodworking Duties

During a typical day as a cabinetmaker, you may spend the majority of your time assembling wooden products, either in a shop or at a work site. The woodworking skills and techniqies you’ll learn during your cabinetmaking training can be directly applied when you are assembling. For example, to assemble wooden products, you are going to need to know how to set up and operate woodworking equipment, such as jigsaws, band saws, and circular saws, all of which you’ll become familiar with during training.

Cabinetmakers need to be able to operate equipment like circular saws

Precision is absolutely key for this job and the old adage “measure twice, cut once” is engrained into every good cabinetmaker. To that end, you’ll use measuring equipment, like measuring tapes, levels, and protractors, and you’ll read and interpret blueprints and plans.

Cabinetmakers Will Work Both Independently and with Clients

While a large portion of a cabinetmaker’s time is generally spent woodworking, you will also need great communication and customer service skills. Cabinetmakers are not only concerned about their work being fully functional, but they strive to make it beautiful as well. For that reason, clients will often be very invested in your work. They may not care how the wiring or pipes behind their walls look, but they will definitely care how their kitchen cabinets or remodelled bathroom looks! That’s why interacting with clients is something you will do frequently as a cabinetmaker. This includes by interpreting plans for them, addressing concerns they may have, and marketing your abilities to them.

Cabinetmakers may work closely with homeowners, which requires excellent communication skills

While good communication is important, you’ll also need to be able to work independently and with little supervision. This is particularly true as you advance in your career, since many journeyperson cabinetmakers are self-employed and work out of their own shops.

Are you ready to take the first steps to a fulfilling career as a cabinetmaker?

Contact North American Trade Schools to learn more about our cabinetmaking courses!

Visit Our Blog Directory