How to become a Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers make, repair or install furniture (both free-standing and fixed) using solid timber, flat-panel or timber-based products and a wide range of laminates and other materials.

Personal requirements of a Cabinetmaker

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Able to follow written instructions
  • Able to work to a high level of accuracy
  • Able to make mathematical calculations
  • Good communication skills
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Free from allergies to dust

Education & Training for a Cabinetmaker

To become a cabinetmaker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Cabinet Making. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers may perform the following tasks:

  • communicate with clients to determine specific job requirements
  • match furnishing styles and materials to clients’ needs
  • deliver and monitor service to clients
  • estimate job costs
  • measure and draw site layouts for manufactured furniture
  • read and interpret work documents in order to prepare accurate cutting lists for jobs
  • program and control computer-aided design (CAD) and computer numerical control (CNC) machines
  • understand and select timber and timber products for furniture production
  • fabricate custom furniture
  • prepare and assemble cabinets for installation
  • select and install hardware to furnishings, such as handles and hinges
  • perform on-site repairs and adjustments of cabinets
  • clean and maintain work areas, including machinery and tools, to ensure a safe working environment.

Employment Opportunities for a Cabinetmaker

Most cabinetmakers are employed by firms that manufacture kitchens, bathrooms, furniture and prefabricated wooden components. These firms are often small businesses that make custom-made items or undertake repairs and restoration, or larger companies that manufacture and install fixed or free-standing furniture for commercial and residential projects. Depending on personal qualities and knowledge of the trade, opportunities are available for promotion to the position of supervisor or manager. With experience, start-up funds and business training, competent cabinetmakers may also establish their own business.

Related careers