How to become a Cabinetmaker

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 for 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers:

  • 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.

Tasks

  • Making frames for chairs and couches.
  • Fitting hinges, locks, catches, drawers and shelves.
  • May repair and refurbish furniture and antiques.
  • Selecting and working with materials such as timber, veneers, particle board and synthetic wood.
  • Marking out, cutting and shaping wood.
  • Assembling parts to form sections of furniture and completed articles.
  • Working from drawings and specifications to make furniture.
  • Making fittings for boats, caravans and other items where fine detail is required.
  • Examining drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications.

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.


Specializations

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    36 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    2% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,050
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    89% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    24,900 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.4%
    NSW: 22.3%
    NT: 0.7%
    QLD: 22.1%
    SA: 7.9%
    TAS: 1.0%
    VIC: 31.7%
    WA: 12.8%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 8%
    20-24: 14.8%
    25-34: 24.9%
    35-44: 21%
    45-54: 17.4%
    55-59: 7.1%
    60-64: 4.4%
    65 and Over: 2.4%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3%
    Bachelor degree: 2.3%
    Below Year 10: 8%
    Certificate III/IV: 67.5%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.5%
    Year 10 and below: 9.6%
    Year 11: 4.2%
    Year 12: 12.9%
    Years 11 & 10: 12.3%
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