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Become A Cabinet Maker

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Working As A Cabinet Maker

  • Getting Information
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $51,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cabinet Maker Do

Woodworkers manufacture a variety of products such as cabinets and furniture, using wood, veneers, and laminates. They often combine and incorporate different materials into wood.

Duties

Woodworkers typically do the following:

  • Understand detailed architectural drawings, schematics, shop drawings, and blueprints
  • Prepare and set up machines and tooling for woodwork manufacturing
  • Lift wood pieces onto machines, either by hand or with hoists
  • Operate woodworking machines, including saws and milling and sanding machines
  • Listen for unusual sounds or detect excessive vibration in machinery
  • Ensure that products meet industry standards and project specifications, making adjustments as necessary
  • Select and adjust the proper cutting, milling, boring, and sanding tools for completing a job
  • Use hand tools to trim pieces or assemble products

Despite the abundance of plastics, metals, and other materials, wood products continue to be an important part of our daily lives. Woodworkers make wood products from lumber and synthetic wood materials. Many of these products, including most furniture, kitchen cabinets, and musical instruments, are mass produced. Other products are custom made from architectural designs and drawings.

Although the term “woodworker” may evoke the image of a craftsman who uses hand tools to build ornate furniture, the modern woodworking trade is highly technical and relies on advanced equipment and highly skilled operators. Workers use automated machinery, such as computerized numerical control (CNC) machines, to do much of the work with great accuracy.

Even specialized artisans generally use CNC machines and a variety of power tools in their work. Much of the work is done in a high-production assembly line facility, but there is also some work that is customized and does not lend itself to being made on an assembly line.

Woodworkers set up, operate, and tend all types of woodworking machines, such as saws, milling machines, drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood-fastening machines. Operators set up the equipment, cut and shape wooden parts, and verify dimensions, using a template, caliper, and rule. After the parts are machined, woodworkers add fasteners and adhesives and connect the parts to form an assembled unit. They also install hardware, such as pulls and drawer slides, and fit specialty products for glass, metal trims, electrical components, and stone. Finally, workers then sand, stain, and, if necessary, coat the wood product with a sealer or topcoats, such as a lacquer or varnish.

Many of these tasks are handled by different workers with specialized training.

The following are examples of types of woodworkers:

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters cut, shape, assemble, and make parts for wood products. They often design and create sets of cabinets that are customized for particular spaces. In some cases, their duties begin with designing a set of cabinets to specifications and end with installing the cabinets.

Furniture finishers shape, finish, and refinish damaged and worn furniture. They may work with antiques and must judge how to preserve and repair them. They also do the staining, sealing, and top coating at the end of the process of making wooden products.

Wood sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders specialize in operating specific pieces of woodworking machinery. They often operate CNC machines.

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing, operate woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, routers, sanders, and planers.

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How To Become A Cabinet Maker

A high school diploma is typically required to become a woodworker. Although some entry-level jobs can be learned in less than 1 year, becoming fully proficient generally takes at least 3 years of on-the-job training. The ability to use computer-controlled machinery is becoming increasingly important.

Education

Because of the growing sophistication of machinery, many employers are seeking applicants who have a high school diploma or the equivalent. People seeking woodworking jobs can enhance their employment prospects by completing high school and getting training in computer applications and math.

Some woodworkers obtain their skills by taking courses at technical schools or community colleges. Others attend universities that offer training in wood technology, furniture manufacturing, wood engineering, and production management. These programs prepare students for jobs in production, supervision, engineering, and management, and are becoming increasingly important as woodworking technology advances.

Training

Education is helpful, but woodworkers are trained primarily on the job, where they learn skills from experienced workers. Beginning workers are given basic tasks, such as placing a piece of wood through a machine and stacking the finished product at the end of the process.

As they gain experience, new woodworkers perform more complex tasks with less supervision. In about 1 year, they learn basic machine operations and job tasks. Becoming a skilled woodworker often takes 3 or more years. Skilled workers can read blueprints, set up machines, and plan work sequences.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, becoming certified can demonstrate competence and professionalism. It also may help a candidate advance in the profession. The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) publishes product standards for the industry, and offers training programs for mid-management positions. The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America offers a national certificate program, with five progressive credentials, which adds a level of credibility to the work of woodworkers.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Woodworkers must pay attention to details in order to meet specifications and to keep themselves safe.

Dexterity. Woodworkers must make precise cuts with a variety of hand tools and power tools, so they need a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Math skills. Knowledge of basic math and computer skills are important, particularly for those who work in manufacturing, in which technology continues to advance. Woodworkers need to understand basic geometry to visualize how the wood pieces will fit together to fabricate a three-dimensional object, such as a cabinet or piece of furniture.

Mechanical skills. The use of hand tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches, is required to set up, adjust, and calibrate machines. Modern technology systems require woodworkers to be able to use computers and other programmable devices.

Physical stamina. The ability to endure long periods of standing and repetitious movements is crucial for woodworkers, who often stand all day performing many of the same functions.

Physical strength. Woodworkers must be strong enough to lift bulky and heavy pieces of wood.

Technical skills. Woodworkers must be able to understand and interpret design drawings and technical manuals for a range of products and machines.

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Cabinet Maker Demographics

Gender

Male

79.2%

Female

11.6%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

65.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.4%

German

8.7%

French

5.8%

Russian

4.3%

Polish

4.3%

Portuguese

2.9%

Ukrainian

2.9%

Carrier

2.9%

Chinese

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Venetian

1.4%

Hmong

1.4%

Armenian

1.4%

Thai

1.4%
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Cabinet Maker Education

Schools

The Academy

10.1%

Hennepin Technical College

8.8%

University of Phoenix

8.2%

Milwaukee Area Technical College

5.7%

A-Technical College

5.7%

Appalachian State University

5.0%

Idaho State University

5.0%

Fox Valley Technical College

4.4%

Porter and Chester Institute

4.4%

Austin Community College

4.4%

Utah State University

4.4%

Saint Paul's College

3.8%

Universal Technical Institute

3.8%

Ashford University

3.8%

Utah Valley University

3.8%

Lane Community College

3.8%

Gateway Technical College

3.8%

North Hennepin Community College

3.8%

Strayer University

3.8%

Northern Michigan University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

19.9%

General Studies

8.1%

Drafting And Design

7.1%

Fine Arts

6.6%

Electrical Engineering

5.5%

Precision Metal Working

4.4%

Industrial Technology

4.4%

Computer Science

4.2%

Criminal Justice

4.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.0%

Education

3.9%

Construction Management

3.9%

Automotive Technology

3.6%

Accounting

3.6%

Graphic Design

3.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.9%

Management

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Psychology

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

45.5%

Bachelors

21.0%

Associate

17.7%

Certificate

7.4%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

3.5%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$51,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Highest Paying City
Saint Paul, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Cabinet Maker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Cabinet Maker in the United States is $51,812 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $99,000.

Real Cabinet Maker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Cabinet Maker/Craftsman Supervisor The Fortis Company LLC Fort Worth, TX Dec 02, 2016 $55,557
Cabinet Maker Cuneo Inc. New Brunswick, NJ Jan 19, 2010 $46,373
Cabinet Maker Planton Interiors, Inc. Englewood, NJ Sep 17, 2008 $43,410
Cabinet Maker K & D Wright & Company Construction, Inc. Bridgehampton, NY Mar 26, 2009 $42,324
Cabinet Maker Jerzy Construction Corporation Roselle Park, NJ Dec 01, 2016 $41,954
Cabinet Maker Walter E. Lynch, AIA, PLLC Washington, DC Feb 01, 2008 $41,740
Cabinet Maker Curry Cabinetry Tampa, FL Nov 24, 2015 $41,600
Cabinet Maker Triple O Construction Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 18, 2011 $39,957
Cabinet Maker Hard & Chic Nj LLC Kingston, NJ Jan 14, 2011 $39,820
Cabinet Maker Engberg Design and Development New York, NY Apr 10, 2016 $39,437
Cabinet Maker & Bench Carpenter RJM Enterprises, Inc. Paradis, LA Mar 24, 2010 $38,234
Cabinet Maker Zotov Construction LLC Shelton, CT Apr 26, 2011 $38,168
Cabinet Maker Dormer King Inc. West Babylon, NY Aug 19, 2010 $38,000
Cabinet Maker McConstruction Consulting Inc. NY Jun 04, 2015 $37,170
Cabinet Maker Wilwoodman, Inc. Palm Coast, FL Dec 01, 2016 $33,197
Cabinet Maker Trieste Construction, Corp Great Neck, NY Aug 13, 2008 $33,037
Cabinet Maker Bielecki Construction LLC Woodbridge, NJ Jul 06, 2015 $33,030
Yacht Interior Cabinet Maker Interior Systems Management Corp Fort Lauderdale, FL Jun 30, 2016 $32,750
Cabinet Maker A-DA-Lite Cabinet Manufacturers, Inc. Port Orange, FL Oct 28, 2010 $31,305
Wood Cabinet Maker PC Construction Parksdale, CA Jul 08, 2010 $31,305
Custom Cabinet Maker Pacific Cornerstone, Inc. DBA Benchmark Constructi Baldwin Park, CA Mar 08, 2011 $30,721
Cabinet Maker Christopoulos Designs, Inc. Bridgeport, CT Dec 13, 2007 $30,679
Cabinet Makers and Bench Carpenters Barton Contracting, Ltd. (Formerly Quality Construction of Westchester, Ltd.) Yonkers, NY Sep 10, 2008 $30,053
Cabinet Maker Inter Craft Custom Furniture, Inc. NY Apr 01, 2009 $29,823
Cabinet Maker & Bench Carpenter Fong Creative Construction Corp Islandia, NY May 01, 2008 $29,823
Cabinet Makers and Bench Carpenter GDM Concepts Paramount, CA Nov 19, 2010 $29,427
Cabinet Makers and Bench Carpenters Visual Millwork and Fixture Mfg. Inc. NY Feb 25, 2009 $29,260
Cabinet Maker Urban Architectural Interiors, Inc. New York, NY Mar 30, 2009 $29,260
Custom Cabinet Maker L.A. Woodworks, Inc. Parksdale, CA Jan 08, 2015 $29,224
Cabinet Maker Sunshine Construction Inc. Islip, NY Mar 10, 2010 $28,717

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Top Skills for A Cabinet Maker

  1. Office Furniture
  2. Drywall Repair
  3. Door Installation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Constructed office furniture and custom designed cabinets from solid wood and high grade veneers.
  • Wall erection; drywall installation and door Installation; fabrication of cabinets; CNC machine operation.
  • Operated woodworking machines and hand tools to cut, shape, and form parts for assembly.
  • Framed whole houses, concrete, roofing, built and installed cabinets, operated a CNC machine to cut out cabinets.
  • Fabricate custom cabinets, counter tops, furniture, shelves and frames in accordance with building plans and/or customer requirements.

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Top 10 Best States for Cabinet Makers

  1. Illinois
  2. Missouri
  3. Hawaii
  4. New Jersey
  5. Minnesota
  6. Alaska
  7. Washington
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Nevada
  • (6 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)

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Career Advice on becoming a Cabinet Maker by Nathan B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Cabinet Maker by Richard D (Full Version)

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