Career Advice on How to Become a Cabinet Maker

General Career Information

Becoming a good cabinetmaker, like many trades working with wood, can take a good amount of time. Learning the basics is pretty straightforward and can be learned in a few months, but becoming skilled at cabinet making can take years. Keep this fact in mind when beginning a job search or career planning.
Wood, due to its versatility and enduring aesthetic appeal, remains a top pick for those buying furniture. As a result, the craftsmen that make cabinets continue to see a good level of employment, despite the introduction of new materials such as plastic. It will come as no surprise that this is a career that requires one to work with woodworking tools such as saws, sanders, lathes and drills.

Career Facts:

Usually a high-school degree is all the formal education that a prospective employer will be seeking. Much of the job is actually building the cabinets and can take years to master. Attention to detail is a must. Cabinetmakers often work in dusty and noisy environments due to the nature of the work. Often cabinetmakers are called upon to lift and move heavy pieces of wood and completed products.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Poor:

The job outlook for cabinetmakers isn’t too cheery. While there were 149,000 cabinetmakers in the United States in 2006, that number is expected to rise by a mere three percent by 2016. This number is far below the national average for all occupations. 
Job Outlook is Poor     

A Day in The Life:

No real surprise cabinetmakers make cabinets. A skilled cabinetmaker can create an impressive work that will last for decades or longer. There is no doubt that being a cabinetmaker is a tough job for the money. That stated however, there are definitely tougher jobs. The career is also vulnerable to downturns in the economy, and the work can be noisy and dangerous. 
Since cabinetmakers work with a wide-variety of power tools and large machines, there is always a risk of serious and potentially permanent injury. Many of the machines used are becoming increasingly sophisticated and computerized which, in theory, helps reduce some of this risk.
Much of a cabinetmaker’s day will be spent transporting, cutting and shaping the raw wood necessary to make a wide range of cabinets and cabinet parts. At times knowledge of blueprint reading will be necessary.

Average Salary:

The career of cabinetmaker has an average pay of $27,000, with the top ten percent earning about $43,000 per year.

$25k - $45k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Usually a high-school diploma is all that is required in terms of formal education, but cabinetmakers often learn additional skills at vocational schools and community colleges.
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