Career Profile: Cabinetmaker

Career Profile: Cabinetmaker

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Each day, people use kitchen cabinets, drawers, shelves, and many other wooden storage areas in their homes. They may never think of the people who make these shelves and cabinets, but building these spaces takes a special set of skills that people need to learn and develop. Working as a cabinet maker is a good choice for people who like to work with their hands and to manage a variety of tools.

As the name implies, this job is about making cabinets and other wooden structures for kitchens and other rooms. Although the skills can translate well to some outdoor building tasks, cabinet makers generally work indoors. They read blueprints, choose the right tools and the type of wood that the customer wants, and cut the wood to the right shapes and sizes. This step involves using different types of tools, including manual and electric saws, sanders, and much more.

Cabinet makers sometimes work on assembly lines in factories, putting together only a small part of a cabinet or shelf. However, working in a small business is also a possibility for people who prefer to work through the entire process of putting a cabinet together. The job can be physically demanding, since cabinet makers have to be able to lift heavy pieces of wood and manage tools that can be hard to handle. Each day, cabinet makers use nails, glue, screws, or clamps to join pieces together after cutting or sanding them down to the right size.

Although being a cabinet maker is not as dangerous as other construction jobs, it has its own hazards. Sawdust can get into the lungs, and the glue used for putting the wood together can cause breathing problems. The tools can also be dangerous to the fingers and hands. In addition, the job can be quite physically demanding as people have to lift heavy items and be active for much of the day.

Becoming a cabinet maker involves study and practice. Each area of Canada has its own requirements, but most people go through an apprenticeship program to get into this trade. In most cases, the apprenticeship involves four twelve-month periods of preparation for the job. These years include on-the-job training, technical training, and a final exam. In most of Canada except Saskatchewan and Quebec, certification is available but not required. A high school diploma is also necessary. Salaries start at $24,000 and rise to about $52,000 with experience.

Being flexible is important for people in this trade. Working alone is sometimes necessary, while at other times, cabinet makers work closely with others. The days can be long when a project needs to be finished, but people in this trade can generally work regular hours. As with other jobs in the field of construction, work tends to be busiest in the warmer seasons, but it can be busy at any time of the year. In the colder months, much of the work can often be related to replacing or repairing old or broken cabinets.

Cabinet makers have an important role in making homes and other buildings function better. If you are good with your hands, it might be the right job for you.



ALIS. “Cabinetmaker.” https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/occupations-in-alberta/occupation-profiles/cabinetmaker/.

Careers in Construction. “Cabinetmaker.” https://www.careersinconstruction.ca/en/career/cabinetmaker.

Payscale Canada. “Cabinet Maker Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Cabinet_Maker/Hourly_Rate.

Work BC. “Cabinetmakers.” https://www.workbc.ca/careers/7272.

Ziprecruiter. “Cabinet Maker Must-Have Resume Skills and Keywords.” https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Career/Cabinet-Maker/Resume-Keywords-and-Skills.

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