Career Profile: Cabinet Maker

Career Profile: Cabinet Maker

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Every average kitchen has cabinets for storing dishes or food, and someone needs to build these cupboards. Working as a cabinet maker can be a good choice for people who are precise and who like to work with their hands. If that describes you, why not consider this trade?

When construction companies build houses, schools, or offices, they need someone to finish the insides of the building. Cabinet makers are part of the process. They also work with renovations. The ability to follow instructions is important, since people ordering the cabinets might have specific ideas of what they want. For example, they might want special kinds of wood like oak or pine. They might want a plain design or something more elaborate. Being aware of current trends is important for being able to meet customers’ needs.

Generally, cabinet makers need at least a high school education. Certification is not required but available in most parts of Canada. However, most people in this trade go through an apprenticeship program. The length of these programs can vary, depending on the region, but most apprenticeships include four twelve-month periods with at least 5,440 hours of practical experience and four eight-week units of technical training. Some people can also choose to shorten their apprenticeships through studying at a college or technical institute, and work experience can help people get through the program quickly.

An ability to use tools such as saws, files, and paintbrushes is an important part of working as a cabinet maker. Some cabinet makers might also use special tools for particular jobs that they do. The work can be dusty and dirty, and getting slivers is a constant danger in working with wood. Some cabinet makers might also work with other materials, such as metal or fiberglass. Small injuries are common, and people in this field need to be careful to wear masks when they are working with certain materials.

Many cabinet makers work as contractors for construction companies or private individuals. They might own a cabinet-making business or work on a salary for a larger company. Generally, people in this trade earn between $27,000 and $50,000 per year, although some people can earn much more than that. Because the work can require endurance, especially when a job has to be finished quickly, it can become difficult for people as they age. After some point, people might decide to move on to a different aspect of the work, such as management.

Precision is a very important part of being a cabinet maker. Often, the first part of the job involves measuring out sections of wood or other materials and then marking them for cutting. Often, the cabinet maker will do the entire job from beginning to end, but sometimes a cabinet maker might do most of the planning and leave the rest of the work for others. People in this trade might need to know how to find customers, estimate costs, supervise employees, and deal with other aspects of management.

Cabinets can make a kitchen or office look better and more organized, besides being useful for storing dishes or other necessary items. Working as a cabinet maker can be a very satisfying job.



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

Job Bank. “Cabinetmaker in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/requirements/16991/ca

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. “Cabinetmaker.” https://www.nait.ca/programs/cabinetmaker?term=1-winter.

Ontario Colleges. “Cabinetmaking.” https://www.ontariocolleges.ca/en/programs/professions-and-trades/cabinetmaking.

Talent.com. “Cabinet Maker Average Salary in Canada, 2022.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=cabinet+maker#.

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