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How to Prepare for a Career in Cabinet Making

Do you enjoy working with wood?   Are you good at building things?   If so, a career in cabinet making could be the perfect job for you.   If you think you'd like to give it a shot, we've put together following guide to help you make the most out of your career as a cabinet maker.


High school students with aspirations to become a cabinet maker may prepare with courses like: English, algebra, business, and physical education. Access to trade or vocational programs offered during high school with courses in drafting basics, basic woodworking techniques, tool safety, and computer skills increase future acceptance into advanced training programs. Additionally working part time as a carpenter's assistant or in a construction related field allows hands on experience necessary for future educational and career success.



Apprenticeship programs are available to high school graduates who prefer to learn in a hands on setting. Apprenticeship programs require an intensive 5 to 7 year training period beginning with learning basic skills and advancing to more difficult tasks as each skill is mastered. Many students within an apprenticeship program work as carpenter's assistants and often complete classroom training to acquire woodworking skills, tool usage, safety training, and construction techniques. Graduates may gain journeyman level employment or pursue a college degree upon meeting licensing requirements.



Career diplomas offered through trade or technical schools or online colleges offer courses in: cabinet making, algebra, machinery and methods, material selection and processing, wood finishing, tool and machine maintenance, construction and remodeling, drafting, mill work, workplace safety, wood finishing, English, and autoCAD for cabinet drawing provide a solid educational background to advance to an associates degree, apprenticeship program, or certification exams.



An associates degree in cabinet making and construction technology with courses in: fundamentals of building construction, stationary and hand power tools, engineering graphics, house framing, introducation to woodworking, building codes, cabinet making, construction estimating, business mathematics, mill working, computerized numerical control (CNC) router programming, technical drafting, carpentry, and structural elements allow students to learn how to build and install cabinets in residential and commercial settings. A clinical experience is generally a requirement in any 2 year cabinet making degree. Graduates may advance to higher degrees in a construction related field or certification exams. The highest degree available in the field of cabinet making is an associates degree. Individuals who would like to attain a 4 year or advanced degree must pursue a construction or carpentry major with studies in construction management or engineering.



Licensing or certification is administered by the Furniture Industry Training Organization (FITO). The National Certificate in Furniture Making allows students to demonstrate skills learned through classroom instruction and hands on experiences. Exams assess skills and precision in cabinet making and completion of certificate and licensing requirements as determined by state and facility regulations allow students to work as cabinet makers.


This guide was adapated from How to Become a Cabinet Maker at The Best Degrees.

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