Cabinetmakers (NOC 7272)

About this job

Cabinetmakers use a variety of woods and laminates to construct and repair wooden cabinets, furniture, fixtures and related products.

People in this occupation:

  • work for furniture manufacturing or repair companies, construction companies and cabinetmaking contractors
  • may be self-employed
  • must have good attention to detail, as well as have a good eye for color and proportion
  • must have good manual dexterity to work with the tools necessary to build cabinets
  • must be able to read drawings or blueprints required to build a finished product
  • must be able to do materials calculations to work out dimensions, material costs, make estimates and use materials effectively
Common job titles
  • cabinetmaker, custom
  • cabinetmaker, furniture
  • cabinetmaker, journeyman / journeywoman
  • inspector, wood pattern
  • jig builder - wood products manufacturing
  • wood mould maker / patternmaker
  • cabinetmaker, custom
  • cabinetmaker, furniture
  • cabinetmaker, journeyman / journeywoman
  • inspector, wood pattern
  • jig builder - wood products manufacturing
  • wood mould maker / patternmaker

Duties

Cabinetmakers:

  • study plans, specifications or drawings of articles to be made or prepare specifications
  • mark outlines or dimensions of parts on wood
  • operate woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, mortisers and shapers, and use hand tools to cut, shape and form parts and components
  • trim joints and fit parts and subassemblies together to form a complete unit using glue and clamps and reinforce joints using nails, screws or other fasteners
  • sand wooden surfaces and apply veneer, stain or polish to finished products
  • repair or restyle wooden furniture, fixtures and related products
  • may estimate amount, type and cost of materials required

Work environment

Cabinetmakers work indoors, usually in a shop environment. This occupation requires workers to lift and move materials (usually wood) and use hand and power tools. Workers should also have a good eye for selecting and putting together materials for a visually pleasing end-product.

Workers are exposed to dust, noise and odours that come from working with wood. Some wood finishing products and glues can contain dangerous chemicals and fumes. Workers must use safety equipment and follow safety procedures when applying these finishes and glues. Safety procedures must also be followed when using potentially dangerous machines, such as saws, planers and lathes.

Insights from industry

Of the new openings over the next few years, more than half are expected to arise from the need to replace those who retire.

Future demand for workers will depend on growth in the Manufacturing industry. Underlying the demand is both the need for cabinetry for new homes as well as renovations that existing homeowners undertake. This will depend on the disposable income that people have available for renovations.

Technological improvements, such as computer-controlled equipment and computer-based systems for design, estimating and cost control, and new more efficient methods of building cabinets are increasing the productivity of these workers. For example, cabinetmakers are increasingly installing pre-manufactured cabinets and fixtures, which will significantly reduce the amount of work required. Improved worker productivity will decrease the number of new jobs created.

Cabinetmakers are increasingly required to work with computers, so workers with computer skills may have an advantage over those who do not.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Workers typically start in this occupation by working as an apprentice or as a labourer in a production-oriented position.

Upon gaining considerable experience and or trade certification, workers can advance to supervisory positions or start their own businesses.

Additional resources