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Apprenticeship

Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers build and repair custom or production-type fixtures and furniture made of wood or wood substitutes.

Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 7272: Cabinetmakers

2006 NOC-S

  • H122: Cabinetmakers

2011 NOC

  • 7272: Cabinetmakers

2016 NOC

  • 7272: Cabinetmakers

2021 NOC

  • 72311: Cabinetmakers

2023 OaSIS

  • 72311.00: Cabinetmakers
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

To build typical wood units such as commercial kitchen cabinets, cabinetmakers:

  • Create and read specifications and drawings
  • Make layouts and patterns
  • Set up and operate woodworking equipment
  • Cut, shape, mould and assemble components made of wood or wood substitutes
  • Sand wooden surfaces
  • Apply veneer, stain, polish or plastic laminates to finished surfaces
  • Operate and program computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment

Cabinetmakers produce custom-made products. They may specialize in one or two of the following functions in large cabinet shops that have computer-controlled equipment or perform a combination of functions in smaller shops:

  • Discuss projects with customers and draw up detailed specifications
  • Estimate the amount and type of material needed and the cost
  • Select the wood
  • Cut, measure and produce pieces of a project
  • Assemble the product by gluing, clamping, dowelling, nailing or screwing pieces together
  • Scrape and sand the unit and apply a finish such as paint, stain, plastic laminate, varnish or lacquer
  • Repair or refinish wooden furniture and fixtures
  • Install cabinetry and millwork
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Cabinetmakers work indoors, generally in a shop environment. They may be exposed to high noise levels, airborne sawdust and chemicals from painting and stripping. There is some risk of injury when working with high-speed woodworking machinery, and they must wear personal protective gear.

Cabinetmakers may handle equipment or supplies that weigh over 25 kilograms.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Cabinetmakers

2006 NOC: 7272

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to trim joints and fit parts and subassemblies together to form complete units using glue and clamps, and to reinforce joints using nails, screws and other fasteners

METHODICAL

Interest in marking outlines for dimensions of parts on wood

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to repair and restyle wood furniture, fixtures and related products

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Cabinetmakers need:

  • Good eyesight to select woods and look for surface imperfections
  • Hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • Strength and stamina to lift heavy items
  • The ability to visualize a finished product from drawings, blueprints or other specifications

They should enjoy creating things with their hands and working with a high degree of accuracy.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Cabinetmakers

2016 NOC: 7272

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 133 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 17, 2024 and May 18, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Sand wooden surfaces and apply veneer, stain or polish to finished products; prepare and apply laminated plastics
Tasks: Trim joints and fit parts and subassemblies together to form complete unit and reinforce joints
Tasks: Study plans, specifications or drawings of articles to be made, or prepare specifications
Tasks: Maintain clean and safe work environment
Attention to detail
Tasks: Repair or restyle wooden furniture, fixtures and related products
Tasks: Apply varnish, veneer, stain or polish to finished products
Construction Specialization: Team player
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

To work in Alberta, a cabinetmaker must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate
  • Someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • Self-employed

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

The term of apprenticeship is 4 years (four 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,360 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of classroom instruction each year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Apprentices are required to provide their own tools.

Cabinetmaker apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Classroom instruction is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers build and repair custom or production-type fixtures and furniture made of wood or wood substitutes. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile on Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Cabinetmaker.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Cabinetmakers are employed in custom shops or they own their own business. Employment prospects for cabinetmakers change with changing economic conditions.

It is common for cabinetmakers to work in the trade until they retire. They may set up their own shops or advance to supervisory positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7272: Cabinetmakers occupational group, 91.7% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7272: Cabinetmakers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 6 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson cabinetmaker wages vary but generally range from $19 to $28 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 55% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year of apprenticeship, 65% in the second, 75% in the third and 85% in the fourth.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Cabinetmakers

2016 NOC: 7272
Average Wage
$28.27
Per Hour
Average Salary
$60,063.00
Per Year
Average Hours
40.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7272 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $22.00 $36.00 $25.88 $25.00
Overall $25.00 $31.03 $28.27 $27.89
Top $27.00 $40.76 $36.08 $35.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
68%
68%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
72%
72%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
17%
17%
Vacancy Rate
6%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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